Last night the boyfriend and I went to see the DaVinci code. Despite bad reviews, I was mildly supporting of Tom Hanks in the role and the recent successes of books->movie transformations (Harry Potter, Lion Witch & Wardrobe). We both read the book a long while back and enjoyed the fast paced writing with just enough sensationalized "history" to keep it going.
The movie, however, fell far short of lowered expectations. So short that we spent dinner talking about the movie's plot holes. Part of Dan Brown's writing style keeps the mystery going without too much questioning. But the movie, however, just proved the old adage that books are better than the movies. And even Grisham has better movies made than poor Dan Brown. Casting was a bit off here and there, especially with the decent cadre of leading middle aged male stars to choose from. Tom Hanks, I love your movies and talent, but you really should have passed on this not-so-fantastic film+production crew. The movie's inadequacies introduced doubt, and the boyfriend who is reasonably knowledgeable about history, supplied the rough timeline while I harshly picked apart the plot's timeline while eating cashew chicken. Yes, the movie didn't enact the book's many glib explanations. Nor did it keep me interested while they used head shots of Mr. Hanks and computer cgi to provide background info. This time spent staring at the nice effects and listening to Tom Hanks' rounded accent was time put to questioning. Really, Robert Langdon's role in the script and Hank's casting was a bad magician's attempt fancy hand waving distractions. Alas, it didn't add the magical flair needed. Lest you think I'm trashing Tom Hanks unnecessarily, winner of Academy Awards, let me just say that he wasn't the only one who was not cast correctly. Oh no, he's just the one who got the most screen time, literally.
The movie had promise but was ruined by a poor screenplay or director. The scenes left in the final version really don't do a mystery movie any justice. Had it just been an action movie, perhaps it would have been acceptable if they'd blown some things up.
Verdict: Take a pass on seeing it in the theaters if you've read the book or enjoy mysteries. Maybe rent it when the dvd with deleted scenes comes out or watch it on tv. Trust me, the commercials won't ruin the very little suspense. More likely, they'll cut to commercial while the magical rabbit, Hanks, is having another monologue.
Who would you have cast in Robert Langdon's role?