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The Da Vinci Code (2006)
Sir Ian McKellen Expertly Delivers the Legend of the Film
Playing Sir Leigh Teabing, the great British actor, Sir Ian McKellen, does not disappoint as he delivers the legend of "The Da Vinci Code." The theory that is known as 'the Da Vinci code' is what Sir Leigh Teabing teaches to the would-be living descendant of Jesus of Nazareth.
Howard's direction is a marvel. Hanks, whose films I usually don't like in the least, plays the only character he's taken that I became enthralled by, Dr. Robert Langdon, and Audrey Tautou as French Agent Sophie Neveu is certainly a gorgeous, fresh face in a major US film who aptly held a captivating leading role.
Though I can certainly understand why "The Da Vinci Code," is so controversial in US society, because the theory of there being a child conceived by Jesus and Mary Magdelene is not what the Roman Catholic Church wants to believe or witness even being publicly proposed. The very idea of the God-man being so human as to be married somehow threatens "the Church," and its dogma. Strange how it fortifies and invigorates my own (Christian) spirituality! Regardless, this movie is one of my favorites! My rationale for finding favor in it has nothing to do with religion. I have found it fascinating and riveting because it is one heck of an intriguing story that was expertly directed, acted, and filmed. The excitement was ever so understandable within the film itself. The characters of the Opus Dei group made the motion picture's tension build like a very well written suspense as they scrambled for what Teabing wound up with.
Though I am reticent to admit it, Hanks and Tautou made for quite a good screen match. Though their performances are excellent, they can't touch their elder British screen pro, Sir Ian McKellen's. I'm now convinced more than ever that McKellen has been the most versatile actor of our time: From the most watched children's series "X-Men" as comic book/sci-fi's evil "Magneto;" to numerous Shakespearean characters, such as King "Richard III," "Iago," & "Edward II;" to one of the best Hitlers ever in "Countdown to War;" to a Nazi war criminal cornered by a high school kid in, "Apt Pupil;" to the good wizard "Gandalf," in the highly acclaimed, "Lord of the Rings," trilogy; to the gay film director of "Frankenstein," James Whale, in the biopic that was utterly overlooked at the Oscars, "Gods and Monsters;" I know whenever I spend my time with a motion picture that McKellen plays in, I'm in for the best script & performance that an actor of his acumen and towering stature would pick.
So it is no surprise to me that the character of Sir Leigh Teabing is the one who recants the story of the 'Da Vinci code' and does so as a historian who is an expert in the study of it.
I also liked the fact that this movie does come to a convincing end. Not one that convinces me of the Da Vinci code theory, necessarily, but an ending that leaves the characters themselves with open questions. There's no room for a sequel. Yet, the movie is so well done it leaves me wanting more.
It's not that this motion picture is a classic, by any means. But rather, that it is a terrific story, with a great deal of suspense, action, intrigue, and at times more than a little horrific and scary.
Most of all, "The Da Vinci Code" is now and will continue to be legendary.