Wednesday, May 17, 2006

The Davinci Blows?

The Davinci Code unfurls in theaters this Friday, and I'm genuinely curious as to whether people will turn out to see it.

I mean, obviously people are going to see it. But, will it be a blockbuster? Will it be the tentpole hit the studio hopes for?

In today's movie-going climate that question can't be answered until week two. There'll be a fair amount of money made in the first weekend, and then the second-week drop-off will tell us what sort of legs this thing has.

Will it remain in the top ten movies for months on end, ala the book?

One thing's for sure, even though Dan Brown's book is essentially Indiana Jones For People Who Don't Like Chapters Longer Than Three Pages, Hollywood's gone and dumbed the movie down EVEN FURTHER.

Your intelligence is not trusted or assumed, moviegoing public.

The book worked so well for me thanks to Dan Brown's masterful
concoction of facts, science and historic research blended with a good old fashioned yarn. Now this movie ran for well over two hours but even at that length a lot of the science and interesting historical background work was cut leaving the story felling all the more far fetched and coincidental. In fact, my buddy who was with me summed it up best by calling it "Goonies for Big Boys."

Ron Howard seems determined to keep the movies pace running fast
which is admirable but in doing so we never get a true sense of discovery that was so evident in the book, merely a string of events slam in to each other all happening very conveniently and without any apparent work on behalf of our heroes. For example, in the book our hero actually NEEDS to do research. He goes to a library, befriends the librarian and sits to do research where he discovers a vital piece of information. It?s logical, well paced and interesting to follow. In the movie version our hero uses a mobile phone to access the internet (In true Hollywood style) and discover all he needs to know in under 30 seconds
from google!


If there's a form of cinematic shorthand that really twists my knickers, it's the "magical internet" phenomenon - where exactly what you need to know is summoned within seconds. It's lazy, it's a form of disbelief-suspension that utterly fails for me, and it raises a question that I think deserves answering. Namely, in a movie where the lead character is a Symbologist (sp?) and an obvious scholar, why would he EVER rely solely on Google to check something important?

The rest of that linked article goes on to summarize how mediocre the movie's reviews have been so far. Don't click over unless you're a fan of atrocious spelling, horrible grammar, and sweaty, know-it-all nerdishness.

I'll be seeing this if my girlfriend wants to go, but I'll be skipping it otherwise. Once again, the book sounds like it's better than the film. And given the overall enjoyability of the original book, that isn't saying too much.


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