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Movie Review: The Da Vinci Code

Alternate Title: Mona Lisa Frowns

Story: The book was fun - the movie was tedious. It was impossible when reading the book not to see it as a movie but now that I have seen the movie I scratch my head and wonder what the heck went wrong?

If you have been under a rock for the past three years while the world has been in Da Vinci Code Feverland you will not be able to understand what all the fuss is about by just seeing the film. The Catholic Church has nothing to worry about from this version of Dan Brown's book. The premise essentially is that the Catholic Church has been covering up the genealogy of Jesus, his progeny and the basis of the faith. The themes include great book and film ideas like two thousand year old conspiracies, secret church societies, cults, women's roles in the Church, encrypted codes and the biggest of them all, the search for the Holy Grail. What fun it could have been.

Director Ron Howard did not deliver what the book's fans wanted to see nor did screenwriter Akiva Goldman. The film slogs along relentlessly. The fast pace of the novel is lost on the screen. There are long passages of exposition immediately followed by unexplained chases. There are dangling characters and story lines that are explained in the book but left hanging in the film. Should you see it? It is part of pop culture and there are parts of it that are very interesting and technically well done. But be warned, if you loved the book, you will need a leap of faith to enjoy the film.

Acting: Tom Hanks seemed tethered throughout the film. I felt he was understating his character and should have been more emotional. He is totally likeable but missed the mark on this one. Audrey Tautou's elfin like persona is always agreeable but she ends up doing a lot of staring and meaningful comprehending but not much emoting. Ian McClellan, everyone;s bad guy these days had the most delicious part. and seemed to be enjoying it thoroughly.Paul Bettany as the mad albino monk wasn't that scary. The majority of Alfred Molina's part must have ended up on the cutting room floor. Paris always looks good.

Predilection: I like blockbusters and I enjoyed the book.

Critters: Horses during the Crusades expositions.

Food: Not a morsel was eaten.

Soundtrack: Cloying

Visual Art: What could be wrong with some footage in the Louvre?

Theater Audience: About fifty very quiet people.

Drift Factor: I drifted often and early.

Predictability Level: I read the book - not applicable.

Tissue Usage: 0

Oscar Worthy: No

Nit Picking: The editor should never work again.

Big Screen or Rental: Read the book instead. If you are Holy Grail crazy, go see Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

Length: Two and a half hours. AURGH!