Shazam! Fury of the Gods Reviews Score Is Rotten

The magic word "Shazam" transforms teen Billy Batson (Asher Angel) into an adult superhero (Zachary Levi) in Shazam! Fury of the Gods, but critics have one word for the sequel: "rotten." The first Shazam! 2 reviews that hit the internet Wednesday drew mixed reactions from critics, with 68% of professional critic reviews giving the DC and New Line Cinema sequel a thumbs up —still a "fresh" score on the Tomatometer, but a less thunderous reception than the original. "Certified fresh" with 90% positive reviews from critics, 2019's Shazam! is tied with James Gunn's The Suicide Squad as the second-best rated DCEU movie behind Wonder Woman's 93%. 

But with more reviewers adding their reactions to the review aggregator on Thursday, the Shazam! 2 score currently sits at 57% "rotten" on the Tomatometer at the time of publishing. That marks DC's second splat in a row after October's Black Adam, which starred Dwayne Johnson as Shazam's comic book archenemy, matched 2017's Justice League at 39% rotten.

What Does Rotten Tomatoes Mean in Movies?

According to Rotten Tomatoes, the Tomatometer score represents the percentage of professional critic reviews that are positive for a given movie. A Tomatometer score is calculated for a movie after it receives at least five reviews: when at least 60% of reviews are positive, a red tomato indicates "fresh"; when less than 60% of reviews are positive, a green splat indicates "rotten."

Shazam 2 Rotten Tomatoes Score vs. the DCEU

1. Wonder Woman (2017) – 93% (Certified Fresh)
2. The Suicide Squad (2021) – 90% (Certified Fresh)
3. Shazam! (2019) – 90% (Certified Fresh)
4. Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey (2020) – 78% (Certified Fresh)
5. Zack Snyder's Justice League (2021) – 71% (Fresh)
6. Aquaman (2018) – 65% (Fresh)
7. Wonder Woman 1984 (2020) – 58% (Rotten)
8. Shazam! Fury of the Gods (2023) – 57% (Rotten)
9. Man of Steel (2013) – 57% (Rotten)
10. Black Adam (2022) – 39% (Rotten)
11. Justice League (2017) – 39% (Rotten)
12. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) – 29% (Rotten)
13. Suicide Squad (2016) – 26% (Rotten)

Shazam! Fury of the Gods Reviews

See a sampling of Shazam! Fury of the Gods reviews below. "Shazam! Fury of the Gods isn't the most unique or action-packed comic book movie out there. You certainly won't leave the theater a changed DC fan, but you will leave with a smile on your face. If you can look past the uncertainty of the Shazamily's future, Shazam! Fury of the Gods is a delightful ride and a worthy follow-up to the first film."

The Hollywood Reporter: "Like some children who aren't so cute anymore after they've grown up a little, this follow-up lacks much of the appeal of its predecessor. While the film provides the elaborate action set pieces, colorful villains and save-the-world plot mechanics expected of the comic book movie genre, some of the magic is missing ... the Shazam films are geared to a younger comic book movie audience, but this seems more like Saturday morning cartoon territory." 

IndieWire: "While Shazam! Fury of the Gods doesn't entirely recapture the giddy fun of the first film, its humor, sweetness, and delightfully human heroes remaining bright spots in a genre too often obsessed with the dark and the gritty."

Variety: "The origin story was the charm, but the sequel is hobbled by a less buoyant hero and bland villains ...  [Shazam!] had a breezy screw-loose charm that felt not so much superhuman as good old human. It somehow sidestepped the digitally tooled blockbuster cynicism, but Fury of the Gods falls right into it. The film isn't terrible, but it's busy, formulaic and rather joyless."

The Los Angeles Times: "One whiff of the Shazam! sequel Shazam! Fury of the Gods and you'll find that this overly jokey approach is well past its expiration date. The DC movie is exceedingly grating, labored and annoying, and that's in large part due to star Zachary Levi's utterly confounding performance as Shazam ... It may be a shoddily made Skittles ad masquerading as a superhero riff, but it's Levi's performance that sends it into the stratosphere of cringe. Here's hoping this is not only Shazam's last outing but the nail in the coffin of the smarmy superhero as well."

USA Today: "A fun, kid-friendly follow-up to director David F. Sandberg's 2019 charmer, the Shazam sequel ... piles on the mythos, monsters and magic, a smidge too heavily at times, but stays grounded, thanks to its earnestly goofy main man."

The Daily Beast: "On the basis of Shazam! Fury of the Gods, that [DC Universe] reboot can't come soon enough. A sequel whose goofiness extends not only to its lame humor but its convoluted and senseless plot, David F. Sandberg's film is something like the light-side equal to last fall's Black Adam—fitting, given that the antihero of that Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson vehicle is a classic Shazam villain. Messy and mirthless, it resounds as the death knell for this interconnected cinematic enterprise's current iteration."

Newsday: "Shazam! Fury of the Gods fairly panders to the under-13 set. But Levi still works his chatterbox charm, and the movie maintains an appealingly easy-breezy tone (aside from the occasional impaling)." 

TheWrap: "[2019's] Shazam! still stands out as something special: an emotional, character-driven film with good humor and an actual point to make that never let flashy spectacle get in the way of telling a wonderful, personal story. It would be nice to report that the sequel follows in that tradition. Instead, the best parts of this new movie are drowned out by pointless CGI monsters and tedious action sequences. What worked before still works now, it's just that now it's got a whole lot of bland blockbuster pabulum to compete with."

Starring Zachary Levi, Asher Angel, Jack Dylan Grazer, Adam Brody, Ross Butler, Meagan Good, D.J. Cotrona, Grace Caroline Currey, Faithe Herman, Ian Chen, Jovan Armand, Marta Milans, Cooper Andrews, Djimon Hounsou, Rachel Zegler, Lucy Liu, and Helen Mirren, Shazam! Fury of the Gods is in theaters March 17th.