The Da Vinci Code (film)

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The Da Vinci Code
The da vinci code final.jpg
Theatrical poster
Directed by Ron Howard
Produced by Brian Grazer
Ron Howard
John Calley
Screenplay by Akiva Goldsman
Based on The Da Vinci Code 
by Dan Brown
Starring Tom Hanks
Audrey Tautou
Ian McKellen
Alfred Molina
Jürgen Prochnow
Paul Bettany
Jean Reno
Music by Hans Zimmer
Cinematography Salvatore Totino
Edited by Daniel P. Hanley
Mike Hill
Production
  company
Imagine Entertainment
Rainmaker Digital Effects
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
Release date(s)
  • May 19, 2006 (2006-05-19)
Running time 146 minutes (theatrical version)
174 minutes (extended version)
Country United States
Language English
Budget $125 million
Box office $758,239,851[1]

The Da Vinci Code is a 2006 American mystery-thriller film produced by John Calley and Brian Grazer and directed by Ron Howard. The screenplay was written by Akiva Goldsman and adapted from Dan Brown's 2003 best-selling novel of the same name. The film stars Tom Hanks, Audrey Tautou, Ian McKellen, Alfred Molina, Jürgen Prochnow, Jean Reno, and Paul Bettany.

In the film, Robert Langdon, a professor of religious iconography and symbology from Harvard University, is the prime suspect in the grisly and unusual murder of Louvre curator Jacques Saunière. He escapes with the assistance of a police cryptologist, Sophie Neveu, and they are embroiled in a quest for the legendary Holy Grail. He is pursued by a dogged French police captain, Bezu Fache. A noted British Grail historian, Sir Leigh Teabing, tells them the actual Holy Grail is explicitly encoded in Leonardo da Vinci's wall painting, the Last Supper. Also searching for the Grail is a secret cabal within Opus Dei, an actual prelature of the Holy See, who wishes to keep the true Grail a secret; the revelation of this secret would certainly destroy Christianity.

The film, like the book, was considered controversial. It was met with especially harsh criticism by the Roman Catholic Church for the accusation that it is behind a two-thousand-year-old coverup concerning what the Holy Grail really is and the concept that Jesus Christ and Mary Magdalene were married and that the union produced a daughter. Many members urged the laity to boycott the film. Two organizations, the Priory of Sion and Opus Dei figure prominently in the story. In the book, Dan Brown insists that the Priory of Sion and "...all descriptions of artwork, architecture, documents and secret rituals in this novel are accurate".

The film was met with largely negative critical response upon its release on May 19, 2006. However, this did little to hamper its box office performance; it earned US$224 million in its worldwide opening weekend and was the second highest-grossing film of 2006 behind Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest.

Plot[edit]

A man revealed to be Jacques Saunière is being pursued by a mysterious hooded character known as Silas (Paul Bettany) through the Grand Gallery in the Louvre in Paris. Silas demands the location of the Priory's clef de voûte or "keystone." Under threat of death, Saunière finally confesses the keystone is kept in the sacristy of Church of Saint-Sulpice, "beneath the Rose." Silas thanks him, and then shoots him in the stomach. Meanwhile, American symbologist Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks), who is in Paris as a guest lecturer on symbols and the sacred feminine, is contacted by the French police, and summoned to the Louvre to view the crime scene. He discovers the dying Saunière has created an intricate display using black light ink and his own body and blood. Captain Bezu Fache (Jean Reno) asks him for his interpretation of the puzzling scene.

Silas calls a mysterious man known as "The Teacher", revealing that he has killed all four protectors of the keystone and that all confirmed the same location. He dons a metal cilice on his thigh and proceeds to flagellate himself with a whip for the sins of murder. Facilitated by Bishop Manuel Aringarosa, Silas then travels to Saint-Sulpice and is admitted by an elderly nun; left alone, he excavates beneath the floor of the church to find a stone saying only JOB 38:11. He confronts the nun, who quotes the passage: "Hitherto shalt thou come, but no further." Realizing that he has been deceived, Silas is enraged and kills the nun.

