Review Round-up: Shazam Sizzles
We already knew that the early reactions to Shazam were electric. With the film is coming out tomorrow, full-length reviews are out and they sizzle with enthusiasm. The critics have some very good things to say about David F. Sandberg’s film about a kid who becomes a superhero. One of the recurring themes in the reviews is how Shazam! manages to be a blast and a great family film.
Shazam! centers on teenager foster kid Billy Batson’s (Asher Angel) transformation into an adult superhero. This happens after he meets a mysterious wizard (Djimon Hounsou) who tells him all he needs to do is shout one word—SHAZAM!—to turn into the titular caped superhero (Zachary Levi). Folks of a certain age, just imagine Penny Marshall’s Big—only the Tom Hanks character has superpowers. It’s a great conceit, taken from a comic that has been around for seven decades. In fact in Shazam!, there is a nod to that iconic 1980s body-swapping comedy.
Let’s take a brief tour of what the critics’ are saying:
Mara Reinstein of Us Weekly: “Shazam! is also that rare popcorn flick that delivers laughs and a meaningful family-friendly message about working together. And it’s not just shoe-horned into the story so the stars can have wide-ranging talking points during the promotional tour.”
David Sims of The Atlantic: “The new superhero movie is a rollicking, character-driven adventure that seems like it’s actually geared toward families.”
Sam Adams of Slate: “Although it’s technically about saving the world (again), Shazam! plays out at eye level, grounded by the belief that who people love and where they feel they belong is stakes enough.”
Lindsay Bahr of the Associated Press: “Shazam! is just a lightning bolt of unexpected joy that is certainly worth your time and money.”
Frank Scheck of The Hollywood Reporter: “Based on a relatively little-known comic book character, that proves so determinedly ebullient you begin to think they’re pumping laughing gas into the auditorium. The most kid-friendly DC movie so far, Shazam! is thoroughly entertaining.”
Shazam! hits theaters on April 5, 2019.
Featured image: Caption: (L-r) JACK DYLAN GRAZER as Freddy Freeman and ZACHARY LEVI as Shazam in New Line Cinema’s action adventure “SHAZAM!,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release. Photo Credit: Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures