X-Men vs The Da Vinci Code… zzzzzz

:: 2006-09-23T03:56:10+00:00
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I was on the long haul flight home from my much-needed break, from which, I must say, I feel much more “bright eyed and bushy tailed”. Comfortably belted into my economy class aisle seat with nothing better to do for nearly 10 hours and a mini TV screen staring blankly at me, I flicked through the in-flight entertainment programme.

 

Skimming through recent blockbuster movies, I picked two which piqued my curiosity. The shorter one was 'X-Men, The Last Stand', which ran for about the normal one-and-a-half to two hours, and 'The Da Vinci Code', which seemed sufficient to kill more than two hours.

I was on the long haul flight home from my much-needed break, from which, I must say, I feel much more “bright eyed and bushy tailed”. Comfortably belted into my economy class aisle seat with nothing better to do for nearly 10 hours and a mini TV screen staring blankly at me, I flicked through the in-flight entertainment programme. Skimming through recent blockbuster movies, I picked two which piqued my curiosity. The shorter one was 'X-Men, The Last Stand', which ran for about the normal one-and-a-half to two hours, and 'The Da Vinci Code', which seemed sufficient to kill more than two hours.

The 'X-Men' choice was a bit of personal fantasy escapism action with the usual simple theme of good guys versus bad guys, though some of them were gals rather than guys – in its own way a bit sexist but still allowing the women some amount of action. It was a bit of a pity that it was good guy versus bad gal, where ultimately Jean Grey – who was understudy to Charles Xavier or Dr. Strange, as Marvel comic enthusiasts will know – turned mega-villain and had to be killed off by Wolverine in a romantic love-hate battle. It was a somewhat predictable piece but nonetheless exciting for its special effects and additional mutant characters with super powers one became agog to know. This bit of fluff, arguably despite the violence, was what it was meant to be: a bit of exciting sci-fi fluff.

After our first passenger feeding time, termed 'supper' in airline-speak because time differences have to be taken into consideration when crossing the dateline from east to west, I settled down to the 'Da Vinci Code' channel. Now, here was a movie which had created a lot of hoo-ha, especially amongst Christians. Based on a novel by Dan Brown, the story line was that Jesus of Nazareth and Mary Magdalene were married and had children, a secret the Catholic Church allegedly was all out to suppress by exterminating all who gained knowledge of it and any known descendants of Jesus of Nazareth.

I hadn’t read the book, so I am rather skimpy on detail and can only tell you what I know of the general plot of the movie, from bits and pieces I recall.

You may wonder why I say I only recall bits and pieces when I must have seen the movie in toto. The simple answer is, "No, I saw the movie in bits and pieces." For three quarters of the time, my eyes were closed and the dialogue was only a buzzing sound from the headphones.

In a nutshell, the fabled ‘Da Vinci Code’ was a really boring movie. Well, that’s why it got rather indifferent reviews. From what I saw when I managed to keep awake, it seemed as if it wasn’t a good movie subject in the first place, being too intellectual for the ordinary person to find entertaining or exciting. Moreover, some of the dialogue was rather predictable and ‘slap-stick’ bordering on the mediocre, as many Hollywood movies are. Tom Hanks, who did well in 'Forrest Gump', was rather miscast as a serious intellectual and expert in Biblical history. The talents of Ian MacClelland of 'Lord of the Rings' and 'X-Men' fame were wasted in this movie. His portrayal of the villain professor from a British university was convincing, but unfortunately his character had a short-lived appearance,  ultimately arrested as he was by British police acting on a tip-off by a French police inspector played by Jean Reno.

The underlying implication of this very US-American centred story was “We are always right simply because we are US Americans” and that only served to emphasise its mediocrity. Considering that, the English-language movie-viewing public should perhaps be aware of the sort of propaganda dished out to us by the United States through Hollywood.

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