Crikey editor Misha Ketchell writes:

It’d be hard to imagine a less auspicious debut for the Da Vinci Code than last night’s media preview in Brisbane. A Crikey subscriber writes:

Will the Catholic church stop at nothing to prevent the Da Vinci Code making
it to cinema screens? In Brisbane the media were gathered with some
everyday grubs for a sneak preview of the film of the book by Dan Brown. You
know the book? It’s the one the Catholic church is jealous over, because it’s
more popular that the faith’s book, the book, the Bible. (It’s also more
believable, but we won’t go into that here). No sooner is our hero Robert
Langdon (Tom Hanks) about to crack the code when the film reel skips and
freezes, the cinema screen is then filled with the sight of melting celluloid.
Groans filled the Regent cinema and many a hack was seen fleeing to grab
the nearest phone (all mobiles had been confiscated beforehand as a security
clampdown). Which newsroom got the story first? We don’t know. More important
would be news of which newsroom didn’t get the call. After a half hour delay the
film was patched up and the film continued. So was this divine intervention, an
act of God or perhaps even the hand of God? We’ll never know.

Fans might quibble about Crikey’s atheist subscriber claiming
divine intervention, but the tide of critics taking pot shots at the
film is quickly whipping into a tsunami. These are from Rotten Tomatoes:

“For people who insist that the movie is never as good as the book, your case just got stronger.” – Matt Pais, METROMIX.COM

“An
oppressively talky film that isn’t exactly dull, but comes as close to
it as one could imagine with such provocative material.” – Todd McCarthey, Variety.com

“There might be a riveting adventure thriller to be made from Dan
Brown’s controversial bestseller, but this is not it. Melodramatic,
overlong and dare I say occasionally boring, Ron Howard’s The Da Vinci
Code
gets lost in the maze of its puzzles and media” – Urban Cinefile

“Part conspiracy thriller, part religious epic, part family
melodrama, but not satisfying on any level, this vastly disappointing
film will frustrate viewers who know the book and will bore those who
don’t due to the rambling and confusing storytelling.” – Emanuel Levy

Heaven’s Gate anyone?