Sunday, May 21, 2006

The Da Vinci Chode

Ron Howard sold out due to pressure from albinos

I went to see The Da Vinci Code last night, and I was disappointed on a number of levels. I really shouldn't be, since I didn't think the book was all that fantastic to begin with. I'll never understand why people read mediocre books like The Da Vinci Code by the millions, but I can't find anyone who has read Demon Haunted World by Carl Sagan. The Da Vinci code's wide appeal is likely related to the fact that it's written at a 2nd grade reading level, but I'm not here to tell you about the book.

One of the redeeming things about the book is that it presents ideas, unoriginal as they might be, that challenge conventional religious beliefs. The book pissed a lot of stupid religious folks off, mostly because they don't understand the distinction between fiction and non-fiction. You can spot these people on the street because they're completely paranoid that Darth Vader and the Orcs from Lord of the Rings are real. And they have Bush/Cheney stickers on their car bumpers.

The bottom line is that while the Da Vinci Code was formulaic and filled with cliches, the book is still fun to read because it's written like a screenplay. For one thing, you can read the entire thing in about 2 hours (the movie clocks in just under 2 1/2 hours). As the reader, you find yourself thinking about the characters and who would play them in a movie, what they would look like, and how they would act. One thing I never expected was this shit:

Don't get me wrong. Tom Hanks is a fine actor, but just between you and me I felt like he had based his character on Al Gore. He was so boring and uninspired. I realize that Hollywood isn't going to cast Gary Coleman as Robert Langdon simply because that's who I pictured when I read the book, but seriously? Why didn't you just have Ashton Kutcher or that guy who played Stiffler in the American Pie movies play him. Tom Hanks was completely vapid.

You'd also think if the book was essentially written for the specific purpose of screen adaptation, that whomever had to write the screenplay for this dog of a movie wouldn't have had much work to do. Instead of taking something that would have been perfectly fine the way it was, the screenwriter may as well have been David Mamet, because they took what could have been quite action-packed, and created a dialogue-driven film. Except David Mamet is generally a good writer. I don't know who the screenwriter is for the Da Vinci code because I was asleep by the time the credits rolled, but whoever it was had the easiest job in the world and fucked it up.

As if this weren't bad enough, they inserted a chunk of dialogue delivered by Al Gore, I mean Tom Hanks that is not in the book in order the defuse the religious controversy surrounding the film. Essentially, Tom Hanks says that the whole premise of the movie that Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene and had a baby with her may or may not be true. Perhaps because I am a cynical bastard when it comes to religion, I have a hard time figuring out how whether or not Jesus was married and fucked someone affects a person's religious beliefs. Have you ever fucked someone? Does that make you a naughty boy/girl? Then don't get your anus all clenched up because someone thinks Jesus might have.

Looking back on the whole experience, I guess I shouldn't have been surprised that Ron Howard ruined something that wasn't all that great to begin with. I did see the preview for Miami Vice, however, and that shit looks cool.


Diane said...

At least someone else is speaking the same language when it comes to this lemon of a movie. I'm DEFINITELY saving my $10 now!

Lord Bling said...

The writer of the script was Akiva Goldsman, the same hack who actually won a fucking Oscar for 'A Beautiful Mind.' They should've named that 'A Beautiful Plot Device.' Oh, and he also wrote 'Lost in Space.' 'I, Robot.' 'Batman Forever.' 'Batman & Robin.'

Shall I go on?

Miles said...

The movie only cost me $6.50 so I figured it was a little healthier than the double quarter pounder meal at Smackeydogs that money was ear-marked for.
I thought the movie was ok. When I read the book, I had already known who was cast for the flick so as I read it, I had already had everything pictured in my mind- hence the deja vu when I saw the movie.
This flick is completely critic proof. $77M in one weekend despite the anal carnage that movie critics gave it (22% on the Tomatometer is rivaling 'RV'). People are going to see it because they either want to get pissed because of the controversial theories (which actually got trimmed down a lot from the book).

I saw it because I'm a wh0re for Tom Hanks and I can watch Audrey Tatou shop for groceries.

Ryan the Angry Midget said...

If they had followed the book, you could have watched Tom Hanks give Audrey Tatou a blue light special on cucumbers down aisle 5.

Anonymous said...

Chode - that was the funniest word of all time in 6th grade.

Miles said...

Now that I got this movie out of the way, its smooth sailing til 'Snakes on a Plane'.

Lord Bling said...

Meh. I loved 'Amelie,' but if they'd have cast Monica Bellucci in that role, my ass would've been in a theater seat on Friday afternoon.

Midget Movies said...

Ron has enough cash to do what he wants .. but this was boring.