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angels & demons
Image via Sony

A blockbuster sequel mildly more interesting than its turgid predecessor but $270 million less successful thwarts an uprising on streaming

Just wait until you find out how dull the threequel is.

You could make the argument that it’s better for a successful franchise to be actively bad as opposed to relentlessly tedious for the sole purpose that the former does at least possess the potential for unintentional hilarity, with Angels & Demons stating the case against the latter for the second time in a row.

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Even though Ron Howard’s adaptation of the bestselling novel was trashed by critics to the tune of a 25 percent Rotten Tomatoes score, the book’s place at the forefront of the cultural zeitgeist ensured The Da Vinci Code rocketed to a maddening $758 million at the box office. Just like that, a new saga was born, and yet it never managed to elevate itself above unabashed mediocrity.

angels & demons
Image via Sony

Angels & Demons did at least fare marginally better by securing a still-tepid 37 percent approval rating, but ticket sales plummeted by around $270 million. Worse was still to come, though, with trilogy-capper Inferno securing the worst reviews and lowest gross of the three, with The Da Vinci Code comfortably out-earning its two predecessors combined.

Watching Tom Hanks soaring around Europe solving mysteries sounds engaging enough on paper, but in practice it was anything but. Second time around, the two-time Academy Award winner’s Robert Langdon is drawn into a conspiracy involving the Illuminati, the Vatican, and ritualistic murders, all ingredients that sound enticing on their lonesome.

Throw them all together with Ron Howard at the helm, and it was flat-out boring. Then again, Angels & Demons surging on the Rakuten ranks (per FlixPatrol) underlines that there’s still an audience out there, for reasons we’re not sure how to explain.

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Scott Campbell
News, reviews, interviews. To paraphrase Keanu Reeves; Words. Lots of words.