Shazam! has its work cut out for it when it opens in a few weeks. DC’s post-Aquaman film is kicking off a month that includes a new Hellboy movie, Avengers: Endgame, and the “other” Captain Marvel movie that’s still going to be hanging around at the box office. Fortunately, the early reviews for Shazam! have been glowing; and that might allow the original Captain Marvel to soar.
Forbes called it “electrifying” and said “Shazam! has endless heart and soul, with a pitch-perfect cast who earn our love and support early on, and a childlike sense of awe and wonder that feel like 1980s-era Steven Spielberg filmmaking. Indeed, I walked out of Shazam! thinking this is what we would have gotten if Spielberg had made a superhero movie during the 1980s.”
Variety was equally effusive with praise, especially for leading man, Zachary Levi. “In Shazam!, Zachary Levi brings off something so winning it’s irresistible. He plays a square-jawed, rippling-muscled man of might, with a cheesy Day-Glo lighting bolt affixed to his chest, who projects an insanely wholesome and old-fashioned idea of what a superhero can be. But he’s also playing a breathless teenage kid on the inside, and the result of this body-morph balancing act is that the character, Shazam, is at once boyish and manly, wide-eyed and wizardly, ridiculously corny and heroically hip.”
Gamespot‘s review said the film was the “best DC movie yet.” It also said that “Shazam! is the first DC movie that seems genuinely confident in its world and tone, with no major missteps of which to speak. It’s fun, heartfelt, funny, genuine, and surprising, while staying true to its origins and embracing what makes it great. It makes no attempts to be something other than what it is–a goofy, fun superhero coming-of-age story–and as a result it’s a movie anyone can enjoy. Hopefully this is a sign of things to come in the DC extended universe.”
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ComicBook‘s reviewer was particularly impressed by the family dynamic in the film. “The dynamic between Angel’s Billy Batson and Glazer’s Freddy Freeman injects enough heart and ‘teen brother’ dynamic to offer the film its entire supply. However, the heavy and unexpected story of Billy’s orphaning paired with a touching tale of these children finding a family together adds to the narrative’s emotional payoff tremendously.”
Our sister site, ComingSoon, says “it’s a family film through and through, but it still has enough bite and an edge to it that it isn’t overly sentimental. When the emotions hit, they count, and they don’t feel overly manipulative or crass. Add to that a very funny script and across-the-board committed performances from the adults and the kids alike, and you have a winning DC film that proves that these movies should be entertaining and fun, not dour and overly serious.”
IndieWire added that “Shazam! is such an unexpected joy from start to finish — at a time when Hollywood is choking to death on all the superhero films that studios keep ramming down its throat, here comes one that looks at the genre in a different light and re-conceives it on a human level. It doesn’t break the mold so much as it plays with how flexible the mold can be. Warm, witty, and bursting at the seams with great characters, Shazam! is easily one of the most fun superhero movies ever made; even after the euphoric Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, that’s still a low bar to clear, but it’s worth celebrating all the same.”
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Currently, Shazam! is sitting on 97% Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Negative reviews are few and far between, at least so far. This is all very good news for the film’s success at the box office. However, the early projections have Shazam! coming in at around $45 million during its opening weekend. Strong word of mouth can potentially carry it higher. But we’ll have to wait until April 5 to see how it actually performs in theaters.
What do you think about the first Shazam! Reviews? Do you believe the film will outperform its box office projections? Let us know in the comment section below!