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." Tackling head-on novelist Dan Brown's controversy-stirring thriller hinging on a subversively revisionist view of Jesus Christ's life, director Ron Howard and screenwriter Akiva Goldsman have 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; result is perhaps the best thing the project's critics could have hoped for.
Hollywood's most overrated director may be a nice guy, but his by-the-book filmmaking style has made for a pretty turgid resume. Why should "Da Vinci" be any different?
Of course all the uproar over the film's release from Catholics (and, for some reason, Muslims) ensures a bigger box office than the movie deserves.