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The Da Vinci Code

Review Written by: Estefan Ellison
Film: B+
What the MPAA Rating should be: R (for extremely disturbing images)

Directed by: Ron Howard
Written by: Akiva Goldsman
Based on the book by: Dan Brown
Produced by: John Calley and Brian Grazer
Starring: Tom Hanks, Audrey Tautou, Ian McKellen, Jean Reno, Paul Bettany, Alfred Molina
Studio: Columbia Pictures

Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code has sold millions of copies around the world and is one of the best selling books of all-time along with Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone and Gone with the Wind. Those books were turned into very good films and box office hits, so of course, Brown's creation is now told on the big screen. Since I have not read the book and since I had very limited knowledge of the plot, the film is my first Da Vinci experience and that probably worked in my favour. My fellow critics have called the film predictable and un-exciting, but this is one of those moments where I completely disagree with them. I believe due to being new to the material, I had a fresh experience while watching this fine piece of work.

Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) is Harvard University professor who has a knack for looking at symbols. When a curator at the Louvre is murdered, the local inspector (Jean Reno) believes that Langdon is responsible for it. While running from the law, Langdon befriends Sophie (Audrey Tautou) the grand-daughter of the man murdered. Both of them try to figure out who is responsible for the killing and in the process find out some secrets involving the Opus Dei Group and some new information regarding Mary Mageline.

Director Ron Howard has ensembled a wonderful cast for this rather interesting thriller. Tom Hanks does a good job of playing Langdon, once again proving that he is one of Hollywood's favourite actors. Audrey Tautou does a fair job in her first big blockbuster production and I hope she continues to bring her great work in French cinema to English screens. Ian McKellen provides a nicely comic performance as a man who we don't know whether to believe or not, but the highlight is Paul Bettany who just becomes better in each film he's in. He is incredibly devilish as an Albino monk and is very chilling. However, the most interesting parts of The Da Vinci Code are not the action scenes and those with people holding guns to people's heads, but when characters are explaining about the history of Jesus (although it is not proven how true these stories are). Maybe it's because I prefer dialogue to everything else featured in a film, but I was fascinated by what the characters were saying. I think people who have not read the book will enjoy this film more than those who haven't because a lot of these ideas are new, but it is still worth seeing.

Sir Ian McKellen playing another Sir, Leigh Teabing in The Da Vinci Code
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