VATICAN CITY - "The Da Vinci Code" film was "much ado about nothing' and the fuss surrounding it was nothing more than a clever marketing strategy to increase sales at the box office, the Vatican newspaper wrote in a review published Tuesday.
In fact, after a catchy beginning, the film version of Dan Brown's novel is a dull watch and has little to recommend it, L'Osservatore Romano said.
The film and book have angered church leaders worldwide with their premise that Jesus married and fathered children and also because the conservative Catholic movement, Opus Dei, is depicted as a murderous cult.
While some religious leaders have called for a boycott of the film, Opus Dei has resisted a boycott, saying instead that the film provides an opportunity to generate interest in Christianity.
The ensuing publicity "is probably the most gigantic marketing strategy of a book and a film seen in the last few decades," the newspaper said in its review, which was published under the headline: "Much ado about nothing."
Its first few minutes are marked by "allegories and suggestive symbols of a third-rate neo-medievalism... and Opus Dei is introduced as a shrewd ghost," the newspaper states.
"After this engaging beginning that does not last longer than 12 minutes, another 140 minutes await us before the end."