Sophie Neveu (Audrey Tautou), a cryptologist with the French police, enters the Louvre as well and slips Langdon a message which leads him to the bathroom. There, Sophie meets him and tells him that he is being tracked, a GPS tracking dot has been (unknown by him) slipped into his jacket and that he is a primary suspect in the murder case because of a line of text found by the corpse ("P.S. find Robert Langdon"). Sophie however, believes that Saunière, who is revealed to be her grandfather, wanted to pass a hidden message on to her (Princesse Sophie, P.S., was the nickname he used for her), and that he had wanted to bring Langdon into the equation so that he could help her crack the code.

Buying some time by throwing the tracking device into the back of a truck, the pair begin exploring the Louvre, finding more anagram messages that Saunière had left behind. Many of these relate to Leonardo da Vinci's art, and the pair find a key with a Fleur-de-lis behind Madonna of the Rocks painting. Langdon deduces from this that Saunière was a member of the Priory of Sion, a secret society associated with the Knights Templar.

Pursued by the French police and cut off from the United States Embassy, the pair escape to the Bois de Boulogne where Langdon closely inspects the key. He notices an inscription on the side - an address. The address directs them to the Depository Bank of Zurich where the key is used for a safety deposit box. In the bank, they find Saunière's deposit box and open it using the 10 digit Fibonacci numbers in order (1123581321). Inside the box, they find a rosewood container, which contains a cryptex: a cylindrical container with five alphabetical dials which must be arranged in the correct sequence to spell out a 5-letter code word, in order to open and access the papyrus message inside. Using force to open the cryptex would break a vial of vinegar inside, which would dissolve the papyrus and destroy the message.

Unfortunately, the police are called by a security guard and they are forced to leave. The bank manager, Andre Vernet, assists them in escaping by taking them as passengers in an armoured van to escape the routine checks of the police. In the back of the truck Langdon and Neveu have a lengthy discussion about the cryptex and Neveu says that her grandfather often played games with her involving cryptexes. Langdon says that the cryptex might hold valuable information or another clue about what they are trying to discover. Eventually, they come to a sudden stop and Vernet forces them at gunpoint to give him the cryptex. Langdon tricks Vernet and disarms him and he and Sophie escape with the cryptex in their hands.

Langdon suggests that they visit his friend, Leigh Teabing (Ian McKellen), for assistance to opening the cryptex. Leigh Teabing turns out to be an enthusiastic seeker of the Holy Grail, which he believes is not actually a cup but instead Mary Magdalene. Mary was pregnant at the time of Christ's crucifixion, and Teabing tells Sophie that the Priory of Sion was formed to protect the descendants of Jesus. Jacques Saunière was believed to be a part of this society and Teabing suspects that he was training Sophie to join it also. Silas, meanwhile, breaks into Teabing's mansion and attempts to steal the cryptex. Teabing uses his cane to knock Silas out and they escape again, taking the butler, Remy Jean, and Silas with them. The group escapes in Teabing's plane, following the next clue to London. Fache learns of their destination, and alerts the London Metropolitan Police to apprehend them at the airport. But Teabing manages to slip the party past the police with a trick of misdirection.

Teabing leads Langdon and Neveu to the Temple Church in London, which is shown to be a red herring. Silas is freed by Remy Jean, who is revealed to be a follower of The Teacher as well. The two take Teabing hostage, and Silas, believing Remy to be The Teacher, holes up in an Opus Dei safehouse. Remy is killed by the mysterious man after deceiving Silas. Silas is attacked by the police and, in the ensuing gunfire, accidentally shoots Bishop Manuel Aringarosa. In his grief, Silas dies in police-assisted suicide and Aringarosa is taken to the hospital, as well as being arrested by Fache for using him to chase Langdon.

Langdon is betrayed by Teabing, who is revealed to be the true Teacher. He escapes with the Cryptex, and attempts to find the next clue at Isaac Newton's tomb in Westminster Abbey, as Newton was another member of the Priory. Langdon and Neveau catch up with him, and chase him into the nearby chapter house. Teabing explained that he wanted to find Mary Magdalene's remains to prove he was correct about the Holy Grail and threatens to shoot Sophie if Langdon does not open the cryptex. Langdon responds by throwing the cryptex into the air. Teabing catches, but fumbles it, and it hits the ground, shattering the internal vial of vinegar. Teabing becomes distraught, as he believes the vinegar has destroyed the papyrus within the still intact cryptex.

