Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.5.
USA, 2006. Columbia Pictures Corporation, Imagine Entertainment, Skylark Productions, Government of Malta. Screenplay by Akiva Goldsman, based on the novel by Dan Brown. Cinematography by Salvatore Totino. Produced by John Calley, Ron Howard, Brian Grazer. Music by Hans Zimmer. Production Design by Allan Cameron. Costume Design by Daniel Orlandi. Film Editing by Daniel P. Hanley, Mike Hill. Golden Globe Awards 2006.
Is anyone else here amazed that a millennial-old institution is having its very foundations shaken by a Barnes & Noble Must-Read and a movie by Ron Howard, director of such challenging, thought-provoking classics as Willow and Backdraft? What’s amazing is that the amount of protest this film has faced from religious groups is centred on its challenge to established ecumenical dogma; I would think it more prudent of good Christians to put up their placards and bar the entrance to the ticket booth over Tom Hanks‘s unfortunate hairstyle. In this swift, enjoyable adaptation of Dan Brown’s runaway bestseller, Hanks and his Rogaine-assisted pate play a religious symbology professor who are brought in to solve a case when a man’s pentacle-marked body is found on the floor of the Louvre museum. Teaming up with the most adorable French police officer since Inspector Clouseau (Audrey Tautou), Hanks follows a riddle-fest of a mystery trail that takes him deep into the historical significance of the Holy Grail and the possible authenticity of a mythological secret society that ‘guards the secret of God’s power on Earth’. The film is exquisitely photographed and paced, moving along from point to point with the utmost of ease, but it does become apparent that director Ron Howard, as brave as he is in detailing a story that threatens the fundamental ideology of present-day Christianity, has no idea what to do with all this information except lay it all flat for the audience to ingest. No depths are pierced in the revelation of all the theories put forth here, which will disappoint readers of the supposedly much more enveloping novel, but you’ll at least have a good time until the film’s patience-challenging multiple false endings. Great fun, and Paul Bettany is terrifically creepy as the self-flagellating priest whose idea of kicks is to grab a whip and imitate a bad Britney Spears video.