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Judge Eric Profancik's Blog
• Location: Cincinnati, OH
The DaVinci Code
I like Dan Brown's novels. I've read all four, and I'll grant you that he is not Shakespeare or Capote or even Stephen King, but he does have a way of telling an interesting story that is readily accessible to a mass market. Some may snub their noses at such easily digestible fare, but I embrace it. If I want to read something I don't understand, I'll go back to school. If I want to read something that entertains me and compels me to read page after page after page after page, I just might pick up a Dan Brown novel. Besides, I really like his short chapters. I can't stand long chapters, and I can't put down a book until I'm at the end of a chapter.
So what does Dan Brown's seminal tome look like on the big screen? If you've read just about any other review, you'll have read something that is undoubtedly negative, tearing the film to shreds. They might blame Dan for his slipshod narration, Akiva for his slapshot approach to the script, Tom Hanks for a lackluster performance, or Ron Howard for his dutiful faith to the original novel. In a word, most reviews call The DaVinci Code "bad."
I walked into The DaVinci Code believing all these other critics, expecting a movie that was simply horrible. How could I not when barely no one stepped forward to say anything positive about the film? (Maybe you're asking why I decided to see it? Was it because I'm a Brown fan? Yes, that's part of it. The other reason is that it's the first 90 degree day of the summer, and I just wanted free air conditioning.) Allow me to give you a positive review of the film.
Yes, I enjoyed this movie. I didn't find fault in Brown's ideas. I didn't find anything horrible with Akiva's script. I thought Tom, while not necessarily at his best, did a servicable job as Robert Langdon. And Ron Howard's direction certainly did not hurt the film either. By all counts, there are no serious flaws with the film. The movie follows the book quite closely, just changing a few things along the way.
If you enjoy Dan Brown, or if you enjoy a "treasure hunt" type movie, or if you enjoy a historical mystery, then you will enjoy The DaVinci Code.
By now, everyone knows what the DaVinci code is. We all know the church's stance on it, and we all know there isn't much mystery left to unfold in the film. Since reading "The DaVinci Code," I've found myself reading several other religious-themed books, some even taking a different spin on the lineage of Christ. Let me tell you that if you think Brown doesn't write well, you haven't read many authors. Brown may have to tell you a lot of history to tell his story, but he's one of the few who can actually make it interesting. And that seeps into the film. It is interesting to see Langdom thrown into this mystery, following the subtle clues from place to place, not fully believing what is happening, but eventually realizing a remarkable truth.
The DaVinci Code is not the colossal mistake others make it out to be. It is not the best movie ever done, but it clearly is not deserving of the near universal drubbing it has received. Go ahead of give this one a chance. Besides, how can 40 million readers be wrong?