After Teabing is arrested, it is revealed that Langdon had cracked the code ('Apple', a reference to Newton) and removed the clue from the cryptex before throwing it. Using the clue, they travel to Rosslyn Chapel in Scotland where Magdalene's remains had previously been hidden. The remains had since been moved, but they meet other members of the secret organization that protected her. It is revealed that Sophie is actually Magdalene's descendant and therefore is the current living descendant of Jesus Christ. They vow to keep her safe. Langdon and Sophie part ways shortly after.

Back in Paris, Langdon accidentally cuts himself while shaving and the line of blood on the sink reminds him of the Rose Line, which sparks an epiphany. He goes out into the streets of Paris and follows the Rose Line and finds the location of the Holy Grail, buried under the pyramid in the Louvre. Langdon then kneels above Mary Magdalene's tomb as the Knights Templar did before him.

Cast[edit]

Cameos[edit]

  • Author Dan Brown and his wife can be seen in the (out of focus) background of one of the book signing scenes.
  • The authors of the book The Templar Revelation, Lynn Picknett and Clive Prince, make a brief appearance as passengers on a bus.

Filming[edit]

The film rights were purchased from Dan Brown for $6,000,000. Filming had been scheduled to start in May 2005; however, some delays caused filming to begin on June 30, 2005.

Location[edit]

Permission to film on the premises was granted to the film by the Louvre (although, since the crew was not permitted to shine light on the Mona Lisa, a replica was used instead, while the film crew used the Mona Lisa's chamber as a storage room). Westminster Abbey denied the use of its premises, as did Saint-Sulpice. The Westminster Abbey scenes were instead filmed at Lincoln and Winchester cathedrals, which both belong to the Church of England. (Westminster Abbey is a Royal Peculiar, a church or chapel under direct jurisdiction of the monarch; whereas Saint-Sulpice is a Roman Catholic institution.)

Due to the denial of a location permit for Saint-Sulpice,[2] the entire scene had to be recreated virtually by post-production company Rainmaker U.K. and though the set had been partially built, the co-ordinates were centimeters out from what the compositors had expected and so the entire process was extremely difficult to complete.[3]

Lincoln Cathedral reportedly received £100,000 in exchange for the right to film there, with filming there occurring between August 15 and 19, 2005, mainly within the cloisters of the cathedral. The cathedral's bell, which strikes the hour, was silent for the first time since World War II during that time. Although it remained a closed set, protesters led by the 61-year-old woman named Sister Mary Michael demonstrated against the filming, spending 12 hours praying on her knees outside the cathedral in protest against what she saw as the blasphemous use of a holy place to film a book containing heresy.[4] Mary Michael claimed to be a Roman Catholic nun, however the Catholic Church said she was once connected to the Carmelites but left, calling her a "maverick" and a "one-women order" and is not "canonically recognized" even if she does do "good works".

Winchester Cathedral answered criticism by using its location fee to fund an exhibition, lecture series and campaign to debunk the book.[5] The scenes for the Pope's summer residence, Castel Gandolfo were filmed on location at Belvoir Castle in Leicestershire, England.

Shoreham Airport in West Sussex, England, was used as a filming location, with its art-deco terminal building utilised in a night shoot for the scenes at 'Le Bourget' Airport.[6]

Filming also took place elsewhere in England.[7] Locations included Fairfield Halls (Croydon); the Temple Church (London); Burghley House and (Lincolnshire)

Rosslyn Chapel and Rosslyn Castle (Midlothian, Scotland) make an appearance at the final of the film.

Studio shoots[edit]

The filmmakers shot many of the internal scenes at Pinewood Studios;[8] the opening sequence in the cavernous 007 Stage at Pinewood Shepperton, where the interior of the Louvre was recreated.[9] In this sequence, Tom Hanks' character is taken by French police to the Louvre, where a dead body has been discovered. David White of Altered States FX, a prosthetics and special makeup effects company, was tasked with creating a naked photorealistic silicone body for the scene. Lighting effects were utilized to obscure the body's genitalia, a technique also used on television programmes such as NCIS.[10]

Pinewood's state-of-the-art Underwater Stage was used to film underwater sequences.[11] The stage opened in 2005 after four years of planning and development. The water in the tank is filtered using an ultraviolet system which creates crystal clear water, and the water is maintained at 30 °C (86 °F) to create a comfortable environment to work in for both cast and crew.[12]

Alternate versions of Paul Bettany's nude flagellation scenes were shot, in which he wears a black loincloth. Clips of these versions appear in the History Channel's "Opus Dei Unveiled" documentary, aired in summer 2006.

