Critics Consensus

Candyman Is Certified Fresh

Plus, Vacation Friends unites an odd couple of odd couples and He's All That switches up a cult favorite '90s rom-com.

by | August 26, 2021 | Comments

This weekend at the movies, we’ve got a sequel to an iconic horror film (Candyman, starring Yahya Abdul-Mateen II and Teyonah Parris), an odd couple of odd couples (Vacation Friends, starring John Cena and Lil Rel Howery), and a rom-com remake (He’s All That, starring Addison Rae and Tanner Buchanan). What are the critics saying?


Candyman (2021)

85%

Horror connoisseurs of a certain age will remember the visceral terror of their first encounter with Candyman in the 1992 film of the same name. Equal parts gruesome, tragic, and chilling, that film recounted the story of a restless, hook-handed spirit born of anguish who stalked the famous Cabrini-Green housing projects in Chicago and punished anyone foolish enough to utter his name five times in front of a mirror. Almost 30 years later, 2021’s Candyman picks up the pieces, as struggling artist Anthony McCoy (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) and his girlfriend Brianna (Teyonah Parris) move into a swanky loft in the now-gentrified neighborhood where Cabrini-Green once stood. When Anthony learns of the dark history that surrounds him, he dives deep into the past and unearths something he never intended to set free. Critics say director Nia DaCosta’s fresh update on the urban legend ambitiously tackles some heady themes even as it strives for jump-out-of-your-seat thrills, and while it doesn’t always mange the perfect balance of the two, it offers plenty of food for thought and expands the original’s mythology in satisfyingly chilling ways.


Vacation Friends (2021)

59%

Just three weeks after John Cena squared off against a giant alien starfish in The Suicide Squad and just two weeks after Lil Rel Howery went digital in Free Guy, the pair are back on screen — albeit the small screen — for more hijinks, this time together in Vacation Friends. Howery and Yvonne Orji play Marcus and Emily, a relatively grounded soon-to-be-married couple who decide to let loose on vacation in Mexico when they run into hard-partying Ron and Kyla (Cena and Meredith Hagner). Months later, Ron and Kyla show up — uninvited — to Marcus and Emily’s wedding, bringing chaos and destruction with them. This Hulu comedy wasn’t screened early for critics, so almost no reviews are available, but if you’re in the market for a raunchy, over-the-top comedy, that’s what you’ll get here. We just aren’t able to advise whether or not you’re likely to enjoy it.


He's All That (2021)

30%

The 1999 romantic comedy She’s All That, a teen version of George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion, centered on a popular high schooler (Freddie Prinze Jr.) who takes a bet that he can transform a nerdy classmate (Rachael Leigh Cook) into the prom queen. It wasn’t particularly well-received by critics, but it has enjoyed something of a cult following since its release, and this week, that reputation culminates in an updated, gender-swapped take on the story. This time around, the popular kid is social media influencer Padgett (Addison Rae), whose very public break-up goes viral and compels her to take on the challenge of transforming her outcast classmate Cameron (Tanner Buchanan) into the prom king. It’s pretty straightfoward stuff, and it even includes a nod to the original (Cook is cast as Padgett’s mother), but Netflix didn’t deem it necessary to show the film to any critics before it streams on Friday, so you’ll just have to wait and see if He’s All That measures up to its predecessor.


Thumbnail image by ©Universal Pictures

On an Apple device? Follow Rotten Tomatoes on Apple News.

