By Robin J. Sharpe
30 January 2008
Director: Ron Howard
Tom Hanks - Robert Langdon
Audrey Tautou - Sophie Neveu
Ian McKellen - Sir Leigh Teabing
Jean Reno - Police Captain Fache
The movie version of Dan Brown’s best selling novel arrived in the theatres with a huge amount of fanfare and high expectations, which could arguably be considered as unworthy and unfounded. Anyone who actually read the book will realize that it consists mostly of conversations about mostly historical events. In that sense, unfortunately, director Ron Howard’s movie version is very faithful to the book in that it can be perceived as dreary and monotonous. Especially when you consider that the movie is almost 2.5 hours in length. It may be too long, but then again, Howard had the formidable task of squeezing Brown’s intricate and wordy novel into a screenplay.
The movie is extremely solemn; everything is in hushed but alarmed tones, everything is very serious. Tom Hanks is one of Hollywood’s most capable leading men and one of the most likeable actors around. This movie is a departure from his usual style; very “stiff”. He is also usually a very funny actor but “The Da Vinci Code” is noticeably short on humor.
Having said that, It can not be said the movie is devoid of virtues. It’s beautifully photographed on real locations, including the interior of the Louvre in Paris. Ian McKellen as Sir Leigh Teabing is a charismatic actor who does much of the talking, particularly on historical matters. It is not until the scenes are over that you realize he delivered of a lot of history, mostly of Da Vinci and the Knights Templar, into a relatively short time.
Ron Howard is a Hollywood veteran with a career spanning many decades. He made his introduction as a child actor in the 1960s series of “The Andy Griffith Show”, went on to be the teenage icon Richie Cunningham in the 1970s situation comedy “Happy Days”. He has matured to...