Tuesday, May 30, 2006
I honestly can't say that I expected much from The Da Vinci Code (which, I know, seems to be a running theme with a lot of my movie experiences)...
And after it was all over, the best response I could come up with was "m'eh"...
It was just so... pedestrian, I guess is the best description... I actually quite enjoyed the book, but the movie never seemed to develop a sense of tension or anticipation or even threat or dread. I don't know whether that was because I remembered the plot from the book fairly closely, and so knew all the "twists" before they happened... but it just never seemed like there was much weight to what was going on. And on top of all of that, it ran for two and a half hours... so parts of it did seem to drag a little.
I said way back when I first heard about this movie that Tom Hanks was so completely and utterly wrong for the role of Robert Langdon (and given the list of possible alternatives they were looking at, I'm not sure they were convinced he was right either)... and I wasn't proved wrong... he wasn't bad per say... but I imagined Langdon having much more of a presence about him... which Hanks, complete with that appallingly bad hair, just lacks.
The overall casting did seem fairly scattered actually... I don't know whether it was the mix of "names" in the cast, or what, but I was pulled out of the moment a couple of times going "Oh look, it's you... and you..."! Having said that, Audrey Tautou was fairly good as Sophie (although not what I'd imagined when I read the book), and was probably one of the better casting decisions. Paul Bettany was interesting as the albino, even if his contacts did seem overly obvious and a little odd in a couple of scenes (although technically I don't know what the eyes of real albinos look like, so they could have been completely accurate for all I know)... and Paul kept flashing large amounts of skin, which was both attractive (the self inflicted wounds notwithstanding) and a little distracting (although not necessarily in a bad way)... and special cuteness mention goes to young Hugh Mitchell who played the young version of the albino very briefly in a flashback (and who I was extremely disturbed to discover played Colin Creevey in the second Harry Potter movie... fortunately that was four years ago, and the boy done grew up pretty... at least in albino makeup anyway).
The "history" segments were fairly interesting both from a visual standpoint and as a storytelling device, and, to be honest, those alone look like they could have cost more money and taken more time and effort than the rest of the movie put together... they did help to add some interest to what would otherwise have just been a bunch of people sitting around churning out huge chunks of exposition.
There also seemed to have been some fairly major deletions or changes from the original story, mostly for the sake of time in a lot of cases (two codex become one), but if my memory serves me correctly they not only revealed some of the twists earlier than in the book, but they also did a fair bit of messing around with the story at the end... enough to bug me, but not enough to actually ruin the story.
All in all, mildly interesting, but definitely not worth the title of "thriller"....
yani's rating: 6 crazed albinos out of 10