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Critics slam ‘Shazam!’ sequel as ‘cringe.’ Here’s how the director responded

Despite poor reviews from critics, ‘Shazam’ director David F. Sandberg claims he does not ‘regret’ making the sequel

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Zachary Levi as Shazam and Jack Dylan Grazer as Freddy Freeman in New Line Cinema’s action adventure “Shazam!,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release.

Zachary Levi as Shazam and Jack Dylan Grazer as Freddy Freeman in New Line Cinema’s action adventure “Shazam!,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release. The “Shazam!” sequel has largely received negative reviews from critics.

Steve Wilkie, Provided by Warner Bros. Pictures

Despite DC Comic’s attempt to revamp the studio’s brand, it has yet to impress critics — and “Shazam! Fury of the Gods” is proving to be no different.

Critics are panning the film for its inability to live up to the high bar set by “Shazam!” in 2019. The sequel is being slammed as “uninspired,” “underwhelming” and “cringe.”

Audiences haven’t been as harsh in their reviews of the new superhero film. It currently boasts an 82% positive audience score on Rotten Tomatoes. It earned a 52% on Rotten Tomatoes from critics (“Shazam,” meanwhile, holds a 90% Rotten Tomatoes critics score).

What critics are saying about ‘Shazam! Fury of the Gods’

Below are some key quotes from critics:

  • “Unfortunately, the new sequel proves an adage: Lightning doesn’t strike twice,” panned The Washington Post. “In the absence of novelty, the franchise’s flaws — schlocky dialogue, uninspired CGI, paper-thin baddies — are glaring.”
  • “Let’s Just Pretend ‘Shazam! Fury of the Gods’ Never Happened,” Bilge Ebiri headlined his review for Vulture. “The movie has gone from being a kids’ wish-fulfillment fantasy to just another effects-smothered action flick.”
  • The New York Post slammed the movie, saying, “Just seven months after the world saw ‘Black Adam’ and was fully convinced that the movie was as low as DC Comics could possibly go, here comes ‘Shazam! Fury of the Gods’ — and the limbo stick of awfulness descends further.”
  • “Everything that worked in the original works less well in this so-so sequel, blunting even the star power emitted by its high-profile villains,” film critic Brian Lowry wrote for CNN.
  • “It’s apparent quite early that the narrative fuel mixture of ‘Shazam: Fury of the Gods’ is off,” criticized NPR.

But not all of the critics’ reviews are bad ...

  • In a more upbeat review from Rolling Stone, Chris Vognar said, “Fun, clever, smartly conceived entertainment that doesn’t take itself too seriously. What a concept.”
  • “As it too often happens, the virus of too-muchness has infected the sequel, “Shazam! Fury of the Gods,” which strains way too hard for the magic that once came naturally,” wrote ABC. “Still, it’s far from a total loss.”
  • “This new Shazam film is cordial, with a puppyish good nature and an awareness of its own silliness,” praised The Guardian.

‘Shazam!’ director says he does not ‘regret’ making sequel

Sandberg took to Twitter to defend his superhero film amid the harsh reviews from critics.

“On Rotten Tomatoes I just got my lowest critic score and my highest audience score on the same film,” Sandberg tweeted. “I wasn’t expecting a repeat of the first movie critically but I was still a little surprised because I think it’s a good film. Oh well.”

In a series of follow-up tweets, Sandberg continued, “After six years of Shazam I’m definitely done with superheroes for now.

“Just to be clear, I don’t regret even for a second making the Shazam movies,” Sandberg added. “I’ve learned so much and gotten to work with some truly amazing people. Will forever be grateful that I got to direct two of these! They’ve been very challenging but valuable experiences.”

What is ‘Shazam! Fury of the Gods’ rated?

“Shazam! Fury of the Gods” is rated PG-13 for sequences of action, violence and language, per IMDB.

There are a few gory deaths such as people getting crushed, falling to death and one person gets impaled.

There is moderate use of adult language throughout.

When did ‘Shazam! 2’ come out?

“Shazam! Fury of the Gods” hit theaters on March 17.