Monday 26 June 2006

Two cents worth on The Herb-Vinci Code

Last night I finally got around to seeing the movie version of The Da Vinci Code. Everybody has an opinion about this one: too long, too full of inaccuracies... whatever. My two-cents worth is that it was quite good, though maybe it helped to have read the book first.

DVC is a pot-boiler that blasted through the stratosphere for no apparent reason. Other contentious books on a similar theme have quickly sunk beneath the radar screens, but Dan Brown seems to have hit a nerve at ju$t (!) the right time to rake in the profits from an unlikely subject.

The movie is more balanced than the book. Ron Howard has his hero (Robert Langdon) challenge Leigh Teabing's constant overselling of the conspiracy angle, and Sophie Neveu needn't say anything with a wistfully seductive smile like that... (sigh)

COGophiles like Spanky Meredith initially had positive things to say about Dan Brown's book, probably because anyone who has un-nice things to say about early Orthodoxy/Catholicism is seen as some kind of ally ("the enemy of my enemy..."). Lately though the tide has turned and the pulpit-pounders seem to have have gleefully joined the Evangelical debunkers.

Da Vinci Code deserves a full measure of debunking, but the trouble is that the eager DVC-bashers often have even less credibility than Brown. The best offering (here goes another 2c) is Bart Ehrman's Truth & Fiction in the Da Vinci Code. But, hey, it's a novel, not a tome of church history!

As for those COG reviewers, gimme a break. This is a movement that bought a nuttier conspiracy theory than anything Dan Brown has ever come up with: let's call it the Herb-Vinci Code. You may know it as British Israelism. Tea-Tephi, Jeremiah, Irish royalty, Mrs Windsor, sea gates... what was J.H. Allen smoking? And what were we doing giving that garbage even a second glance.

DVC at least has the virtue of using (very badly) some real history. Yes, he gets it all muddled and charges off in strange directions, but Allen, Armstrong, Collins and White haven't even got that far before launching off the deep end into a fantasy-history which they proclaim to be true beyond doubt.

Mind you, who knows, maybe Craig has already sold the movie rights to "Origin of Nations." If not, I'll put in the first bid. Two cents.


Anonymous said...

I knew I wouldn't be the only person to compare Dan Brown's conspiracy theory to the Armstrongist conspiracy theory. About a month ago, I discussed that and related issues in the XCG post, "Strange Bedfellows":

Anonymous said...

Whoops. That URL takes you to my latest comment in "Strange Bedfellows." Just scroll back to the top of the page, or follow this URL: