In an interview with The New York Times, “The Da Vinci Code” star Tom Hanks questioned the cynicism of a “cash-grab” project being able to shoot in a historical location. To prove his point, Hanks revealed that he celebrated his birthday at the Louvre:
“Let me tell you something else about ‘The Da Vinci Code.’ It was my 40th-something birthday. We were shooting in the Louvre at night. I changed my pants in front of the Mona Lisa! They brought me a birthday cake in the Grand Salon! Who gets to have that experience? Any cynicism there? Hell no!“
Although I’m sure it was a unique experience, treating the Louvre like a Chili’s is a pretty bleak and shockingly appropriate allegory for “The Da Vinci Code.” The Ron Howard-directed film had the potential to tell a subversive, twisty story about the Holy Grail and Jesus Christ, but used it to make a generic thriller without the thrills. Of course, it’s still a project that a lot of people worked hard on. However, it’s hard to not see the obvious jokes — especially since Hanks seems keen on making them himself.
With all of that being said, “The Da Vinci Code” is arguably the best installment of the trilogy, which remains fairly consistent from start to finish. The Louvre is a major part of the mystery in the first film and looks great on screen, if that is any consolation for the museum aficionados out there.