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Shazam! gets 'near perfect' early buzz as critics say it's 'another win for DC'

By George Stark
Zachary Levi Shazam

Many believe the early buzz of a movie can make or break its chances of becoming a smash hit — and that appears to be very good news for DC's next superhero film Shazam!, which hits theaters on April 5.

The movie — which sees streetwise teen Billy Batson transforming into the titular adult superhero simply by shouting out one word — is going to be well worth the wait, judging by first reactions from critics who have seen the flick.

Twitter was set ablaze earlier today by very positive responses from movie reviewers, and they might be enough to just magically transform this project into one of the most anticipated superhero movies of 2019. Fandango's Erik Davis called it a "big, goofy, lovable," film and "unlike anything DC has done before." 

He added: "Definitely in the vein of Tom Hanks' BIG, but with superhero action & lots of Batman and Superman references. I dug this film so much I wanted to give it a bear hug at the end. DC's movies keep getting better."

Peter Sciretta, of /Film, raved that the movie is "parts Home Alone, parts Big, a crowd pleasing family-friendly joy-filled wish-fulfillment superhero film which gets a bit over the top and cheesy at times. It's fun and funny, and I was surprised at how much it wears it’s heart on its sleeve."

Perhaps DC knew they had something good on their hands, as earlier this month it was revealed they would stream the short-lived television series also based on the hero, which ran between 1974 and 1976 for a total of three seasons.

The WB-owned streaming service announced this on March 1, writing: "Starting Tuesday [March 5], relive the original #Shazam! series, now remastered for the first time in HD. All three seasons will be streaming, only on #DCUNIVERSE."

One could also put the social media excitement down to the fact that the superhero himself has already proved to be a very likeable guy on Twitter.

Last month, Shazam! star Zachary Levi posted a two-minute video standing up for fellow superhero (albeit one from another universe) Captain Marvel, when a contingent of fans set out to sabotage the "Want to See" rating on review aggregation site Rotten Tomatoes. The rating is the lowest in the history of the MCU (though the film is still set to open at at least $130 million, so there's clearly a good bit of fans who do want to see the flick). 

"For anyone out there who thinks you're doing me a favor or Shazam! a favor, or you're doing Warner Bros. [a favor], you're not,” Levi said in the video. "This is not helping anyone or anything."

Maybe it really does pay to be nice, guys. Are you excited for Shazam!?