Reading the Book Helps

This morning, I decided to reward myself for all the hard work I’ve accomplished by taking myself to see The Da Vinci Code.

The book was forced on me a couple of years ago by people who knew me rather well, people who were completely surprised I hadn’t read it yet on my own. I couldn’t put it down, read it twice, and then proceeded to read all of Dan Brown’s other books. (The only one that I didn’t completely enjoy was Deception Point.)

Knowing that movies based on books are rarely as good as the books, I wasn’t expecting too much form the movie. Before I left, I heard a movie reviewer bash the movie on the radio. When the DJ asked if he had the book, the reviewer rather proudly admitted that he hadn’t.

My recommendation: Read the book before you go. It will help smooth out some of those dropped explanations.

Spoilers lurk beyond this point. Please do not click if you have not seen the movie!

As cinematic representations of modern best sellers go, I thought The Da Vinci Code was on par with the Harry Potter movies. You can get through it without having read the book, but you are going to be left with some interesting questions. The theories that Brown weaves together so masterfully throuhgout the novel are, for the most part, gone.

The most distracting thing in the movie is the weaving of history into the fabric of the now. The movie would have lost nothing by dropping out the ill-explained or pointless flashbacks, and visually, they were quite distracting from the entire movie.

The second most distracting thing was Tom Hanks himself. I usually enjoy Hanks’ work, but he just wasn’t earthy enough to be Robert Langdon. (The slide show was to die for, though!)

The movie itself did a great job of hitting most of the major plot points smoothly, capturing the constant rush of the action. It seemed to lack that “oh, my god” effect with the revealing of different secrets throughout the movie.

I’d watch it again. I’d even buy the DVD.

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