By Adam McLane Moviegoers turned up at the local theater at 10:30 Friday morning. The agents of ten dollar popcorn and soda heists were standing sentry as the moviegoers arrived, popcorn popped and uniforms crisp they waited for a sellout that wouldn’t happen. The naysayers and cheerleaders for Dan Brown’s runaway best-selling novel greeted one another with wordless looks as the best seats were taken and the less desirable ones filled in. Like clockwork the theater darkens after the previews have played and an aura of tension fills the air. Would this be even better than the book? Would Ron Howard and Tom Hanks give a compelling reason for millions to doubt Christ? [Discuss this in the forums]
From the very first moments it was clear that the movie and novel would lead down separate paths. While the book boldly presented this conspiracy of a Messiah marriage in its opening paragraphs the films first moment made it clear that murder mystery would prevail over the sub-theme of conspiracy.
Robert Langdon is a Harvard professor specializing in religious symbology. He is in Paris to promote a new book and his audience is griped by his notion that symbols are everywhere.His book signing is interrupted as a French officer asks for his help in solving a murder at Paris’s second most famous tourist attraction, The Louvre.
For the next two and a half hours the viewer is taken on a treasure hunt as Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) and Agent Sophie Nouveau (Audrey Tautou) search for the clues behind the murder turned Holy Grail quest, all the while being pursued by an Opus Dei assassin and French authorities.
It’s a well-known story which houses a better known conspiracy against Christianity. While the movies story is complicated it is not well told. As the film ends the viewer is left with no questions. The conspiracy is explained but not presented in a compelling or believable way. The murder mystery itself does pull things together better than the book but becomes so clear that the viewer leaves feeling that they’ve encountered Disney’s National Treasure and not a dangerous film to Christianity.
The conspiracy does leave viewers with points of discussion. Anyone taking adolescents or their own children should prepare them for the themes presented. This is the perfect movie to take someone out for coffee afterwards. Unfortunately, the discussion will not be about unanswered questions, it will be about a very simple and unbelievable theory.