First ‘Shazam!’ Reactions Tease a Fun, Vibrant Superhero Movie with a Family-Centric Twist

     March 7, 2019

The first social media reactions to Warner Bros.’ Shazam! have officially hit the internet like a lightning bolt. It’s been an intriguing lead-up to the film ever since first footage appeared; even more than the endless optimism of Wonder Woman and boundless yah-brah enthusiasm of Aquaman, Shazam! marks a sharp left turn away from the pre-Justice League dourness into the lighter side of the DCEU. This hinges on star Zachary Levi, playing the aged-up alter-ego of the fourteen-year-old Billy Batson (Asher Angel) who is granted mystical powers by an ancient Wizard (Djimon Hounsou).

Directed by David F. Sandberg (Annabelle: Creation) from a script by Henry Gayden (Earth to Echo), Shazam! also stars Jack Dylan Grazer, Mark Strong, Michelle Borth, and Ross Butler.

The first reactions are pretty overwhelmingly positive. The word “fun” comes up a lot, and while most single out the humor, quite a few critics also describe this as a family (or at least family-centric) film, which is certainly a first for the DCEU. It appears that’s where the emotional center of the movie is, with comparisons made not only to Big, but Home Alone as well. Seeing as how most superhero movies—which are admittedly aimed at younger audiences—are about adults, the focus on actual kids here could be a game-changer.

While the praise in some reactions is qualified by a few nitpicks regarding the villain plot and going a bit over-the-top with the humor, others are already saying Shazam! is their favorite DC film thus far. It’ll be interesting to see how general audiences respond in a month’s time.

Full reviews of Shazam! won’t be available for a bit longer, but you can check out the first, immediate reactions below. The film hits theaters on April 5.

Here’s the synopsis for Shazam!

We all have a superhero inside us, it just takes a bit of magic to bring it out. In Billy Batson’s (Angel) case, by shouting out one word—SHAZAM!—this streetwise 14-year-old foster kid can turn into the adult Super Hero Shazam (Levi), courtesy of an ancient wizard. Still a kid at heart—inside a ripped, godlike body—Shazam revels in this adult version of himself by doing what any teen would do with superpowers: have fun with them! Can he fly? Does he have X-ray vision? Can he shoot lightning out of his hands? Can he skip his social studies test? Shazam sets out to test the limits of his abilities with the joyful recklessness of a child. But he’ll need to master these powers quickly in order to fight the deadly forces of evil controlled by Dr. Thaddeus Sivana (Strong).

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