Catholic and other reactions[edit]

The Vatican[edit]

At a conference on April 28, 2006, the secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, a Vatican curial department, Archbishop Angelo Amato specifically called for a boycott of the film; he said the movie is "full of calumnies, offences, and historical and theological errors."[13]

Cardinal Francis Arinze, in a documentary called The Da Vinci Code: A Masterful Deception, urged unspecified legal action against the makers of the film. He was formerly Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments in the Vatican.[citation needed]

Opus Dei[edit]

Stating that it does not intend to organize any boycotts, Opus Dei (the Catholic organization that is featured prominently in the novel and the film) released a statement on February 14, 2006, asking Sony Pictures to consider editing the soon-to-be-released film so that it would not contain references that it felt might be hurtful to Catholics. The statement also said Brown's book offers a "deformed"[citation needed] image of the church and that Opus Dei will use the opportunity of the movie's release to educate about the church.

On Easter, April 16, 2006, Opus Dei published an open letter by the Japanese Information Office of Opus Dei mildly proposing that Sony Pictures consider including a disclaimer on the film adaptation as a "sign of respect towards the figure of Jesus Christ, the history of the Church, and the religious beliefs of viewers."[citation needed] The organization also encouraged the studio to clearly label the movie as fictitious "and that any resemblance to reality is pure coincidence."[citation needed]

According to a statement by Manuel Sánchez Hurtado, Opus Dei Press Office Rome,[14] in contrast to Sony Corporation's published "Code of Conduct" the company has announced that the film will not include such a disclaimer.

American Catholic bishops[edit]

U.S. Catholic bishops launched a website, JesusDecoded.com, refuting the key claims in the novel that were about to be brought to the screen. The bishops are concerned about errors and serious misstatements in The Da Vinci Code.[15] The film has also been rated morally offensive – by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' Office for Film and Broadcasting, which denounced its depiction of both the Jesus-Mary Magdalene relationship and that of Opus Dei as "deeply abhorrent."[citation needed]

Peru[edit]

The Peruvian Episcopal Conference (CEP) declared the movie — and the book — as part of a "systematic attack on the Catholic Church".[16] Furthermore, the Archbishop of Lima, the controversial Cardinal and member of Opus Dei Juan Luis Cipriani, urged his community not to see the film: "If someone goes (to see the movie), they are giving money to those who hurt the faith. It's not a problem of fiction; if truth is not respected, what arises we could call white glove terrorism."[17]

NOAH[edit]

The National Organization for Albinism and Hypopigmentation (NOAH) expressed concern about Silas' character giving people with albinism a bad name.[18] However, the filmmakers did not change his appearance.

Censorship[edit]

China[edit]

Although The Da Vinci Code was passed by Chinese censors, it was abruptly removed by authorities from public view in mainland China, after "a remarkable run in China, grossing over $13 million",[19] due to protests by Chinese Catholic groups.[20]

Egypt[edit]

Both the book and the film were banned in Egypt due to pressure from Coptic Christians. Some Muslims compared the film to the Danish cartoons that had caused a controversy earlier that year.[21] Hafez Abu Saeda, of the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights stated that "This violates freedom of thought and belief ... This is fiction. It's art and it should be regarded as art."[22]

Faroe Islands[edit]

The biggest cinema in the Faroe Islands, Havnar Bio, decided to boycott the film, effectively blocking it from the other smaller cinemas, who rely on second-hand films from this source, because it seems to be blasphemous in their point of view. Havnar Bio is privately owned, and their decision is based on their own private opinion.

