Yesterday, as I'm sure Christ and all his descendants were aware, was the day The Da Vinci Code was released in America. This, of course, put me in a difficult position. I could either give into conformity by paying $6 to watch an overrated cultural phenomenon or I could abstain and, thereby, figuratively kiss the pope's toe. Cultural conformity here I come...
As catholic church leaders have made certain the entire world knows, The Da Vinci Code is a spiritually subversive work that is built around the blasphemous premise that the holy grail was not a cup Jesus drank out of but was, in fact, Mary Magdalene whom he impregnated and who, shortly after his crucifixion, gave birth to a child, the first of a royal bloodline of people whom the catholic church has spent the intervening centuries covertly hunting down and attempting to wipe out while, at the same time, doing its best to cover up Jesus' true history and erase all record of the truth in an effort to maintain its ill gotten religious power. Thankfully, religious salvation came in the form of Dan Brown who, though not giving his life as a ransom for many, has revealed all of these earth-shattering secrets and conspiracies in a tome which can be purchased for the low low price of $24.95 hardcover or $7.99 soft cover--or own your very own special, illustrated copy of the book that has rocked a world-wide religious organization for a one time fee of $35.00 and your first born child.
The movie stars Tom Hanks as a chubbed-out and greasy-haired professor who is drawn into this web of myth, deceit, and gaping plot-holes by a melodramatic corpse. He spends the next two hours with Audrey Tautou, getting chased around Paris and London by a masochistic, psychopathic albino monk, as they search for Mary Magdalene's sepulchral and for her last remaining blood descendent.
The movie is a mediocre, moderately entertaining archaeology-based, treasure hunt movie, several steps below The Mummy Returns on Ye Big Olde Scale of Fun. Farcically, the treasure hunt begins when a museum curator who has been fatally shot in the stomach scrawls out a coded message in his own blood, leaves two more hidden messages near paintings that are separated by a wide distance, and eventually strips himself naked, decorates his body with more blood-painted symbols, and arranges his body like a famous Da Vinci sketch, before finally dying. One wonders what would have happened if he had simply used that time to call an ambulance.
"My God," I thought to myself, "This is the movie that has catholic officials quivering in their robes?" And therein lies the mystery. The movie is so convoluted and riddled with plot-holes that only a fool or an insane person could possibly believe that there was any validity to the "theories" presented within it, yet the catholic church has attacked it with the vehemence most people would reserve for a life-threatening adversary. If I were walking down the streets of Santa Monica and a crazy homeless man berated me for being a ho and declared I was going to hell, technically, yes, he would be disrespecting me, but it does not follow that I should berate him in return or even, necessarily, respond to him at all. His claim are so wildly disconnected from reality that were I to respond to them I would only be relaxing my own grip on reality by giving his crazy rantings more credence than they actually possess. Thankfully, I apparently have a better sense of proportion than the catholic church.
Now, if you will excuse me, my secret society is having an orgy in half an hour, and I simply must sacrifice a goat to Dan Brown.
Copyright 2006 Jessica Menn