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DaVinci On Arrival: DOA

John on May 17, 2006 at 10:50 pm

Here’s a sample of the reviews that covers the gamut from pretty good to absurdly awful. I’d say the average is somewhere around “not good”:

Howard’s adaptation of Dan Brown’s absurdly realized thriller is going strong. It works on the level of “Apollo 13,” “A Beautiful Mind” and the best of his beautifully realized films.
- Fox News

How can a film contain so many clues yet remain utterly clueless? The screen adaptation of “The Da Vinci Code” treats the Dan Brown novel with a reverence it does not deserve and from which it does not benefit.
- Chicago Tribune

While the plot worked its magic on the pages, it does not transfer well to the screen – here, it is long and it is dull. Scriptwriter Akiva Goldsman has produced a script that is clunky in parts and downright cringeworthy in others.
- BBC News

Even with a running time of roughly 21/2 hours, “The Da Vinci Code” hopscotches from point to point with disjointed frenzy.
- San Antonio Express

While the book is a middle-brow page-turner that reads like a cinematic thriller, the film is talky and listless. The fact that this clunker was directed by the commercially astute Ron Howard and stars the much-decorated Tom Hanks makes it a miracle of underachievement.
- St. Louis Post-Dispatch

It’s not entirely fair to say that the makers of The Da Vinci Code have completely flubbed this most eagerly awaited of book-to-film adaptations. It is probably more accurate to state that this laborious, talky, fleetingly engaging, ultimately silly picture is about as good a movie as anyone was ever going to wring from Dan Brown’s inescapable bestseller.
- Miami Herald

[W]ant to know a deep, dark secret? The real reason the studio took the unprecedented step of keeping the lid on its summer blockbuster until it had no choice but to unscrew it and let it out? Here it is: “The Da Vinci Code” may be controversial and even heretical — but worse still it’s plodding, tedious, deathly dull.
- Colorado Springs Gazette

A pulpy page-turner in its original incarnation as a huge international bestseller has become a stodgy, grim thing in the exceedingly literal-minded film version of “The Da Vinci Code.”…It’s esoteric, heady stuff, made compelling only by the fact that what it’s proposing undermines the fundamental tenets of Christianity…
- Variety

For those who hate Dan Brown’s best-selling symbology thriller “The Da Vinci Code,” the eagerly awaited and much-hyped movie version beautifully exposes all its flaws and nightmares of logic. For those who love the book’s page-turning intensity, the movie version heightens Brown’s mischievous interweaving of genre action, historical facts and utter fictions.
- Hollywood Reporter

[I]t’s not very good — long (2hr.32min.) and mostly inert.
- Time Magazine

The most startling revelation in the movie version of The Da Vinci Code is the way it soft-pedals its provocative premise and borders on tedium. What emerges is a melodramatic, sometimes lifeless film that is missing the suspense of the popular novel.
- USA Today

Here’s the sure way to quiet the protesters: Have them see the movie. They will fall into a stupor in minutes. I know it bored me breathless.
- Rolling Stone

I certainly can’t support any calls for boycotting or protesting this busy, trivial, inoffensive film. Which is not to say I’m recommending you go see it.
- New York Times

What a shame. After all that hype the film appears to be DOA.

Update: More good and bad…

Unless your idea of a good time is watching someone take the SAT or fill out a job application, puzzle-solving doesn’t exactly make for stimulating viewing.
- Fort-Worth Star Telegram

Dan Brown’s novel is utterly preposterous; Ron Howard‘s movie is preposterously entertaining. Both contain accusations against the Catholic Church and its order of Opus Dei that would be scandalous if anyone of sound mind could possibly entertain them.
- Roger Ebert

The film is a disaster from beginning to end – not only does Dan Brown’s retarded story become even more ridiculous when amplified and projected on screen, the movie version manages to be crushingly dull.

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