A private initiative by the individual Herluf Sørensen has arranged the movie to be played, despite the boycott by Havnar Bio. The movie opened at the Nordic House in the Faroe Islands on the June 5, 2006.[citation needed]

India[edit]

There was a huge outcry in many states by the Christian minorities to ban the film from screening in India for the perceived anti-Christian message. Possibly the largest reaction occurred in Kolkata where a mob of bike-riding young men from Rippon Street, a predominantly Christian neighbourhood broke the glass of the front door display of Oxford Bookstore, seized copies of the book and threw them into the pavement and the streets, waving hand-painted signs and shouting slogans which called for a ban on the release of the film. However, police dispersed the mob within a short while and the film released on the planned date without further incident. After the release, it was viewed by a large number of Christians from Kolkata, who seemed satisfied with the nature of the depiction.[citation needed]

Ultimately, the movie was allowed to be released without any cuts but with an A (Adults Only) certification from the Central Board for Film Certification and a 15-second disclaimer added at the end stating that the movie was purely a work of fiction.[citation needed]

The film has been banned in Punjab, Goa, Nagaland, Meghalaya, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh.[23][24] The Andhra Pradesh High Court subsequently reversed the State Government's order banning the screening of the film in the state.[25] The Indian Censor Board, however, had cleared the movie for release on Friday, June 2. The Supreme Court of India also rejected petitions calling for a ban on the film, saying the plot which suggested Jesus was married was fictional and not offensive.[26]

Jordan[edit]

The film was banned in Jordan where authorities said the film "tarnishes the memory of Christian and Islamic figures and contradicts the truth as written in the Bible and the Koran about Jesus".[27]

Lebanon[edit]

The film was banned in Lebanon.[28]

Pakistan[edit]

Pakistan banned The Da Vinci Code for showing what officials called blasphemous material about Jesus. Christian groups, along with the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal held protests against the film calling for a global ban.[29]

Philippines[edit]

The Philippine Alliance Against Pornography (PAAP) appealed to then Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to stop the showing of The Da Vinci Code in the Philippines. They branded the film as "the most pornographic and blasphemous film in history"[citation needed] and also requested the help of Pope Benedict XVI, the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) and other religious groups to stop the showing of the film.[30]

However, Cecille Guidote Alvarez, Philippine Presidential Adviser on Culture and the Arts, said the Philippine government would not interfere in the controversy about the film and leaves the decision to the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board's (MTRCB) rating.[31] Eventually, MTRCB decided to give The Da Vinci Code an R-18 rating (restricted to those 18 years of age and above) despite PAAP's opposition for showing it.[32]

Samoa[edit]

The film was banned outright in the Independent State of Samoa after church leaders watching a pre-release showing filed a complaint with film censors.[33]

Singapore[edit]

In Singapore, the Media Development Authority, passed the unedited version of the movie, albeit with an NC-16 rating, a restriction for children below the age of 16.[34]

Solomon Islands[edit]

Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare said he would seek to have the film banned in his country, as it might threaten the Solomons' predominantly Christian faith:

We profess Christian religion in the country, and that film that depicts some thoughts about this person called Jesus Christ that Christians adore as not only as a good man, but was himself God, and such a film basically undermines the very roots of Christianity in Solomon Islands.[35]

Sri Lanka[edit]

Sri Lanka is also one of the countries that banned the film from being released.[36] It was banned by presidential order of Mahinda Rajapakse.[37]

Thailand[edit]

Christian groups in this mostly Buddhist country protested the film and called for it to be banned. On May 16, 2006, the Thai Censorship Committee issued a ruling that the film would be shown, but that the last 10 minutes would be cut. Also, some Thai subtitles were to be edited to change their meaning and passages from the Bible would also be quoted at the beginning and end of the film.

However, the following day, Sony Pictures appealed the ruling, saying it would pull the film if the decision to cut it was not reversed. The censorship panel then voted 6–5 that the film could be shown uncut, but that a disclaimer would precede and follow the film, saying it was a work of fiction.[38][39] This last-minute decision caused the premiere to be delayed or cancelled in some provincial theatres as the updated film reels were shipped from Bangkok.[citation needed]

Cast/crew response[edit]

Tom Hanks told the Evening Standard that those involved with the movie "always knew there would be a segment of society that would not want this movie to be shown. But the story we tell is loaded with all sorts of hooey and fun kind of scavenger-hunt-type nonsense."[40] He said it is a mistake "to take any sort of movie at face value, particularly a huge-budget motion picture like this."[40] He also stated at the Cannes Film Festival that he and his wife saw no contradiction between their faith and the film, as "My heritage, and that of my wife, suggests that our sins have been taken away, not our brains."[41]