Tag Cloud

Nominations directors book adaptation Musicals Disney+ Disney Plus Endgame NBA Marvel Television The Witch Stephen King Lionsgate cooking justice league Awards Best Picture ITV women Rom-Com crime thriller films all-time Amazon witnail Extras Walt Disney Pictures 2015 summer TV preview satire feel good Comedy DC streaming service Oscars Sneak Peek Film WarnerMedia 94th Oscars zombies El Rey Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt zombie rotten documentaries reboot indiana jones animated Song of Ice and Fire Exclusive Video NYCC 20th Century Fox free movies transformers Ellie Kemper docuseries james bond suspense rt labs new zealand Hear Us Out 21st Century Fox Academy Awards Dark Horse Comics Esquire vs. AMC USA Network laika sequels Western psycho cults crime ID Fox News Hulu classics political drama FX war DC Universe politics Comics on TV hidden camera Summer rt labs critics edition Rocky TruTV IFC TV Land twilight mcc adenture nbcuniversal GoT BBC One green book scene in color harry potter cancelled TV series The Academy spinoff Freeform Nat Geo space Pirates comics Grammys asian-american stand-up comedy Best Director cinemax Spring TV A&E australia GLAAD broadcast TV movies rt archives richard e. Grant royal family Logo stoner Tomatazos Podcast Trophy Talk Sci-Fi IMDb TV The Walt Disney Company jamie lee curtis HBO Max SDCC biopic toronto HBO dc Ghostbusters teaser obituary sag awards MTV video on demand target halloween 73rd Emmy Awards diversity 2018 singing competition 2021 Universal Pictures Acorn TV Reality Competition DGA romance unscripted summer preview Schedule serial killer CBS spanish language Writers Guild of America Superheroes Emmys Epix hispanic President Interview Super Bowl PaleyFest Tubi true crime Teen 45 zero dark thirty Fargo Spectrum Originals First Reviews Hollywood Foreign Press Association science fiction TCM Syfy reviews genre Focus Features Tumblr sequel 2019 prank cartoon crossover Sundance Now strong female leads 99% VOD godzilla Superheroe elevated horror 1990s Shudder book vampires Certified Fresh TBS best 71st Emmy Awards E! kaiju cancelled See It Skip It Kids & Family TIFF king arthur gangster versus blockbusters mob football Premiere Dates HBO Go Heroines travel trailers Trivia Countdown talk show Sundance Crackle action-comedy Mudbound Television Critics Association period drama San Diego Comic-Con remakes video Netflix supernatural Disney Channel facebook spider-verse discovery Opinion universal monsters History aliens comedies Amazon Prime Pop Wes Anderson RT21 Winter TV 2017 TNT anthology Star Wars TCA Winter 2020 Nickelodeon sopranos crime drama fast and furious child's play Disney streaming service posters television japan canceled TV shows documentary fresh leaderboard Britbox christmas movies 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards Cartoon Network MCU scary slasher critics X-Men dogs Drama name the review Lucasfilm golden globes disaster spy thriller cars doctor who YouTube Red black comedy Watching Series Paramount Network Warner Bros. boxoffice mutant monster movies YouTube Premium rotten movies we love heist movie art house south america award winner ghosts New York Comic Con blockbuster The Walking Dead CW Seed 4/20 aapi Box Office miniseries TLC DirecTV Winners Avengers live event composers VICE romantic comedy 72 Emmy Awards Mary Poppins Returns theme song Apple TV Plus Anna Paquin dexter Legendary Creative Arts Emmys OneApp Sundance TV Trailer Spike YouTube Travel Channel First Look BBC America Image Comics sitcom Comic-Con@Home 2021 nfl LGBTQ Lifetime Christmas movies Film Festival scorecard APB french E3 criterion WGN Universal basketball police drama SXSW 2022 italian Pacific Islander Hallmark Christmas movies werewolf 93rd Oscars kids CBS All Access Pride Month Video Games Red Carpet Paramount Pictures based on movie adventure king kong cancelled TV shows razzies cancelled television Comic Book Bravo Amazon Studios Black Mirror 90s Holidays Discovery Channel Pop TV dramedy spain CMT dark obi wan cats joker Classic Film ESPN NBC thriller emmy awards deadpool Lifetime Columbia Pictures golden globe awards concert comic books parents breaking bad binge comic book movie Baby Yoda historical drama Cannes HFPA Netflix Christmas movies cops MSNBC movies Emmy Nominations Action rom-coms indie BET Awards independent TV sports robots hollywood Tags: Comedy Fantasy TCA comiccon DC Comics Calendar dreamworks streaming Disney 79th Golden Globes Awards Country scary movies Prime Video dceu Television Academy legend marvel comics medical drama Family Valentine's Day SundanceTV Instagram Live Polls and Games spider-man what to watch trophy Marvel Studios Tarantino a nightmare on elm street casting Ovation The Purge Best and Worst IFC Films game of thrones ABC BBC Mindy Kaling Tokyo Olympics Arrowverse FX on Hulu festival anime debate venice Thanksgiving superhero slashers ABC Signature VH1 lord of the rings Marvel halloween tv telelvision South by Southwest Film Festival Amazon Prime Video Year in Review franchise hispanic heritage month spanish Mystery tv talk die hard Sony Pictures superman Turner olympics comic National Geographic Toys foreign technology PlayStation canceled TCA Awards Neflix hist mission: impossible new star wars movies Mary poppins pirates of the caribbean Set visit 007 Captain marvel chucky movie kong Comedy Central Black History Month Horror BAFTA revenge worst Best Actress Chilling Adventures of Sabrina screen actors guild streaming movies The CW Musical 24 frames festivals Crunchyroll ViacomCBS jurassic park quibi Fox Searchlight biography AMC Plus Shondaland FXX dragons Biopics OWN A24 japanese live action Starz Pixar Funimation Mary Tyler Moore CNN Animation Alien Holiday young adult Election Reality Women's History Month Hallmark TV One series adaptation game show worst movies GIFs PBS Pet Sematary natural history MGM Binge Guide Best Actor SXSW social media high school know your critic stop motion docudrama 2016 Cosplay batman Rock news marvel cinematic universe wonder woman Apple TV+ Masterpiece Marathons renewed TV shows summer TV popular Martial Arts Fall TV saw Elton John screenings nature Paramount Plus Photos Paramount toy story ratings Rocketman critic resources Music FOX TCA 2017 LGBT Christmas RT History Turner Classic Movies black Character Guide international new york children's TV blaxploitation Peacock Oscar boxing Awards Tour The Arrangement YA Showtime latino Infographic Disney Plus psychological thriller comic book movies streamig archives American Society of Cinematographers USA mockumentary TV renewals 2020 ABC Family Apple Brie Larson Broadway Star Trek Quiz BET finale Food Network Vudu Adult Swim Chernobyl