Da Vinci Code, The (2006)
—2. Cast and Crew
—3. Photo Pages
—4. Trailers, Clips, DVDs, Books, Soundtrack
—5. Posters (Tom Hanks)
—6. Production Notes (pdf)
—7. Spiritual Connections
—8. Presentation Downloads
To start with, I was disappointed. Not that the Da Vinci Code wasn’t a “good” movie, more so that it wasn’t a “great” movie. With all the hype I had expected something more than I got. Maybe that was the problem -- all the hype had built up my expectations beyond what the movie delivered.
Tom Hanks was good as usual and almost any film by Ron Howard has to at least be considered for viewing. Though I was thrown off a little at times by some of the quickly flashing scenes, which I assume was included for artistic appeal, but all it ended up doing was to make my stomach queasy.
I guess what drew me, and everyone else, to the film was the religious controversy. Again, I was very disappointed. I expected some strong theological points that could be debated (as I like a good theological discussion), but the story was really more about a mystery surrounded by murder (I don’t really care for murder mysteries, which may bias my Review). Yes, at the heart of the murders and the mystery was a Catholic Church conspiracy, though even this wasn’t about a Papal conspiracy – not the Vatican, but a small council or group of renegade priest. This is nothing new. I have seen several other movies that had Church officials involved in a murder plot to protect the faith. The sad thing is with all the hype around the Da Vinci Code, it wasn’t even as good as some of these other movies – like the 1986 film “The Name of the Rose” starring Sean Connery.
I will admit that there were some exciting scenes and it was interesting to see Tom Hanks play detective and solve the various clues to the mystery – though as has been discussed ad nauseam, the basis for the clues are mostly a twisting of actual facts by the author. It would be fun to go on for a couple of pages discussing how the author’s, Dan Brown, fictional novel played loosely with historical facts to create a mystery at the center of the novel. But that has been done by more people than I can count at this writing. I guess overall I did not buy into the basis of the story. Not about some renegade priest killing people in the name of the Church – that I could believe – after all priest are still men at the core when it comes down to it and people will rationalize many things in the name of something they are passionate about, not just religion. But it seems like a long stretch to buy into Jesus marrying Mary Magdalene and having a child. Maybe this is because I have spent some amount of time studying the authenticity of the Bible and have researched other extraneous documents, especially Gnostic gospels (the basis for much of Brown’s rationale) such as the Gospel of Thomas, the Gospel of Philip, the Secret Book of James, and many other “books” that have been raised as contradicting the Bible.
I imagine some people might take the fictional film as some type of truth, but I don’t think the movie would sway anyone from their faith. Those that have faith will not all of a sudden decide that Jesus is not the Son of God and change their religious affiliation. Those that believe Jesus is God will still believe that and those that believe in Church conspiracies or don’t believe that Jesus was really man and God in one, will just have that belief enforced. Those that had no opinion before may be influenced by the film, but if they came out with anything more than questions (which is a good thing) then I would be amazed. If someone came out of watching the Da Vinci Code and all of sudden believed that there was a descendent of Jesus walking around somewhere, then we need put extra guards on the Declaration of Independence because these same folks are going to try and steal it so they can locate the giant shaft, under a church tomb, where they will be able to recover the “National Treasure” buried there by the Knights Templar and the Masons in the time of our fore-fathers. And by the way, the movie “National Treasure” (a knock off of Da Vinci Code in the first place) probably relied upon more facts than the Da Vinci Code does.
I consider myself a pretty good follower of Jesus (not the best by any means), but I really have a lot of trouble understanding why some in the religious community have raised such a stink about this movie. All they have done is turned a fairly mediocre movie into a blockbuster and have driven to the film the exact people they wanted to keep away from seeing it. Other than being about 30-45 minutes too long, the film was just a reasonable mystery story with a church conspiracy thrown in (which like I said has been done many times in the past).
Few people are going to be swayed one way or the other by this film. If anything, it might generate discussion about Jesus around the office water cooler – I know I have already talked to a couple of people about it -- and how can this be a bad thing?