fantasy elements: conspiracy theories
So there I was, 7 miles up, with a 12 hour flight ahead of me, leafing through the entertainment listing. I've not read Dan Brown's book, but I would have had to have been living on Pluto (and spending all my free time there actively defending its planetary status) not to have been aware of at least some of the hype and controversy. So, I thought, let's see what all the fuss is about...
Dr. Robert Langdon [Tom Hanks] is delivering a lecture on symbology when he is called away by Police Captain Bezu Fache [Jean Reno] to the scene of a gruesome murder in the Louvre, to help decipher a code left by the dead man. Then along comes Agent Sophie Neveu [Audrey Tautou] with a cryptic message for him. Pretty soon events are spiralling out of control, and Robert and Audrey find themselves on the run from two mysterious and powerful conspiracies, trying to break codes and solve a puzzle they don't even understand, before they end up dead at the hands of a self-flagellating mad albino monk [Paul Bettany], or worse.
This is actually fun, in a silly sort of way. It's certainly extremely well made, with great gobs of obscure historical info-dumping being placed seamlessly into the action, and the ever more ludicrous revelations being made with such utter conviction that one is dragged along unprotesting in their wake. (Although I still don't understand how a DNA test to establish the relationship that's provable would establish the relationship that's claimed.) And in what other movie could the hero say, in a moment of extremis, "I've got to get to a library... fast!".
So, definitely a fun way to spend two and a half hours over the Altantic. But I still won't be reading the book.
reviewed 10 January 2007