Monday, June 05, 2006

The Dull Vinci Code

I had a hard time generating the wherewithal to post a comment or two about the Dull Vinci Code. What follows is not an academic argument, per se, or even a plebeian review, but the mind-thoughts of a bored audience member who is 15% glad he saw the picture, but 85% regretful of time lost that would have been better spent collecting stamps.

The opening scene immediately disabled my suspension of disbelief. Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks), an esteemed something or other of symbology – the half-baked science of…symbology?... is speaking to an auditorium full of students. He flashes images up on a giant screen and asks the audience to guess what each one is so that he can show them that they are all wrong. And the audience participates!? I mean, what the hell?

And who knew the Holy Grail was Rosebud? I did - about halfway through the movie. So did most everyone in the audience. Why? Because the movie came out and said so. Yet, at the end of the picture, the same information was revealed as if it was not already known. If I was rating this picture with eyerolls, it would get a perfect 5 out of 5. Such was the movie: a jumbled mess where clues are scattered like bird shot, not in a way that invites the audience to make their own deductions/conclusions, but to lead them like sheep to the next scene – and the film didn’t bother to think more than a scene ahead or a scene behind.

Still, I did learn a little something.

The Louvre has a major graffiti problem. Renegade secret brotherhoods are going around at night marking up classic art with cryptic messages that can be seen in black light – and the penmanship ain’t pretty. Luckily, I'd brought my secret decoder ring.

About twenty minutes into the movie I took out my ticket stub and rearranged the letters and found that the Truth was in the men’s restroom, somewhere underneath the center urinal marked “American Standard”. I left the auditorium, grabbed a stanchion from the lobby and made haste to the men’s room. I had a hell of a time busting through the floor with the stanchion. Apparently, this wasn’t the shoddy work of the Masons that you see in so many movies, and though I hammered away, I couldn’t penetrate the floor. As hard as the floor was, it wasn't as hard as the manager, who didn't understand my explanation and left me little recourse but to return to the theater and watch the rest of the feature.

By the 35 minute mark the movie had so many surveillance devices in it that I was hoping the Super Secret Brotherhood of Exterminators would intervene and spray Paris down with some virtual DDT. Was I watching Dull Vinci Code or Mission Impossible to Understand 6?

For the folks worried that this huff and puff poses any sort of threat to the pillars of our Christian faith, your wasting your time. As Obi Wan once said: “This little one is not worth the effort.” I’m tempted to describe, in detail, all the fascinating characters – but I’m at a loss to find them. There’s Silas, the insanely pale acolyte with anger issues, whom I would hitherto call the Darth Monk, except that there won’t be a hitherto. Oh well, he was almost interesting. Jesus’ great grand (to the x power) daughter? Not hot enough, says this believer. Her legs were toothpicks, not shapely or round like you'd expect from the Son of God's non existent offspring. I'm looking for someone who's divinely hot. She may’ve been fine in Amelie (which I never saw), but if her character is the descendent of Christ…well, not only does the movie negate Christianity, but it negates evolution as well.

I’ve no malice against Opie or Buffy Wilson, but it would be a shame if this movie bombed for any other reason than disinterest.


harry said...

Thanks for seeing the Duh Vinci Choad so I don't have to.

You really should see Amelie. It was cutesy but great anyway.

Queenie said...

Read the book.


8th Man said...

A friend once told me he felt that Ron Howard has a way of absolutely sucking the drama out of a movie. Apollo 13 was a film based on an event that was filled with real human drama and yet the film seems so middle of the road to the point of mundane that it's hard to even get into it. The viewer who is hoping to experience a bit of the emotional reality of that situation should forget it.
Amelie is a great film. Bring insuline, yes , but you'll enjoy taking it.

Jeffrey Hill said...

That settles it. I will eventually see Amelie. I wish I could say that I'd read the Da Vinci Code, too, but that's not likely to happen. My reading list is too long as it is. The post was meant for the movie only.

Anonymous said...

Re: queenie

Don´t bother reading the book. Read the original, "Foucault´s Pendulum" by Umberto Eco. MUCH better and not so damned dumbed down.