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05 June, 2006
The Da Vinci Code
We finally saw the movie version of The Da Vinci Code over the weekend.
I actually liked it more than the book. Considering the mixed reviews and how viewers snickered when it was screened at Cannes, the movie was suprisingly better than I expected.
Then again, the novel was written so badly it could only get better treatment from a competent director like Ron Howard. Unlike Peter Jackson who stretched King Kong to two and a half hours for no good reason, Howard held my attention by providing a tight narrative while at the same time staying true to the book's main plot points.
I'm not too happy at how Langdon was portrayed as largely skeptical of Mary Magdelene's role in Jesus Christ's life (he was her champion in the book, as I recall), but I guess that was part of the compromise the studio made so as not to offend the sensibilities of the Catholic Church too much (for all the good that did).
Tom Hanks was okay as Robert Langdon, though he's not the best fit for the part. Audrey Tautou gave a sensitive portrayal of Sophie Neveu, Paul Bettany was perfect as Silas and of course Ian McKellen stole every scene he was in as Sir Leigh Teabing.
The Da Vinci Code grossed more than $645 million to date worldwide, surpassing the theatrical receipts of that other Jesus movie, The Passion of the Christ. I wouldn't be surprised if there's another Robert Langdon movie in the works.
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