Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Da Vinci Code Has a Rough Start

Here's a quick roundup of stories regarding the poor responses being generated by the debut of the Da Vinci Code film. CNN says the movie is "entering the world to disapproval."

Furthermore, At Cannes, one scene during the film, meant to be serious, elicited prolonged laughter from the audience, and when the credits rolled, there was no applause, only a few catcalls and hisses. Things were no better Stateside, where the film screened for critics in New York. The Hollywood Reporter headlined its review, " 'Da Vinci Code' an unwieldy, bloated puzzle." "No chemistry exists between the hero and heroine, and motivation remains a troubling sore point," wrote reviewer Kirk Honeycutt, panning Tom Hanks' "remote, even wooden performance." Only co-star Ian McKellen managed to avoid criticism.

The trade publication Variety didn't "decipher" the film any better, claiming it "has become a stodgy, grim thing in its exceedingly literal-minded film version" with a "a palpable lack of chemistry" between co-stars Tom Hanks and Audrey Tautou.

Director Ron Howard and screenwriter Akiva Goldsman "conspired to drain any sense of fun out of the melodrama, leaving expectant audiences with an oppressively talky film that isn't exactly dull but comes as close to it as one could imagine with such provocative material."

Elsewhere, reports emphasized that there were whistles rather than applause at the conclusion of Ron Howard's 125-million-dollar film, and "worse than that, the 2,000-strong audience even burst out laughing at the movie's key moment."

"I didn't like it very much. I thought it was almost as bad as the book. Tom Hanks was a zombie, thank goodness for Ian McKellen. It was overplayed, there was too much music and it was much too grandiose," said Peter Brunette, critic for the US daily The Boston Globe.

And finally, over here you'll find a lot more one-liners revealing the critic's less-than-enthusiastic feelings towards the movie.

But these are critics. The reaction of the world's moviegoers to this blasphemous farce are yet to be seen.