Plot Outline (stolen from IMDB because I am lazy to come up with my own): A murder inside the Louvre and clues in Da Vinci paintings lead to the discovery of a religious mystery protected by a secret society for two thousand years -- which could shake the foundations of Christianity.

My Thoughts: I am not a fan of the book. I think Dan Brown is a rather mediocre writer. I cannot help but chuckle when I see bloggers everywhere heaping praises upon the book as if it were some insanely awesome literary masterpiece that shook the very foundations of the world (all right, its impact and sales, and transformation into a genuine cultural phenomenon DID shook the very foundation of the world, but it definitely has nothing to do with the quality of the book), however, the book IS a page-turner, because the crazy theories Dan Brown conjured were pretty damned amusing/funny/interesting, but that was it. In terms of plot, The Da Vinci Code was not THAT different from its predecessor, Angels and Demons, which pretty much exposes Dan Brown's limitations as a writer.

Of course, by dissing Dan Brown, I'm risking the wrath of his millions and millions of fanatical fanatics, who had just thrown a campaign to support Dan Brown in his bid to win a Nobel Prize. Therefore, I shall stay silent, after all, like most of my film reviews, I tend to disregard the existence of the source material and judge the film based on its own merits.

My thoughts? The Da Vinci Code film is amazing.

Ian McKellen as Leigh Teabing in The Da Vinci CodeNever in my life have I ever seen 2-time Oscar winner Tom Hanks made to look SO useless/miscast/misused in a film! In fact, Tom Hanks, the man who holds the record for longest string of consecutive 100+ million grossing film, was nothing more than a prop in this film! A long-time Hanks fan, I rubbed my eyes repeatedly, wondering where the Tom Hanks I've grown up watching has disappeared to. Tom Hanks, who plays Professor Robert Langdon (who, according to the book, is supposed to possess the suaveness of Harrison Ford), didn't even flex his acting muscles at all in this film. All he does is run around with a befuddled expression, a 'why the hell am I in this film?' look. And if the film is supposed to have a main guy whose only job is to recite pages and pages of expository dialogue (lifted straight from the book, this film IS a faithful adaptation), and look confused from beginning to end... WHY THE HELL DID THEY GET TOM HANKS IN IT???

(And no, his hair really isn't that bad, you won't notice it as the film goes on.)

Audrey Tautou is also miscast in a role that is made for Monica Bellucci. But I won't go into that here.

This film has an all-star cast, but only one person lived up to his reputation. Only one person prevented The Da Vinci Code from being a TOTAL suckfest. And that's the great Sir Ian McKellen, he who had shown the world the greatness as Gandalf the Grey/White in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Despite being given the expository dialogue, he made them sound like poetry, he almost made me go 'aaaaaaaaah, Mary Magdalene = Holy Grail?????!!!' even though I've already read the book. UNFORTUNATELY, he was only in the film for half an hour. The remainder two hours were rather unbearable and dumb.

Ron Howard is a good craftsman, he can wring tears out of people with a normal heartwarming tale like Apollo 13 and A Beautiful Mind, but I really don't think that he's the right person to direct this film. An adaptation of something as bland as The Da Vinci Code would need someone with a more visionary or something.

Here's the sad part, anyone remember National Treasure starring Nicholas Cage two years ago? While many condemned the film as a Da Vinci Code wannabe (which was probable, although the screenwriters have refuted these claims), I find that film much more entertaining than National Treasure because it didn't take itself that seriously.

But if you are hardcore in love with the book and think it's the greatest in the world since sliced bread. I'm sure you'll be able to handle the film.