Friday, May 19, 2006
The DaVinci Code: not that bad, really.
In which V. has seen The DaVinci Code and found it to be suitably entertaining.

I really don't know why this movie is getting such crappy reviews. The only explanation I can think of is, maybe it's backlash against all the hype? I don't understand the hype, either. The novel was a good novel. Nothing special, not like a groundbreaking literary masterpiece or anything. It was just... a good novel. I read it on an airplane and thought it was time well spent. And now we have the film, and really people, it's a summer blockbuster. What are you expecting? It's not Citizen Kane. If you go into this realistically hoping to see an entertaining story with a lot of style and little substance, I doubt you'll be let down.

The one problem I have with this story (both book and film) is that you've got these people out there who somehow think a work of fiction affects The Holy Gospel Of Our Dear Lord Jesus Christ. Um, yeah... last time I checked, "fiction" means "made up story". Just because a book uses real-world events or places in its narrative doesn't make the narrative itself real. It's like I told my mom the other day, we're good Southern girls, we've seen Gone With The Wind. But even though we do know for a fact that Atlanta burned, we're sane enough to understand that Scarlett O'Hara wasn't actually there.

So yeah, you get these bizarre fundamentalist crazies who think that The DaVinci Code is either (a) so totally for really real true, and that if you look at these works of art and go to these locations that were mentioned in the book, you can Uncover The Secret Mysteries Of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Which is really just stupid. Or (b) they think it's BLASPHEMY! It's DARK SIDED! AAAAAGH. This is also really just stupid. See also: Marguerite Perrin.

I live in the Bible Belt. So I suppose it was inevitable that when I got to the cinema this afternoon, there were some bizarre fundamentalist crazy protesters in the parking lot. Three of them. It was quite a small protest. Mainly all they did was wave their Bibles around and shout BLASPHEMER! AAAAAGH! at everyone who went inside the cinema. I was immediately reminded of this:

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I was tempted to throw the goat at them and hiss, but I was having a really good day and didn't want to start any bullshit with the bizarre fundamentalist crazies. They're crazies after all, and you never know what crazies might do.

So yeah. The actual film review should start right about now, shouldn't it?

As I said, I liked it. It was enjoyable. It was a most decent mystery, and the film had that super-polished flashy slick quality that huge blockbusters usually have.

The cast was stellar. I mean, dude. I will say two words to you, and they are two words that fully encapsulate the true meaning of Quality, and this is an indisputable fact. And those two words are: Jean Reno. Jean Reno is Quality. YOU CANNOT DENY THIS.

Aside from Jean Reno, there were several other actors I personally like very much. You've got Audrey Tautou (my favorite actress) from Amelie. You've got Gandalf. You've got Paul Bettany. All quality. Tom Hanks plays the same f*ing role that Tom Hanks always plays (and always seems to get all kinds of awards for). I don't really dislike Tom Hanks, I just think he's turned into one of those actors who always just plays himself. Like Jack Nicholson. For the most part, he's got that one character. In The DaVinci Code, that character happens to have a mullet. This sets him apart from Castaway (in which that character lost a whole bunch of weight) and The Green Mile (in which that character happened to be a cop). This is not to say that Tom Hanks did a bad job. Just that... it didn't really have to be Tom Hanks. He didn't bring anything particularly special to the table.

Considerably less quality: Jurgen Prochnow was in this film. Jurgen flipping Prochnow. This is a guy I most closely associate with cheesy direct-to-video sci-fi/horror. But oh well. There he was.

Overall you had mostly quality actors doing a mostly quality job. Really, you have to judge this by pop-culture standards and not by intellectual ones. I seriously doubt Dan Brown set out to change the world with his great vision. Dude. He just wrote a mystery novel that for some reason, people went all apeshit over. And that's fine. I think a lot of people are unable to accept that a film can be entertaining while having zero artistic value. And I really think that's the case here.

My mom phoned me from work because all of her co-workers were wondering if The DaVinci Code is worth seeing. And I'll tell y'all what I told them: yeah, I enjoyed it.

Even if that does make me a blasphemer. AAAAGH.