Also at Cannes, Ian McKellen was quoted as saying "While I was reading the book I believed it entirely. Clever Dan Brown twisted my mind convincingly. But when I put it down I thought, 'What a load of [pause] potential codswallop."[41] During a May 17, 2006 interview on The Today Show with the Da Vinci Code cast and director, Matt Lauer posed a question to the group about how they would have felt if the film had borne a prominent disclaimer that it is a work of fiction, as some religious groups wanted. (Some high-ranking Vatican cabinet members had called for a boycott of the film.[42]) McKellen[43][not in citation given] responded, "I've often thought the Bible should have a disclaimer in the front saying 'This is fiction.' I mean, walking on water? It takes. . . an act of faith. And I have faith in this movie—not that it's true, not that it's factual, but that it's a jolly good story." He continued, "And I think audiences are clever enough and bright enough to separate out fact and fiction, and discuss the thing when they've seen it."

Marketing campaign[edit]

The film's teaser trailer was released in the summer of 2005, a full year before the film's worldwide release and prior to shooting even a single frame of the movie. It features crevices with some hidden symbols and was later revealed as an image of Da Vinci's most famous painting, the Mona Lisa. (In reality, the painting plays a very small part in the film and is shown only for a few seconds.)

The court case brought against Dan Brown by Richard Leigh and Michael Baigent, the authors of the non-fiction book Holy Blood, Holy Grail, has added to the film's publicity.

A cross-promotion appeared on The Amazing Race 9, where one team earned a trip to the movie's premiere in Hollywood, California. The prize was awarded to the first team to arrive at the Pit Stop bearing two parchments and demonstrating that, when combined, they revealed a picture of Leonardo da Vinci's "Vitruvian Man" and a coded message.

Promotional puzzles[edit]

As part of the lead up to the movie, various encrypted clues were placed in movie trailers and interviews. In mid-April, two such clues appeared in the Da Vinci Code interviews on Entertainment Tonight and The Insider, as highlighted letters in the names of interviewees.

In February, Sony, in cooperation with Grace Hill Media, launched The Da Vinci Dialogue (aka The Da Vinci Challenge), a fairly comprehensive web site which is intended to defuse Christian opposition to the movie. The site mixes some mild criticisms with movie promotional material.

Reactions to the film[edit]

Cannes Film Festival[edit]

According to the Associated Press, during a preview for movie critics in Cannes, a line spoken by Tom Hanks "drew prolonged laughter and some catcalls". Nearing the end of the screening, "there were a few whistles and hisses, and there was none of the scattered applause even bad movies sometimes receive at Cannes."[44]

Protests[edit]

There have been protesters at several movie theaters across the United States on opening weekend protesting the themes of the film, citing it as blasphemy and claiming that it shames both the Catholic Church, and Jesus Christ himself. More than 200 protesters also turned out in Athens, Greece to protest the film's release shortly before opening day. In Manila the movie was banned from all theaters and the set by the local MTRCB as an R18 movie for the Philippines.[45] In Pittsburgh, protesters also showed up at a special screening of the film the day before its widespread release.[46] Protests also occurred at the filming sites, but only a monk and a nun stood in a quiet protest at the Cannes premiere.[41] In Chennai, India, the film was banned for a two-month period to appease local Christian and Muslim groups.[47]

Critical reception[edit]

The Da Vinci Code received negative reviews from film critics. The film currently garners a "rotten" 25% positivity rating on the film review aggregate website Rotten Tomatoes, based on a sample of 220 reviews and an average rating of 4.8/10. The critics' consensus as gathered by Rotten Tomatoes is: "What makes Dan Brown's novel a best seller is evidently not present in this dull and bloated movie adaptation of The Da Vinci Code."[48] The film was poorly received at the Cannes Film Festival, where it debuted.[44]

Michael Medved was negative about the film, citing it as an attack on religion.[49] Anthony Lane of The New Yorker addressed the concerns of Catholics in his film review, stating of the film, "It is self-evident, spirit-lowering tripe that could not conceivably cause a single member of the flock to turn aside from the faith."[50]

In his Movie Guide, Leonard Maltin calls the film "a letdown in every respect."[51]

Director Ron Howard noted that the overwhelmingly negative reviews were "frustrating" to him.[52]

