Time: 149 mins.
SYNOPSIS: A dead body has been found in the Louvre, setting Professor Roberts Langdon – a renowned cryptologist – off on a dangerous adventure as he attempts to unravel an ancient code and uncover the greatest mystery of all time.
BOTTOM LINE: Not all books are able to make a smooth transition from the page to the screen and THE DA VINCI CODE is definitely one of them. While reading the novel I initially thought it would make a great movie, since it was such a page turner with a good mystery and entertaining action sequences with our heroes being chased around the world. I'm not sure if it's the nature of the story or the fault of Howard, as the director, but this film just never quite comes together in a cohesive interesting way. Whether or not you buy into the heart of the mystery that Jesus and Mary Magdalene were married with children and the early church covered it up the novel keeps you glued to the page with equal amounts of intelligence and intrigue.
Despite a big budget and first-rate cast, the film just never captures the "wow" factor of the big secret, leaving the viewer fairly unimpressed with this hidden knowledge. It's the Cliff Notes version of the quest to uncover this supposed historical "treasure" that feels like a bad college lecture force-fed in between ho-hum action sequences. What makes the novel so compelling is the painstaking unraveling of the secret behind the Holy Grail, which the film illuminates too quickly in an effort to make all the running around seem worth the trouble. There's no sense of tension, of building the mystery. I know the film follows the novel quite accurately, however, the pacing which is perfect when reading, was just awkward on the big screen. While there's nothing drastically awful about the movie (besides Hanks hair), there's nothing overly entertaining about it either. Lovers of the book will not come out of this experience with the same thrill and those new to the tale will leave wondering what all the fuss was about.