After Justice League underperformed at the box office while falling flat with the critics, the DCEU is in need of a win right now, and while Aquaman isn’t quite getting those Wonder Woman-level reviews, we can already feel confident in calling James Wan’s underwater epic the second-most acclaimed film of this whole divisive superhero saga.
The movie’s review embargo was finally lifted today, and so far, Arthur Curry’s solo debut is boasting the pretty respectable score of 78% based on the opinions of 46 critics. To put this into perspective, Wonder Woman currently sits at 93%, but otherwise, Aquaman is comfortably beating its DCEU competition, with the next-highest scorers being Man of Steel at 56%, followed by Justice League at 40%, while Suicide Squad and Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice sit at joint-last with 27%.
Meanwhile, to put this reception into a 2019 superhero movie context, though Deadpool 2, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, and all three of this year’s MCU entries are currently holding better scores that Aquaman’s 78%, the Jason Momoa-led flick is at least doing a whole lot better than Venom, which now sits at 28%.
In short, though Aquaman probably won’t go down as one of the most acclaimed superhero movies of recent years, it’s clear that things could’ve been a whole lot worse, and if Venom can achieve record-breaking and sequel-worthy box office figures, there’s no reason to think that the DCEU’s next entry can’t put the franchise commercially back on track.
As a matter of fact, the film is already off to a phenomenal start in China, and if this success is any sign of things to come, then audiences could respond to Aquaman at least as well as critics when the film hits North American theaters on December 21st.