The Da Vinci Code: A Better, Smarter Blockbuster Than You Remember

Similarly, Hans Zimmer writes a lush ecclestial score throughout the film, seeming to imply this is some mighty exploration of religion, and a study in the conflict between faith and skepticism. After all, the doubting Langdon is forced to revisit his Catholic School youth when he discovers his new friend is the direct descendent of Jesus Christ.

That all these elements ultimately act as scaffolding for a popcorn movie in which adults can indulge in entertaining a little heresy, or at least give lip service to religious introspection while also cheering the car chases and convoluted plot twists, turned off plenty of critics. Yet it’s fair to now wonder if such middlebrow pleasures simply went over some heads?

As a film, The Da Vinci Code is a lot more basic than its presentation suggests. Nevertheless, there is an intriguing premise at its heart that made it an international watercooler discussion in the first place, and the perfect culture war lightning rod of the Bush years.

While I wish Brown did more with the megaton-potential of his setup, he nevertheless provided an unusually brainy foundation for his potboiler. One in which subjects like medieval history, early Christian theology, and the treasures of the Louvre were put front in center in pop culture, as opposed to superheroes and space wizards.

It’s still a frustration that The Da Vinci Code and its sequels abandoned his pearl of a MacGuffin right when its intrigue was at its highest. Genuinely, what would you do if you discovered you’re the last living descendent of Christ and can change the world religions with a single DNA test? Even so, rather than relying on ultimately meaningless plot devices like magical space stones, or cursed pirate treasure, Brown’s story caused audiences to examine the foundations of their world, and the origins of the tenets that might guide their lives.

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