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UKScreen Rating:

The Da Vinci Code – Review

WHAT’S IT ABOUT?

Renowned symbologist Professor Robert Langdon (Hanks) is called to the
Louvre Museum where the curator has been found murdered, leaving a
mysterious trail of symbols and clues.
The French police believe Langdon killed him while Sophie Neveu
(Tautou), the police cryptologist and the dead man’s granddaughter,
joins forces with Langdon to unravel the mystery.
Their quest takes them from Paris, to London and then Scotland. The
clues lead them to a covert society, dedicated to guarding an ancient
secret that has remained hidden for 2000 years, but if made public could
rock the foundations of Christianity.

WHAT’S IT LIKE?

First there was the best-selling novel, then the headline grabbing court
case and now the Hollywood film – the one Dan Brown fans have been
eagerly awaiting and the Catholic Church has probably been praying would
never see the light of day.
So does the Da Vinci Code live up to all the hoopla? The good news for
fans is it’s a faithful adaptation of Brown’s work which has sold
millions worldwide; the bad news for the Catholic Church is that it
sticks religiously to the novel’s explosive premise that Mary Magdalene
was Jesus’ wife and bore him a child. Their descendants have since been
protected by a secret society and the Church will go to any lengths
(even murder) to stop the truth coming out.
With director Ron Howard at the helm, along with a stellar international
cast, what you get is a slick and solid thriller. It feels like there’s
a lot being crammed in the 149 minutes but interesting visuals a la
Beautiful Mind and CGI-like animation, bringing to life the more
complicated theories about the covert societies and the history of the
Holy Grail, keep you glued to the screen – along with a Bourne
Supremacy-style car chase, involving a Smart car.
It’s an impressive cast with strong performances all round but Paul
Bettany steals the show, as the menacing assassin Silas, the Albino Opus
Dei monk who you really wouldn’t want to meet in a dark alley. His
purging of the flesh scenes just bring tears to the eyes (yes he gets
his kit off again but not in a good way).
It’s an interesting premise and talking point but it is just
entertainment. With all the millions of Brown fans The Da Vinci Code is
guaranteed to be a box office hit.

opens nationwide 19th May 2006

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