Wouldn’t it be something if The Da Vinci Code became the Battlefield Earth of 2006?
You may not remember, but there was intense pre-release anticipation for John Travolta‘s adaptation of L. Ron Hubbard‘s controversial bestseller. Battlefield was Travolta’s first foray into traditional science fiction, and the two-time Oscar-nominated actor, who was coming off an $100 million hit with The General’s Daughter, would once again play a villain after two successful bad-guy turns in Broken Arrow and Face/Off.
We all know what happened: the $73 million production was slaughtered by critics, failed to knock off Gladiator in its opening weekend (May 12-14, 2000), and was out of the theatres by the end of the month. Today, it’s regarded as the biggest Tinseltown flop since 1980s Heaven’s Gate.
Tom Hanks, like Travolta six years ago, is coming off a major hit (The Polar Express), and Code, like Battlefield, is intended to be a high-profile summer release for a hit-deprived studio (Columbia Pictures, which is releasing the film, hasn’t had a true blockbuster since Hitch in early-2005). Code is also being released in the middle of May. Hmmm…
Notice how there haven’t been any advance reviews of Hanks’ film, with only two weeks to go before its release? That’s not a good sign. People of faith may feel that "secular progressive" movie critics will falsely declare the film excellent, just as many critics falsely declared The Passion of the Christ horrendous. However, even "secular progressives" don’t like to be bored out of their minds — look at all the negative reviews for the left-wing satire American Dreamz.
Christians, Catholics, and other folks worried about the film have made clear their opposition to Ron Howard’s newest picture. It would be amusing on a number of different levels if critics, and audiences, followed suit.