Tom Hanks is one of the most beloved actors on the planet, and has more than lived up to his standing as ‘America’s Dad’ by seamlessly filling the role of cinema’s premiere everyman and earning those early comparisons to James Stewart as the quintessential depiction of big screen Americana. It also helps that he’s one of the finest talents of his generation, delivering a stream of acclaimed performances over the last four decades and winning two Academy Awards from six nominations in the process.
Despite a track record of critical and commercial success, though, the 64 year-old has hardly ever lent his name to big budget blockbusters, a rarity among the Hollywood elite. In fact, outside of his voice role as Woody in the Toy Story franchise, the only character he’s played more than once is literary hero Robert Langdon in the trilogy based on Dan Brown’s hit series of novels.
The feature film adaptation of The Da Vinci Code arrived in 2006 when the book was at the height of its popularity, and as a result it was a monster hit, earning $760 million at the box office despite the fact that it wasn’t very good at all and squandered a star-studded cast that featured Ian McKellen, Audrey Tatou, Paul Bettany and Jean Reno.
Sequel Angels & Demons was released three years later, and while it was a marginal improvement in terms of quality, takings dropped by over $250 million. Both movies are set to hit Netflix next week on December 1st and though they were trashed by critics and are often counted amongst the actor’s lesser efforts, they still offer the sort of disposable entertainment that subscribers will no doubt lap up given Tom Hanks‘ popularity and how much people seem to love him.