Conversely, Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times (who had spoken very negatively of the novel) gave the film three out of four stars, stating, "The movie works; it's involving, intriguing and constantly seems on the edge of startling revelations." Of the storyline he also comments, "Yes, the plot is absurd, but then most movie plots are absurd. That's what we pay to see."[53] Ebert and co-host Richard Roeper both liked it and criticized the protests of the film on their show.[citation needed] Lawrence Toppman of The Charlotte Observer, who also liked the film, gave it three and a half out of four stars and noted, "unlike most Hollywood blockbusters, this one assumes audience members will be smart."[54]

Although many critics gave mostly negative reviews of the film, critics of both sides acknowledged and praised the strong performances of Ian McKellen as well as Paul Bettany.[55]

On the "Worst Movies of 2006" episode of the television show Ebert & Roeper (January 13, 2007), guest critic Michael Phillips (sitting in for the recovering Roger Ebert) listed the film at No. 2.[citation needed] The film earned a Razzie Award nomination for Ron Howard as Worst Director and lost to M. Night Shyamalan for Lady in the Water.

Box office response[edit]

Opening weekend[edit]

Despite the protests and poor pre-release reviews, the film still opened with an estimated $31 million in box office sales on its opening day, averaging $7764 per screen.[56] During its opening weekend, moviegoers spent an estimated $77 million in America, and $224 million worldwide.[1] The Da Vinci Code is the best domestic opening for both Tom Hanks and Ron Howard.[57]

It also enjoyed the third biggest opening weekend for that year (after Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest and X-Men: The Last Stand, and the second biggest worldwide opening weekend ever, just behind 2005's Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith.[58]) This has led some critics, particularly in the UK, to moot the idea of the 'critic-proof film'.[59]

Ranking and gross[edit]

  • Number 1 movie at the USA box office during its first week grossing more than $111 million.[60] Fifth highest gross of 2006 in the USA, and grossed $758 million worldwide in 2006 – the second highest of 2006.[1] Its worldwide total made it the 51st highest grossing film, and the highest grossing film in the franchise.[citation needed]
  • On June 20, 2006, it became only the second movie of the year to pass the $200 million mark in the USA.[61]

Sequel[edit]

Screenwriter Akiva Goldsman, with the help of Jurassic Park helmer David Koepp, adapted Angels & Demons (a Dan Brown novel published before The Da Vinci Code) into a film script,[62] which was also directed by Ron Howard. Chronologically, the book takes place before The Da Vinci Code. However, the filmmakers re-tooled it as a sequel. Tom Hanks reprises his role as Robert Langdon in the film, which was released in May 2009 to moderate (but generally better) reviews.

DVD[edit]

The film was released on DVD on November 14, 2006[63] in three editions:

  1. A Target exclusive three-disc release in both widescreen and fullscreen, along with a History Channel documentary.[citation needed]
  2. A two-disc release in both widescreen and fullscreen.[63][64]
  3. A "special edition gift set" that includes a two-disc DVD set, working cryptex, and replica Robert Langdon journal.[65]

All DVD sets include an introduction from director Ron Howard, ten featurettes, and other bonus features.

In Australia, New Zealand, Spain and Latin America (DVD region code 4), the two-disc set also included an extended edition of the film, including over twenty-five minutes of extra footage, bringing the running time to almost three hours.[citation needed]

In Hong Kong and Korea (Region 3), the extended cut was also released on DVD in a two-disc set. Two gift sets were also released, with working cryptex replica, replica journal, and more. The French and Spanish Region 2 disc also received a special gift set.[citation needed]

