Call me late to the party. As someone who usually has his nose in a book, I didn’t run out to see The Da Vinci Code. From what I knew of the Bible and Christian history, along with reviews of the book and movie, I could tell that it was ludicrous.
Just recently, out of morbid curiosity, since it’s available free online, I watched all three hours of it.
Yes, the stupid, it BURNS! Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Hanks mumbles and lurches his way through the movie, like an unkempt Dennis Miller on downers. He was much better in… just about anything else he’s done.
The movie alternates between competent chase scenes, talky sleep-inducing scenes, and scenery chewing by evil, murderous, self-hating, conniving, comic book Catholic villains.
It’s directed by Opie, no less. And he seemed like such a nice kid!
At the end of the movie, the two main characters are reflecting on Jesus, in light of the cockamamie yarn they’ve just lived through. Saith, Hanks’s character:
The only thing that matters is what you believe. History shows us Jesus was an extraordinary man, a human inspiration. That’s it. That’s all the evidence has ever proved.
Yes, the author Dan Brown knows how to please – telling his audience exactly what they want to hear, and what is convenient to believe. Believe whatever you please. And of course Jesus was just a competent, admirable human. No grounds whatever for all that “Son of God” business. You’re right to ignore all that.
Why does it have to be human or divine? Maybe human is divine. …
Yes, folks, the wit and wisdom of Dan Brown.
In sum, the movie is anti-Catholic, and anti-Christian dreck. Moreover, Brown knows exactly what he’s doing – peddling foolish conspiracy theories to that segment of the public which is ignorant of Christian history, and which for various reasons would like to believe that the Evil Roman Catholic Church has been Hiding It All up till now. I’m well familiar with this segment of the public, as I teach philosophy of religion and religious studies at a state university. Brown is happy to take their money and make them stupider, while making them feel they’ve been let in on wondrous secrets. I remember seeing an interview with him some years ago, and he very, very carefully walked the line of not quite claiming his novel to be historically accurate, while not denying it either.
If all of this isn’t depressing enough, there is the fact that stupid begets stupider.
I wouldn’t bother posting on this mediocre movie without providing some links to scholars eviscerating its absurd claims.
- Darrell Bock: no, there’s no reason at all to think Jesus was married. No, Brown’s ideas about how the four gospels are chosen is just wrong, and no, there was no close vote on Jesus’ divinity at Nicea in 325, nor was that the first time his “divinity” was brought up.
- Carl Trueman on why people enjoy conspiracy theories.
- Eminent Christian historian N.T. Wright, on what it all means.
Finally, for those who prefer their refutations in video form: