Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Frosty Critical Reception to Da Vinci Code

Early critical reception to the movie has been downright frosty, with New York Times critic A.O. Scott calling the film “busy, trivial, inoffensive” and Entertainment Weekly’s Owen Gleiberman writing that the movie “fails to build intellectual excitement into the quest."

Gleiberman goes on to say that Howard "uses cheesy digitized flashbacks, rarely trusting the dialogue to evoke history, and he seems faintly rushed and embarrassed each time the movie grows talky, as if he were worried that the breathless theology wouldn't hold us.”

Of the five reviews posted at, where the movie received a 57 rating, only the New York Post’s is positive, with Lou Lumenick calling it “the Holy Grail of summer blockbusters: a crackling, fast-moving thriller …”

So did the studio install Lumenick in the penthouse suite during the press junket, or was he merely RWI (reviewing while intoxicated)?


rob said...

Interesting it's not getting the rave reviews I thought it might already.

Of course, I never trust critics!

Philip Booth said...

Critics were right in this case, I think.

Despite the hype overkill, and even though I hadn't read the book, I went in to the movie with high hopes that it would be a good summer thriller, and maybe even kind of provocative.

I was disappointed on both counts.

Thomas said...

Lumenick has been finding himself on the wrong side of many movie critics lately.

I think he gave King Kong four stars and said it was the best movie of 2005.

I prefer Kyle Smith's reviews in the NYPost.

Danielk said...

I used to run a movie theatre in Westwood, and I was watching critics leaving a screeing of "WOLF", the Jack Nicholson vehicle. One of them asked Jeanne Wolf (no relation) what she thought of the movie, and she shot back "It's Wolf-a-riffic!" Don't remember seeing it the ads - maybe she got cold feet at the last minute.

Philip Booth said...

Thomas -- I thought King Kong was an amazing spectacle of a movie and probably the most entertaining movie of the summer, but certainly not the best film of the year. Maybe he's just gone soft, like Ebert.

DanielK -- sounds like Wolf was warming up for a blurb quote. My brush with movie-crit celebrity: When I lived in NYC during the summer of '85, studying at NYU, I wormed my way into a freelance deal reviewing movies for a small paper there. I found myself on an elevator with Rex Reed, on the way to a screening of The Man With One Red Shoe. What a thrill. okay, not really a thrill.