Da Vinci
This relationship probably won’t work out.

Theatrical Release Date: 05/19/2006
Director: Ron Howard
Cast: Tom Hanks, Audrey Tautou, Ian McKellen, Jean Reno, Paul Bettany, Alfred Molina

Apparently, there’s this book that a few people have read that got made into a movie by Opie and the guy who floated on luggage to a tropical island and then later made a sequel about falling in love with a volleyball on the island.

What? “Castaway” isn’t a sequel? Huh.

Anywho, so Ron Howard gets the rights to Dan Brown’s “The Da Vinci Code” and assembles a very impressive cast to bring it all together.

And seriously, how in the hell could you go wrong casting Tom Hanks, Audrey Tautou, Ian McKellen, Jean Reno, Paul Bettany and Alfred Molina?

The answer is that you can’t.

I know, I know. All the critics are panning the film and of course there are numerous religious organizations trying to boycott the film (note to planet Religion, trying to stop films from expressing alternate beliefs only helps the film make more money and gain exposure).

Well, I’m proud to stand up and say that “The Da Vinci Code” is a pretty decent film.

I have read the book but it’s been long enough that I don’t remember all the nuances. So scratch the idea of me blasting the film for making a character wear the wrong shoes or something asinine like that.

All of the actors do a nice job for the most part, though Bettany’s portrayal of a murderous priest is the standout in my opinion. There’s a small role for Jürgen Prochnow who always gives me some glee and McKellen does a nice job of layering his performance.

The only actor that I had some fault with is Audrey Tautou. I bet you were expecting me to say Tom Hanks but I have to admit that I liked what he did with the role. I never pictured him playing the part when I was reading the book but I was won over.

Tautou on the other hand was someone I absolutely imagined in the role but there were times in the film that I just felt she was a little blank, like she wasn’t sure what emotion she should be conveying so she chose to convey none at all. This was not a major distraction and only happened a few times but I like to nitpick.

As for the overall film, I thought Howard and screenwriter Akiva Goldsman did a nice job of translating the important elements of the book to the screen. Some of the flashbacks to showcase the history lessons brought up throughout the film felt a little forced and the ending was a touch preachy for me but the rest of the film makes up for that.

“The Da Vinci Code” is a fairly well done thriller and since I don’t subscribe to any organized religion or have any kind of faith in anything but my own cynicism, I had no problem with the conclusions Brown was making in his novel.

I’m not going to get up on a soapbox and proclaim this film is the best thing since the apparent disappearance of Tom Green but I am going to recommend this film.

A fairly strong 3 out of 5, “The Da Vinci Code” will satisfy most fans of the novel and is an easy film to enjoy even without having read the book.

For all you wannabe cryptologists our there, I’ll end this review by presenting a little puzzle. Solve it if you can and post it to this review for verification. I promise no rewards other than your own (and possibly my) satisfaction.

26-5-14-4 … 13-15-14-5-25 … 20-15 … 13-5.
9 … 3-1-14 … 21-19-5 … 14-20 … 20-15 … 2-21-25 … 8-15-15-11-5-18-19.