“The Da Vinci Code” does sucketh. So sayeth the critics.

Putting aside all the hubbub various Christian groups (particularly the Catholics) are having over the content of the film, it seems it’s not being well received by audiences or critics:

At a screening late on Tuesday in Cannes, members of the audience laughed at the thriller’s pivotal moment, and the end of the $125 million picture was greeted with stony silence.

Trade publication Variety had barely a nice word to say.

“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,” wrote Todd McCarthy.

Lee Marshall of Screen International agreed.

“I haven’t read the book, but I just thought there was a ridiculous amount of exposition,” he told Reuters.

“I thought it was plodding and there was a complete lack of chemistry between Audrey Tautou and Tom Hanks.”

I did think that Ian McKellen’s comment on the controversy was pretty funny:

“I’m very happy to believe that Jesus was married,” he said. “I know the Catholic Church has problems with gay people and I thought this would be absolute proof that Jesus was not gay.”

Given the popularity of the book and all the noise being made by upset Christians the movie will probably still end up doing relatively well at the box office, certainly better than it sounds like it should, but the studios won’t be happy that it’s not a huge mega-blockbuster seeing as the last two blockbusters that have been released (MI:III and Poseidon) haven’t exactly broken any box office records.

23 thoughts on ““The Da Vinci Code” does sucketh. So sayeth the critics.

  1. You gotta love that Ian McKellen, who is in fact, gay.  Aww, that Gandalf! Oh wait did I just reveal myself as a LOTR geek?

  2. I think the nickname already betrayed that, Eowyn … grin

    The book has been a huge bestseller, so the added publicity from the churches won’t add substantially to its audience.  I’m not surprised it’s leadenly exposition-heavy (from what I understand of it—I’ve not read the thing).

  3. Read a few other reviews on http://www.californiaconservative.org/?p=3087 (ignore their blog name long enough to read ; ) from some Euro critics that weren’t too hot on it either.

    I’ve seen all the Christian rabble-rousing about it, but as one myself, I can only see good things coming out of the movie. Too bad my “brethren” never learned the lesson that the only bad publicity is no publicity at all…

  4. I probably wont get to see it anyway as the Catholics look like they’re going to get it banned here. I might feel better if it really is crap but I’d like to make that judgement myself. I really liked the book although I’m pretty skeptical about it’s claims.

  5. Not really sure why they find it so offensive or unbelievable that there could be a sect of killer monks running amok.  Oooooh….monkamok monkamok monkamok.

    Haven’t read the book, won’t see the movie, but the HistoryReligiousHitler Channel has been broadcasting DaVinci Code related shows 24/7 for a week now.

  6. Read the book but I don’t think the movie is in my future.  The book gave me a lot to think about and I like that!

  7. Did anyone else find all the ‘hard’ puzzles and codes in Dan Brown’s various works to be painfully easy? The one at the end of Deception Point which was supposed to be extremely challenging took me all of two or three minutes to solve. Are Dan Brown and his publisher just trying to make people feel smart by claiming things are far harder than they actually are, or should I be filling out a MENSA application? wink

  8. I think I’m the only person alive who thought the booked sucked (not due to the subject matter), but I did think that it might make an entertaining movie. Then, when I heard Ron Howard was directing, I figured it would be pretty good. I’ll still give it a shot, but probably at the dollar theater.

  9. This gets me.  It has a lot of Christians upset because it is an add on to the already sham story of Jesus.  But The God Who Wasn’t There got almost no attention.
    At least in the Da Vinci Code, they assume Jesus was a real breathing historical figure………which he wasn’t.

  10. My girlfriend liked the book. I just know she’s gonna drag me to see this movie.

  11. Hey, I think the book sucks too, and I haven’t even read it.  Just a prophecy…

  12. Most people who I’ve talked to say that the book is extremely overrated. They say the author uses obvious techniques to desperately keep the reader’s attention.

    However, other people said that it’s a good book to read if you KEEP IN MIND that The DaVinci code is FICTION.

  13. It is fictional but the author seems to be claiming its real. He also fills the book with pseudo-trivia thats pretty suspect while being irrelevant to the story line. For instace he claims that the “Thumbs-Up” gesture has a phallic origin. I mean I liked the book but there was an undercurrent of pretentiousness (is that a word?).

  14. JulianP: I mean I liked the book but there was an undercurrent of pretentiousness (is that a word?).

    I have to agree. I enjoyed the book as well, but there were a few “you have got to be kidding me” moments. The Disney references were especially over-the-top. I mean, who (outside of Christian-right cranks) truly believes that Disney animators intentionally sneaked sexual references into “The Lion King?”

  15. Julian: It is fictional but the author seems to be claiming its real.

    Within the first coupla pages of the book is written: In this work of fiction, the characters, places and events are either the product of the author’s imagination or they are used entirely fictitiously. Any semblance blah blah blah.
    I have no JKRowlings books in front of me but I would assume the same is written in the front of hers.
    She too, wrote as if the fantasy of Harry’s exploits were true, as do most authors of fiction.
    That’s the idea of fiction – to capture the reader’s imagination.
    When I read fiction, I want to be transported. But that’s me.
    I have no idea why others read. After all, it’s much easier to watch the idiot box.
    What do you really resent about the book &/or its author? The money he made from an idea based on Holy Blood – Holy Grail, the fact that so many were sucked into believing another work of fiction or something else entirely?
    The Da Vinci Code’s a book some people liked and others didn’t – just like all books. rolleyes

  16. I dont resent the book or the author….I read DVC at least three times and bought his remaining books too. I also think that if the theories put forward in “Holy Blood – Holy Grail” were presented as non-fiction then they should be in the public domain as far as fiction is concerned. Nor did I mean that Robert Langdon, the albino monk , or any other of the specific plot(action) elements were presented as non fiction.

    Within the first coupla pages of the book is written: In this work of fiction, the characters, places and events are either the product of the author’s imagination or they are used entirely fictitiously. Any semblance blah blah blah.

    I dont see that in my copy. What I do see is:

    The Priory of Sion—a European secret society founded in 1099—is a real organization. In 1975 Paris’s Bibliothèque Nationale discovered parchments known as Les Dossiers Secrets, identifying numerous members of the Priory of Sion, including Sir Isaac Newton, Botticelli, Victor Hugo, and Leonardo da Vinci.
    The Vatican prelature known as Opus Dei is a deeply devout Catholic sect that has been the topic of recent controversy due to reports of brainwashing, coercion, and a dangerous practice known as “corporal mortification.” Opus Dei has just completed construction of a $47 million World Headquarters at 243 Lexington Avenue in New York City.
    All descriptions of artwork, architecture, documents, and secret rituals in this novel are accurate

    The main problem I had with the book was that it kept throwing small bits of isolated trivia that were just not true.
    Actually it seems to me that Brown took “Holy Blood – Holy Grail” at face value.
    Just to reiterate(sp?): In spite of all that I did like the book very much.

  17. I only read it once.
    Did you get sucked into the fiction?

    FACT: The Priory of Sion—a European secret society …

    Woops … I remember reading that bit.
    I had a copy of Angels & Demons – I ASSUMED the same ‘this is fiction’ stuff woulda been in the front of DVCode as well.
    …………… wow – what a trip (Pissed = Oz: slightly inebriated – 10 mile round trip) … I had to go to my mate’s place to pick up my copy of DVC to check.
    Yep. Preceding ‘FACT: The Priory of Sion — a European secret society …etc’, stuff, is written, clearly: “In this work of fiction … blah blah blah.

  18. Ya know, all this talk of the Holy Grail makes me want to pull out my Monty Python DVDs. 

    Say no more. LOL

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