The Da Vinci Code is Broken.

I saw The Da Vinci Code saturday night. This has spoilers. So don't read it if that bothers you, ok?

I can now post and noone can complain about how I had not read the book. Although of course, I haven't. But this is about the movie.

First, I want to say that I must correct my previous comments, caused by reading a synopsis of the book in Dan Brown's site.

I must say (assuming the movie follows the book) that it doesn't paint Opus Dei as a clandestine sect at all (not even as specially interested in obtaining any secret). Only one specific couple of Opus Dei guys are. Which is fine and dandy for me. Secret societys can chase each other around the globe. Their problem.

Of course it also means the following ( again, if the book is like the movie ):

  • The comments defending the book's portrait of Opus Dei as a secret society as appropiate fiction are nonsense, because the book doesn't do that. You were defending the book of something that's not in the book.
  • The guy that wrote the synopsis in Dan Brown's official site has not read the book.

Having said that, onto more serious matters...

Ron Howard is incapable of filming a comprehensible action scene. Don't trust me? Watch the Smartcar chase.

Tom Hank's hair is scary. It's a weird bilateral combover. I used to do that. I don't anymore. I am right about stopping. Besides, it's way too distracting.

Professor Langdon, I presume?

I enjoyed the movie as a popcorn flick with pretentions, but most of the plot follows no logic.

Sauniére triggers an alarm, in the Louvre, and is then shot in the stomach. Then he traipses around the museum, finds a marker visible only on UV light, does things to three paintings, hides a key behind a large, heavy painting, takes off his clothes, creates an anagram, writes it on the floor along with some numbers, draws a pentacle on his chest, arranges himself in a position reminiscent of the Vitrubian man, and then dies.

He not only does all that instead of calling an ambulance on his cell, but he does all that before museum security gets there. In the gallery that has the Da Vincis.

Not only is it unlikely, but it also is stupid. Had he died earlier, he could, for instance, have been found with the key in his hand, and no clue left for the "good guys".

It's amazing there is still any paintings in that museum, with such security.

And don't get me started on the biiiiig secret. It turns out the Priory of Sion protects a secret about Jesus.

If said secret was revealed, it would damage the catholic church.

Of course... the catholic church also knows the nature (and details) of the secret, which means the catholic hierarchs dedicate their lifes to a faith they know to be false. Which makes no sense, really.

And then it turns out that several historians also know the nature and details of the secret, and have published books about it (except, of course, they have no evidence).



There is, however, one detail only the Priory is supposed to know: the location of a corpse that could be used, via DNA analysis, to show that some person is a descendant of some specific other "historical figure".

Which is, of course, absolute nonsense.

Suppose I show you a corpse and tell you "this is the corpse of Joan of Arc". You carbon-14 date it, and do the usual forensic analysis, and all agrees. It's a woman, that died in a fire, at such age in so-and-so year.

Then I show you a DNA analysis that shows she is my great-great-granny.

Am I the scion of the Orleans Maiden?

Hell no! Because to accept that, you would have to accept that the corpse is hers!

You can only reasonably do that if there is a clear historical record of the whereabouts of the corpse until now, or else it's a rather simple forgery.

For example, nowadays we used DNA of known descendents of Columbus to decide which of his two alleged bodies is the real one. About a known historical figure, world-famous in his life. We are just not sure of where his corpse is. We have two of those.

Since the "witnesses" of the authenticity of this corpse are the ones that are bound to gain from the claims, it's suspect at best.

If you go back a certain number of generations, almost every corpse will be your granny.

I am pretty sure that a large percentage of modern europeans are related to almost any random 2000 year-old corpse.

And, in the specific case of the movie (or the book), even if you assume it is the corpse of who they say, so what? That shows she is the descendant of a certain woman, not of a specific man. Get it? You don't prove the big premise. Only the little, meaningless premise, that M.M. (not Marilyn Monroe) had a child. Who gives a damn?

The secret the Church is trying to keep secret, the secret the Priory is not trying to make public anyway... doesn't matter. It doesn't cause what the church fears, it doesn't cause what the Priory hopes, it does nothing.

So, really... much ado about very little. If I were the church, I would let them say whatever they want, and nothing would happen. Absolutely nothing.

Not to mention that the apocryphal Leonardian device, the cryptex... it's ... I have no words. If you missed it, the idea is that there is a papyrus inside it, and a vial of vinegar. If you try to open it without the key, the vinegar "dissolves the papyrus".

Do you know what papyrus is? It's made of the stems of a plant, and it looks a lot like paper.

It's cellulose. It doesn't dissolve in vinegar. It's like saying lettuce dissolves on vinegar.

You can make a paper that dissolves on vinegar, but papyrus is not paper.

It may make some sense if you said the ink used dissolves on vinegar, but it's not what they said. What they said is stupid.

So, it defies reason how so many people can enjoy a book based on a premise innocent of logic, about a conspiracy to protect nothing.


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