In the opening scene of The Da Vinci Code, an old man is gutshot by Paul Bettany, who has been covered in pancake makeup. The film then cuts to a lecture delivered by Tom Hanks as Robert Langdon, a Harvard professor of “religious symbology,” who is in France presenting what appears to be a version of the “What is This Picture” feature from Jack and Jill magazine (you know, the one where a super close-up of a weird shiny black object is revealed to be a button). As this lecture goes on the old man is dying offscreen, but not before he runs around the Louvre leaving anagrammatic messages written in the invisible ink pen he keeps on hand for any such occasion, as well as rehanging a giant framed painting he took off the wall while being chased by Bettany. Everything that follows in The Da Vinci Code is ludicrous, but nothing ever manages to top the image of this old man, bleeding profusely from his stomach, picking up and rehanging a huge painting. Except that perhaps the old man next strips naked, paints a pentagram on his own chest in his own blood and makes sure to die in a posture that will recall a Da Vinci drawing.
I picked this review because the author seemed to have no agenda regarding the controversial subject of the novel and the movie. I think the sound and fury over the book and the movie are probably wasted effort. The book is universally acknowledged as being utterly worthless from any point of view and the movie is being widely panned as well. I can't share Faraci's optimistic outlook that The DaVinci Code
could have been made into anything worthwhile. After all, you have to have something to start with. Puzo's Godfather
was not much of a novel, but as bad as it was, it was literature in comparison to any of Brown's puerile nonsense.