While Marvel Studios’ Captain Marvel is raking in at the box office, the other Captain Marvel from Warner Bros., now known as Shazam!, is starting to get a lot of positive feedback from early reviews. Fans, press, and insiders who have been to an early screening of the new DC Extended Universe movie are praising it on Twitter, calling it an absolute delight and wholesome entertainment for the entire family.
Shazam! has had an uphill battle, given that it’s a property not a lot of casual audiences are aware of. The character possesses the same scale of powers as the iconic Superman, but is not as well known. While DC and Warner Bros. focused much of their time on creating a shared universe with their first iteration of the DCEU, it seems that they have pivoted entirely to creating good content using their solo superhero properties, with less of a concern of a connected universe. The final nail in the coffin to the former approach may have been the dismal box office and critical reception to Justice League.
The first signs of abandoning the idea of a shared universe appeared in the hugely successful Aquaman, which only featured one throwaway line of dialogue referencing the character’s previous appearance in Justice League. Other than that, Aquaman was a largely contained story that was allowed to live in its own world without any attempt to connect to a larger story involving other properties.
#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
This approach seems to be working with their next release in Shazam!, which also doesn’t seem to rely too heavily on its inhabiting the same universe as the previous DCEU films. Glimpses from trailers definitely show that the Shazam! story is very much set in that world, with newspaper clippings of events from the previous films, merchandise featuring Superman and Batman, but not a lot of explicit tie-ins beyond that.
Shazam! has constantly been likened to the hit Tom Hanks movie, Big, but a superhero version of it, and audience consensus seems to agree wholeheartedly on social media.
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
While first screenings are always for members of the press who have a built-in appreciation and affinity for the movie going into it, the second and subsequent round of press screenings should provide a clearer picture about the quality of the movie. A similar approach was employed with Aquaman, where only the press members who were already excited, and had shown a trend of favoring that genre and type of films, were invited first. The invitations become less targeted as the film’s release date neared. Seemingly the same strategy may be employed for Shazam!, seeing how the release of the film is less than one month away.
#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
#Shazam is as liberated a comic book movie for DC as Deadpool was for Fox-Marvel;, not in the latter’s profanely meta way but in a similarly hilarious, lovable, and oddly sweet manner. It makes you understand why Shazam the character has endured for eight decades. pic.twitter.com/zgsfmagVML— Jim Vejvoda (@JimVejvoda) March 8, 2019
Shazam! stars Zachary Levi as the superhero iteration of young Billy Batson, played by Asher Angel. The story tells of a young boy (Angel) chosen to wield the magical powers of a Wizard (Djimon Hounsou) by uttering a magic word that will transform him into a fully grown superhero (Levi).
Shazam! releases on April 5.
The #Shazam score by Benjamin Wallfisch harkens back to a John Williams Superman type hero score, which is fitting given the material. It plays well throughout, especially the ending, which is sure to bring audiences back again and again for…reasons. @ShazamMovie @joblocom— Paul Shirey (@arcticninjapaul) March 8, 2019