Worse than the book?
That’s what the review on Slate said: the movie was worse than the book. I didn’t believe it.
I also poo-pooed Mike’s cousin Ricky, who didn’t want to see the movie because it had only gotten 1-1/2 stars. (I don’t know where he saw that rating.) It couldn’t be that bad, I argued. I’d seen a positive review just that morning on a network news show in our hotel room.
Ricky was stuck with us — he missed his flight on Sunday morning and called us to rescue him from the airport. We dragged him to dim sum in Fort Lee and around New York’s SoHo and south Village — which he seemed to enjoy — and then to the Battery Park Regency 11 Theater for the movie.
A few weird things about this particular theater. First of all, it’s on the 5th (or so) floor of the building. You buy your ticket at street level, then proceed up a series of escalators, one of which takes you at least two floors up. The escalators run along the east side of the building where windows look out — right at Ground Zero. (More on that in another post.)
The movie was boring. It seemed to follow the book pretty closely — I read the book about two years ago, so I don’t remember it perfectly well. What’s weird about the movie is that the book is so widely read that you’d expect everyone in the theater to know the punchline — that Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene, who bore his child after the crucifixion. Yet that punchline wasn’t delivered until more than halfway through the movie. I guess it makes sense because it was probably delivered halfway through the book, too. But when the information was presented in the movie, I felt like saying, “Yeah, and…?” As if there should be more. But there wasn’t.
I think Tom Hanks’s acting capabilities were completely wasted on this movie. There wasn’t much real acting to do. Just deliver the same lines that were in the book — poor dialog to begin with. There was an awful lot of tell rather than show. In the scenes in Teabing’s house, it appeared that Hanks’s character already knew much of what Teabing told Sophie — if that was the case, why didn’t he just tell her before? Of course, this is a book complaint — not a movie complaint — because the movie followed the book. I guess if you make a movie that closely follows a bad book, you’ll end up with a bad movie.
The guy who played Teabing — who also played the bad guy in at least one X-Men movie — did a much better acting job. But I think that’s because his character wasn’t flat and lifeless like the other characters in the book.
Flashbacks were distracting and overused, especially the historic ones. It was like watching a History Channel documentary. You know the kind. Where they get actors to re-enact scenes from history?
I left the movie feeling as if I’d gained nothing from the experience of seeing it.
Ricky said the movie’s music was overpowering. He said that was a sign of a bad movie. I liked the soundtrack, but agree that it sometimes did more work than it should have.
But I wasn’t impressed with the movie at all. It was just a visual representation of what was in the book. And since what was in the book wasn’t anything that needed to be visualized, the movie wasn’t anything special.
Did you see The DaVinci Code? What did you think? Use the Comments link to share your thoughts. I’d be interested in reading what other people who read the book and saw the movie have to say.