Director David F. Sandberg’s Shazam!, the latest entry into Warner Bros.’ DCEU film franchise, is officially Certified Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes. In the time since Zack Snyder was let go from his position as creative leader of the DCEU, the filmmaker has continued to reveal more and more about what his original plans for the franchise involved. While many fans still daydream about what might’ve been had Snyder been allowed to realize his DCEU vision, for better or worse, Snyder’s often gloomy tone seems gone from the onscreen DC world for good.
Last year’s Aquaman movie directed by James Wan served to inject a new playful, fun-loving spirit into the DCEU that audiences took to like fish to Arthur Curry. Sure, some argued that this new tone and style made the DCEU too similar to the MCU, but over $1 billion in box office receipts later, Wan’s approach seems to have worked triumphantly. While it’s going to be a long four-year wait for Aquaman 2, there was never really a question it was coming, at least once those grosses started rolling in.
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This injection of playful humor into the DCEU by all accounts majorly continues with Shazam!, set to hit theaters next weekend. Of course, if any DCEU premise calls for hilarity, it’s the one where teenage boy Billy Batson (Asher Angel) becomes a full-grown superhero (Zachary Levi) simply by saying the name of the wizard Shazam. Yet again though, this added humor seems to be working, judging by the fact that Shazam! was just Certified Fresh by Rotten Tomatoes, with an impressive 93% score.
For those unaware, there are specific requirements that must be met to earn the coveted Certified Fresh seal. For one, a film must maintain a Tomatometer score of 75% or higher. Additionally, a film must have at least five reviews by “Top Critics,” and at least 80 reviews counted total for a wide-release title like Shazam! Movies in limited release only require 40 reviews counted to be Certified Fresh.
As a testament to the DCEU’s negative track record when it comes to critical sentiment, Shazam! now stands as only the second entry in the franchise to be Certified Fresh, following 2017’s Wonder Woman. Aquaman was briefly Certified Fresh, but later had that designation removed after more negative reviews came in, leading the seafaring superhero adventure to end up below the 75% threshold. Aquaman was never at any point above 90% on the Tomatometer though, so it seems highly unlikely that Shazam! will suffer the same de-certified fate. Unfortunately, Shazam!’s opening weekend box office grosses might not measure up to its critical approval.
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Source: Rotten Tomatoes