Shazam! indeed. The latest film in the DC Comics universe is a smash with critics, who are as taken with the acting as they are with the laughs. The movie currently has a 93% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Four takes on David F. Sandberg's work, offering an origin story for the superhero:
- "Just when the world needs a superhero with a gift for silliness, here he is in a movie whose best superpower turns out to be a good heart," writes Joe Morgenstern at the Wall Street Journal. He calls the movie "terrific fun" despite it being overly long and somewhat repetitive. The key: "delicious comic chops" courtesy of Zachary Levi, who's "charming" and "endearing" as Shazam.
- David Sims calls the film "a large-hearted cross between Big and Man of Steel and "right out of the Spielberg playbook of rollicking genre adventures that don't have to line up with carefully plotted franchises." In other words, he liked it. He also found it "inventively funny." The icing on top: "It ends on a twist that surprised me in the best way," he writes at the Atlantic.
- "Generally fun," Shazam! is like Deadpool, but for kids—at least older kids, Brian Lowry writes at CNN. He credits Jack Dylan Grazer for "very nearly stealing the show" as foster brother Freddy. But "one wishes the movie had a little more heft to it," he writes. It "only occasionally conjures the spark of magic that gives the title its meaning."
- Grazer "is beyond his years with his ability to draw a laugh," writes Lindsey Bahr at the AP. She also found much more to enjoy from the "smart writing" to the spot-on ending. With it, "the sluggish beginning and the random, ridiculous villains, fade away under a haze of goodwill," she writes, concluding Shazam! is "certainly worth your time and money."
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