Following those overwhelmingly positive first reactions, the good news keeps on coming for Shazam! as it’s been revealed that the DC Comics adaptation has landed a day and date release in China…
Around the same time last year, Ready Player One debuted in the Middle Kingdom and as its release coincided with the holiday known as the Qingming Festival/Tomb Sweeping Day, it received a boost at the box office that Shazam! should also get. While Shazam is an unknown quantity in China, Zachary Levi has a fanbase there so Warner Bros. isn’t concerned.
A new IMAX poster has also been released which shows Shazam striking a familiar pose as he chugs down a Cola and holds on to some popcorn.
With those overwhelmingly positive early reactions, common sense says Shazam! will be a hit and that’s going to keep the positive momentum going for the studio after Aquaman exceeded expectations and made over $1 billion worldwide.
Are you excited for the movie? Weigh in with your thoughts in the comments section.
Click on the “View List” button for a recap of
what we learned from those early reactions!
It’s A Horror Movie Too
Like James Wan before him, Shazam! director David F. Sandberg made a name for himself in the world of horror so it’s no great surprise that he’s bringing elements of that to this movie. While no specifics are provided, it’s said that it’s “legitimately” and “incredibly” scary “in the ways we wanted Venom to be.”
This is more than likely a reference to the Seven Deadly Sins, the monstrous villains
Dr. Sivana will enlist to try and steal Shazam’s powers. With any luck, these horror elements will be teased in future TV spots or trailers as there’s no sign of them as of yet.
Zachary Levi Is The Perfect Shazam
The prevailing opinion among critics is that Zachary Levi steals the show as Shazam and that has to feel like vindication for the actor after he was wasted by Marvel Studios across two Thor movies.
It sounds like the actor is having a lot of fun here and some have even said that this is “the role Zachary Levi was born to play.” That’s high praise indeed and it’s good to know that the former Chuck star nails it, especially as some fans have taken aim at him for being too goofy or not bulked up enough.
Another Win For The DCEU
While Aquaman wasn’t quite everyone’s cup of tea, it was still a box office success and received mostly positive reviews (moviegoers, meanwhile, seemed to love it). Now, it sounds like Shazam! is another win for the studio and while we don’t know whether that will be the case in terms of box office earnings, positive reviews will obviously go a long way in helping with that.
Critics have been hard on theDCEU in the past so it’s a genuine surprise to see so many of them heaping this much praise on the movie and declaring it a win that will keep this shared world’s momentum going after Aquaman, as noted, ended up being such a huge hit.
Brace Yourselves For Batman And Superman (References)
It goes without saying that the critics haven’t dropped any spoilers but it sounds like Shazam! is full of references to the wider DC Universe. Apparently, Batman and Superman are talked about an awful lot (which is no great surprise after watching the trailers) but one critic notes that there are some “Amazing deep cut DC references in there too.”
Considering the fact that this is the first DC movie to address magic in a meaningful way, we can more than likely expect at least some nods to the world of the Justice League Dark.
There’s A Post-Credits Scene
As of right now, it’s unclear whether or not there are one or two post-credits scenes but one critic points out that we should “Stay all the way to the end credits” which really isn’t a surprise given how popular they are among superhero movies these days.
Still, it’s hard not to wonder what this scene (or scenes) might include. Will Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson make an appearance as Black Adam or could that long rumoured Superman cameo finally become a reality? If it’s the latter, there’s a very good chance his face won’t be seen given what’s happening with Henry Cavill but his status as the Man of Steel could be cleared up next month.
Jack Dylan Graze Steals The Show
You’ll no doubt remember Jack Dylan Graze from IT but it sounds like the youngster’s performance is even more impressive here.
“The scene stealer of Shazam is Jack Dylan Grazer who is perfect as Freddy,” claims one critic. “Smart, hilarious, vulnerable & with plenty of attitude, he’s the second half of the heart of the film.” Asher Angel (who plays Billy Batson) gets some mentions too but it seems as if Freddy Freeman could end up being the breakout character during the course of this adventure.
Ultimately, though, it sounds like Levi is the real scene stealer from start to finish.
It’s no great surprise that Shazam! is a comedic movie because that’s exactly what the trailers have promoted it as. However, what’s definitely a relief to learn is that it’s actually funny!
Described as a “laugh-out-loud funny romp,” one critic even claimed that the audience was laughing so loudly, they missed some of the dialogue! If Shazam! ends up being a crowd pleaser, that’s going to help its chances of box office success, especially when Avengers: Endgame follows so soon after.
Comparisons To Christopher Reeve’s Superman
The DC Universe has had a pretty hard time of it on the big screen and in recent years, it’s become clear that moviegoers don’t want dark and violent superhero movies.
Shazam!, however, clearly moves away from that as it’s been called the “most joyful [and] sweet movie since the era of Christopher Reeve’s Superman,” while it seems as if Sandberg has been heavily influenced by those movies because Benjamin Wallfisch’s score is being compared to what John Williams did for the Man of Steel with that still iconic theme tune.
Comparisons To Deadpool
Another massively unexpected comparison comes in the form of Shazam! reportedly having some similarities to…Deadpool?!
While it’s not as meta as that (or R-Rated), “It’s Deadpool with heart” and does something equally as unexpected with the genre, at least for Warner Bros. and its DC Extended Universe. Based on this, we can probably expect further changes to be made to the DCEU depending on how moviegoers respond to this seemingly very different approach.
Reviews Are Coming “Soon”
The overwhelmingly positive reactions are out there and Warner Bros. must be feeling extremely pleased with themselves and the decision to screen the movie unexpectedly early.
Now, with one critic promising to share their review “soon,” we can expect the review embargo to lift sooner rather than later and probably a good couple of weeks before Shazam! arrives in theaters. It will be interesting seeing what those lengthier verdicts say, especially as reactions like these tend to be unreliable or overly kind. However, expect plenty of 4*/5* reviews by the looks of it!