On April 28, 2009, a two-disc Blu-ray edition of the extended version of the film was released in North America. While there is no regular DVD release of the extended version in the United States or a Region 2 release in the United Kingdom, a version of the extended cut was released in Germany.[citation needed]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "The Da Vinci Code (2006)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved December 16, 2006. 
  2. ^ Michael Haag & Veronica Haag, with James McConnachie, The Rough Guide to The Da Vinci Code: An Unauthorised Guide to the Book and Movie (Rough Guides Ltd; 2006)
  3. ^ Robertson, Barbara (19 May 2006). "The Da Rainmaker Code". cgsociety.org. The CG Society. Retrieved 1 March 2013. 
  4. ^ Gledhill, Ruth (16 August 2005). "Nun protests over cathedral filming of Da Vinci Code". The Times (London, England). Retrieved 1 March 2013. 
  5. ^ Guardian Unlimited: Location fee funds Da Vinci Code rebuttal
  6. ^ "Secret Da Vinci Code airport set revealed", The Argus, 2006-01-09. Retrieved on 2009-05-19.
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  13. ^ "Reaffirm the Resurrection, Pope urges faithful". Catholic World News. May 1, 2006. 
  14. ^ Sánchez Hurtado, Manuel (May 17, 2006). "The Other Code". ROM: Opus Dei Press Office. 
  15. ^ Jesus Decoded' Web site launched to counter 'Da Vinci Code' claims
  16. ^ RPP Noticias – "Código da Vinci" presenta grandes falsedades, afirman obispos del Perú
  17. ^ Cardenal Cipriani pide a fieles abstenerse de ver "El Código Da Vinci"
  18. ^ "Albino group to protest Tom Hanks' 'The Da Vinci Code' film". UPI/Reality TV World. March 19, 2006
  19. ^ "China dumps 'Da Vinci Code'". CNN. June 8, 2006. Retrieved May 25, 2010. 
  20. ^ Kahn, Joseph. "China Cancels 'Da Vinci' Movie". The New York Times. 
  21. ^ Coptic pressure bans 'Da Vinci Code' in Egypt
  22. ^ Egypt: Da Vinci Code based on Zionist myths
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  28. ^ 'Da Vinci' unlikely to pass Egypt censors | TribLIVE
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  38. ^ "The Da Vinci Code" can be shown uncut
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  45. ^ "Hundreds of Greek Orthodox march to protest Da Vinci Code movie". Athens: Deutsche Presse-Agentur. May 16, 2006. Archived from the original on 2006-09-06. 
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  50. ^ Anthony Lane, Heaven Can Wait: "The Da Vinci Code.", The New Yorker, May 29, 2006
  51. ^ Maltin, Leonard. Leonard Maltin's 2008 Movie Guide. New American Library. p. 319. 
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  53. ^ Blog, Chaz's (May 18, 2006). "The Da Vinci Code". Chicago Sun-Times. 
  54. ^ Movie: The Da Vinci Code
  55. ^ The Da Vinci Code Movie Review – MoviesOnline.ca
  56. ^ "'Da Vinci Code' opens with estimated $29 million". CNN. May 20, 2006. Archived from the original on 2006-05-28. 
  57. ^ "'Da Vinci Code' a hot ticket". CNN.
  58. ^ "At $77 Million, It's Code Green For 'Da Vinci'"
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  61. ^ The Da Vinci Code (2006)
  62. ^ ComingSoon.net: Akiva Goldsman Back for Angels & Demons
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  65. ^ ASIN B000I2KJR4

Sources[edit]

The following are reference sources, repeated in alphabetic order:

  • Val Villarosa
  • Larry Carroll: "Ian McKellen Sticks Up For Evil In Da Vinci Code, X-Men" [6], MTV News, May 15, 2006.
  • Catholic World News, "Reaffirm the Resurrection, Pope urges faithful," Catholic World News, May 1, 2006.
  • CNN, "'Da Vinci Code' a hot ticket," CNN, May 21, 2006 (webpage expired).
  • CNN, "'Da Vinci Code' opens with estimated $29 million," CNN, May 20, 2006 (webpage expired).
  • DPA, "Hundreds of Greek Orthodox march to protest Da Vinci Code movie," Deutsche Presse-Agentur, May 16, 2006.
  • Fretland, Katie, "Fire chars British set of new Bond movie" July 30, 2006, webpage: WHAS11-DVC: Louvre interior set filmed at Pinewood.
  • Sánchez Hurtado, Manuel, The Other Code, Opus Dei Press Office, May 17, 2006.
  • KDKA News, "Locals Protest 'Da Vinci Code' Movie," KDKA News, May 19, 2006.
  • Leonardo da Vinci, Mona Lisa (La Gioconda) painting, 1503–1507, in Louvre Museum.
  • Pinewood Shepperton studios, "Gordon Brown Opens Underwater Stage at Pinewood Studios," May 19, 2006, webpage: PinewoodShep-Stage.
  • Philip Pullella, "Boycott Da Vinci Code film," Reuters, April 28, 2006, web: ScotsmanVatDVC. Retrieved August 22, 2006.
  • US Weekly, "Ian McKellen Unable to Suspend Disbelief While Reading the Bible," US Weekly, May 17, 2006: (has Video clip).

External links[edit]