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THE DA VINCI CODE (2006)

Director: Ron Howard
Screenplay: Akiva Goldsman
Based upon the novel by Dan Brown

Cast: Tom Hanks, Audrey Tautou, Ian McKellen, Jurgen Prochnow, Alfred Molina, Paul Bettany, and Jean Reno

Score by Hans Zimmer

MPAA Rating: PG-13
Color, 149 minutes
Genre: Action/Thriller

Reviewed by Cherie Jung

The basic premise is that the Catholic Church has secrets that it is willing to kill for. One secret, in particular, could change the face of Christianity as we know it, for all time. It is a matter of deciphering the clues left behind by a dead man and getting "there" -- to the "treasure" -- before the other guys get there, grab the "evidence," and tell the secret to the world.

I have not read the book upon which this movie is based. Before watching the DVD I hadn't seen any movie trailers for the movie. I didn't even realize that Tom Hanks was in the movie. I vaguely remember hearing that Ron Howard had directed it. So...I really had no pre-conceived ideas about the movie. My expectations weren't low... I simply didn't have any. I didn't know what to expect. Now that I've seen the movie, the experience was pleasant enough though I doubt that I will ever get around to reading the book.

The movie struck me as being a sort of "National Treasure" meets David Morrell's "The Brotherhood of the Rose." I enjoyed the puzzles and being able to work through the solutions along with the characters as they raced to unravel a murder and discover the treasure. I like treasure hunts. I also was reminded of the Indiana Jones movies, and the Bourne Identity/Supremacy movies. All movies I enjoyed and have watched repeatedly.

Although the storyline held my interest, I found "The DaVinci Code" a bit too long. I'm certain at least 29 minutes could have been shaved off somewhere. Perhaps from one of the lengthy chase scenes. Also, I know that time is critical in a hunt such as this, but as my husband, who watched the video with me pointed out, when I asked him what he thought of the movie..."most of the main characters never changed their clothes throughout the lengthy chase from the Louvre to London." Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) did splash some water on his face early on after being shown the dead body of a man he was supposed to have met in a coffee shop earlier in the day, but who never showed up. But I digress...

As I said, I can't compare the movie to the book, but it is an okay movie. Not great. Not by a long shot. But it is entertaining. You might want to rent the movie and watch it before you decide whether or not to purchase a copy of your own.

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