The first reactions to Shazam! are in. This movie is following in the wake of Aquaman, which went on to become the highest-grossing DC movie ever at the box office and won over moviegoers worldwide, even if it still didn't totally crack the code totally with critics. That has put perhaps some undue pressure on this latest DC adaptation. But it doesn't seem to matter as there is nothing but praise for director David F. Sandberg's movie thus far. Ash Crossan of Entertainment Tonight goes so far as to call it near perfect.
"#Shazam was damn near perfect in my book. My favorite DC movie (DCEU? What are we saying now?) by far. Pure of heart, incredibly funny, full of in-jokes and references. Brought me a childlike joy to watch. This role was made for Zachary Levi... & Jack & Asher & the entire cast."
After Justice League was released in 2017 and served as yet another disappointment, which was only amplified given how good Wonder Woman turned out, Warner Bros. did some shuffling around with DC Films and whatever they're doing seems to be working. In this case, they're drawing lots of comparisons to Tom Hanks' Big and the key seems to be balancing the humor, heart and action without going too heavy on any of it. Perri Nemiroff of Collider had this to say.
"#Shazam is an absolute delight! Super vibrant, tons of heart & a great fun-loving vibe. The family element is a big charmer & so is the humor that comes with watching Zachary Levi explore his new powers. Said this after IT but it's worth repeating, Jack Dylan-Grazer is a star."
Shazam sees a young boy by the name of Billy Batson imbued with powers by a mysterious wizard that allows him to transform into a superhero on par, power wise, with Superman. On paper, that doesn't seem like the kind of thing that a guy known for movies like Lights Out and Annabelle: Creation as David F. Sandberg is would crush, but he did indeed crush it by all accounts. And, surprisingly, his horror skillset came in handy. Here's what Nerdist's Dan Casey had to say.
"#Shazam was shockingly good! Reminds of me of when kids' movies were legitimately scary (in a good way). An absolute blast from start to finish, full of heart and hilarity. My face hurt from smiling so much. Amazing deep cut DC references in there too."
It certainly bodes well that the studio felt comfortable lifting the social media embargo this early. Indeed, it seems like DC has turned a corner and it's time for the world at large to start getting excited about these movies in a big way. Warner Bros. unleashes Shazam in theaters on April 5. We've included a collection of initial reactions to the movie below.
#Shazam is an absolute delight! Super vibrant, tons of heart & a great fun-loving vibe. The family element is a big charmer & so is the humor that comes with watching @ZacharyLevi explore his new powers. Said this after IT but it's worth repeating - @Jgrazerofficial is a star.— Perri Nemiroff (@PNemiroff) March 8, 2019
#Shazam was damn near PERFECT in my book. My FAVORITE DC movie (DCEU? What are we saying now?) by far. Pure of heart, incredibly funny, full of in-jokes and references. Brought me a childlike joy to watch. This role was MADE for @ZacharyLevi... & Jack & Asher & the entire cast pic.twitter.com/rVrxjcwvCe— Ash Crossan (@AshCrossan) March 8, 2019
#Shazam was shockingly good! Reminds of me of when kids’ movies were legitimately scary (in a good way). An absolute blast from start to finish, full of heart and hilarity. My face hurt from smiling so much. Amazing deep cut DC references in there too. pic.twitter.com/ZXJOI5lcsM— Dan Casey (@DanCasey) March 8, 2019
I've seen #Shazam. I LOVED Shazam. It's an absolute blast, very much carried by a strong cast of kid actors and an awesome performance from @ZacharyLevi. There's so much heart and humor in this film -- not to mention a positive message and great twists. It's a needed burst of joy— Terri Schwartz (@Terri_Schwartz) March 8, 2019
There are so many hilarious and absolutely clever moments in #Shazam that I lost track. There's no other superhero movie like this in existence. You never feel been-there-done-that with this one, even if some of it falls into the realm of stereotypical character tropes. @joblocom— Paul Shirey (@arcticninjapaul) March 8, 2019
Finally allowed to say that #Shazam was fantastic! Full of heart and pure childhood wish fulfillment. It's funny and the tone is exactly right. @zacharylevi is perfect in the role, and so is @asherangel, who I'm convinced is @maisie_williams' brother! pic.twitter.com/DXhp2ZBteR— Jenna Busch (@JennaBusch) March 8, 2019
#Shazam is parts Home Alone, parts Big, a crowd pleasing family-friendly joy-filled wish-fulfillment superhero film which gets a bit over the top and cheesy at times. It’s fun and funny, and I was surprised at how much it wears it’s heart on its sleeve.— Peter Sciretta (@slashfilm) March 8, 2019
Zachary Levi was born to play #Shazam He delivers lots of laughs alongside co-star Jack Dylan Grazer. The film packs some big surprises for comics buffs and offers enough mainstream appeal to win over new fans. Shazam’s strengths definitely outweigh its weaknesses. pic.twitter.com/kfFMW01jfO— Jim Vejvoda (@JimVejvoda) March 8, 2019
#Shazam sometimes feels like if Joe Dante or Robert Zemeckis made a superhero movie in 1985. It's a family movie, but the villain and the magical stuff is just scary enough to give it that edge, and it never swings too far in either direction.— Mike Cecchini (@wayoutstuff) March 8, 2019
#Shazam is big, goofy, lovable, and unlike anything DC has done before. Definitely in the vein of Tom Hanks' BIG, but with superhero action & lots of Batman and Superman references. I dug this film so much I wanted to give it a bear hug at the end. DC's movies keep getting better pic.twitter.com/WQJgo61gMg— Erik Davis (@ErikDavis) March 8, 2019
#Shazam was very very good. Sweet, funny, inclusive, charming. It encapsulates the wish fulfillment and wonder of superhero comics in a way that will appeal to kids whilst being filled with non stop surprises for big comic book fans too. I loved it. ⚡️❤️ pic.twitter.com/X4I9updTFV— Rosie Knight (@RosieMarx) March 8, 2019
loved #Shazam. It's super fun, very funny (a few times people were laughing so loud I missed dialogue), and exactly what they set out to make: 'Big' meets Superman. @ZacharyLevi is perfectly cast but the real surprise is @Jgrazerofficial as Freddy Freeman. Steals the show. pic.twitter.com/ssvs8Dwc2P— Steven Weintraub (@colliderfrosty) March 8, 2019
#Shazam is such a brilliant movie. It’s so tremendously fun, and incredibly scary at some points (thanks, David F. Sandberg!). It blows away every expectation and is my new favorite DC movie. pic.twitter.com/DlpymCukTP— Brandon Davis (@BrandonDavisBD) March 8, 2019
I absolutely loved #Shazam! It's my favorite DC film yet. Zachary Levi as Shazam was perfect casting and the kids absolutely steal the show. It's an amazing family movie with dope fight scenes and great humor! You guys are going to love it. pic.twitter.com/pZd5oORVA3— Dorian Parks (@DorianParksnRec) March 8, 2019