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A dialogue-driven film such as this needs to be punched up; it needs the actors to run with the characters instead of just reciting the script. Instead Hanks delivers a performance that ranks as the most one-dimensional of his critically acclaimed career. The spark?s noticeably missing from this two-time Oscar winner?s performance. Audrey Tautou (adorable in Amelie) is good but never connects as the French cryptologist and granddaughter of a murder victim.
There are even times, unfortunately, when her dialogue is difficult if not impossible to understand.
Alfred Molina?s presence as Bishop Aringarosa is limited and disconnected. Jean Reno?s essentially wasted as Detective Bevu Fache. Paul Bettany as the monk, Silas, turns in a nuanced performance considerably better than Hanks?. But the man who makes the movie worth sitting through is undisputedly Sir Ian McKellen. Once McKellen enters the picture about an hour in, it?s like a breath of fresh air. McKellen truly sinks his teeth into the role of Leigh Teabing and almost manages to get Hanks to lighten up.
I enjoyed Dan Brown?s book. It?s not the next best thing to chocolate, but it?s an engaging enough read. The movie, however, never engages the audience. Although the film runs just under 2 ½ hours, by the time the credits roll you?ll swear you?ve invested at least four sitting through this tediously slow adaptation of Brown?s story.
The Da Vinci Code was directed by Ron Howard and is rated PG-13 for disturbing images, violence, some nudity, thematic material, brief drug references and sexual content.