Adam’s Film Friday – A Review of The DaVinci Code

Hey all! Welcome back to another Adam’s Film Friday. I hope you have all been reading about Kim and Todd’s European vacation and have been in awe over the gorgeous pictures. This week’s movie is based on one of my favorite books, The DaVinci Code by Dan Brown. This movie was made in 2006 at what I would consider the height of the DaVinci Code hysteria, and it stars Tom Hanks as the genius symbologist Robert Langdon, who finds himself involved in an international conspiracy where he is a main suspect.

The movie starts off with a hooded man named Silas (Paul Bettany) chasing Jacques Sauniere, the curator of the famous Louvre Museum, through its Grand Gallery. Before Silas kills Sauniere, Sauniere admits that the keystone, an ancient artifact that Silas is searching for, is found “beneath the rose” at the Church of Saint Sulpice. Silas is a member of the Opus Dei, a super secret religious group whose aim is to protect the secrets of the Catholic church. Sauniere was a member of the Priory of Sion, a group that is charged to protect the location of the Holy Grail from those who have sought it for centuries. The Priory counts among its former members Leonardo DaVinci, Isaac Newton, and Victor Hugo. Now, both groups are at odds over the location of the Grail, with the Priory trying to keep it a secret while Opus Dei is determined to find it, no matter the cost. Robert Langdon enters this puzzle when he is asked by the French Chief of Police, Bezu Fache (Jean Reno), to come solve a cryptic puzzle in the Grand Gallery comprising of Sauniere’s body and his blood, which can only be seen under a black light. While he is there, Sophie Neveu (Audrey Tatou), a cryptologist who works for the French police, comes in stating that she has a message for Robert Langdon. The message instructs Langdon to call a phone number and enter a code. The message is actually Neveu’s voicemail telling Langdon he’s in danger and needs to run. It turned out that there was a part of a message, covered up before Langdon arrived, asking for Langdon to be found. The message was meant for Neveu, who is revealed to be Sauniere’s granddaughter. Langdon and Neveu are able to avoid capture, and set off to solve the mysteries left by Sauniere for both of them. Will they be able to escape the French police?  Will they be able to find Silas and find out what Opus Dei’s true intentions are with the Grail?

The movie, although nowhere near as good as the book, was highly entertaining and suspenseful. The casting was nearly perfect, with Tom Hanks becoming this Langdon character that I had read so much about and was fascinated by his story. Audrey Tatou was the perfect choice for Sophie because she walked the fine line between smart girl and adventurous sidekick. Hanks and Tatou played off of each other really well and had really good chemistry. The casting of all the characters are exactly how I imagined when reading the book and thought the way the story was told was really good.

One of my favorite aspects of the movie was its adaptation from book to screen.  Dan Brown wrote the book in such a vivid manner that the pictures he paints come automatically to your head.  These images were rendered and transferred to the screen as best as the adaptation could make them.  You’re probably surprised that I just said those last two sentences considering I said earlier that the book is better than the film.  The book had this certain spark and urgency to it as you were reading, that I think no matter who starred in the film or who directed it, it would still be an almost impossible feeling to recreate.

All and all I thought the DaVinci Code was a fun movie experience. If you want the full story, I would say check out the book and then see the movie: you won’t be disappointed. Between the direction of Ron Howard and the strong performances of Tom Hanks, Audrey Tatou, and Paul Bettany, this story really made a great translation from page to film.

4 out of 5 stars

The DaVinci Code (2006)
Columbia Pictures
PG-13, 149 Minutes

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