‘Shazam!’ Review Round-Up: DC’s Latest Electrifies Critics

Shazam Zachary Levi Asher Angel DC

Following the success of Aquaman, it seems that DC has another hit on its hands with Zachary Levi’s Shazam!.

Shazam! hits theaters in just a few weeks and now critics have finally been granted the ability to post their reviews. Aside from 2017’s critically and financially successful Wonder Woman, the films of the DC Extended Universe have received mixed reviews from critics since 2013’s Man of Steel. Luckily, it seems that Zachary Levi’s Shazam! is already winning over critics. Here are some excerpts from the first wave of Shazam! reviews:

Heroic Hollywood‘s Nick Kazden:

“There are a few nit-pick worthy things that anyone searching for too much reality in their comic book movies can fixate on, but Shazam! is delightful and charming from start to finish. The constant influx of superhero movies has left me, a lifelong comic book reader, a little jaded to the burgeoning genre, but I’m genuinely excited to see what happens next for Shazam and the rest of these characters.”

Forbes‘ Mark Hughes:

“Shazam! is somewhere between Wonder Woman and Aquaman in that regard, not as big-scale as either of those films but with the character-focused emotional heart of Wonder Woman and the humor and popcorn action fun of Aquaman, with a modest dash of the original Superman: The Movie and a little splash of Ant-Man thrown in. It’s warm, funny, sad, uplifting, heartbreaking, and all-around terrific fun for everybody.”

IGN‘s Jim Vejvoda:

“Shazam! is as liberated a comic book movie for DC as Deadpool was for Fox-Marvel, not in the latter’s profanely meta way (though Shazam! very cheekily acknowledges its place in the DC film universe established with Man of Steel) but in a similarly hilarious, lovable, and oddly sweet manner. The movie makes you understand why Shazam — while never an icon on the level of Superman, Batman, or Wonder Woman — has endured for eight decades.”

Variety‘s Owen Gleiberman:

“The movie, in other words, is ‘Big’ in tights. And it’s Zachary Levi who makes that work, in much the same way that Tom Hanks did. Levi doesn’t play Billy as a callow kid; quite the contrary, he’s intelligent and jackknife fast. But Billy completely lacks an adult’s sense of guile, and Levi uses that innocent quality to take the superhero stuffing out of the material — and to let Shazam discover his identity in a way that makes this the freshest origin story in some time. There’s an infectiously witty montage, set to Queen’s “Don’t Stop Me Now” (a nod to the Queen-scored “Flash Gordon”?), in which Shazam tests out his powers in a series of YouTube-ready videos.”

Gamespot‘s Michael Rougeau:

“It takes a ton of inspiration from the comics, as well, and embraces its roots rather than trying to make everything grimly realistic. The wizard is a wizard, with flowing robes and tangled grey beard. It’s silly, but the movie also has a 1980s Spielbergian adventure vibe–think Goonies, Labyrinth, or Neverending Story. It owns its campiness so confidently that the significant amount of Shazam mythology it occasionally info-dumps on you goes down fairly easily.”

Screenrant‘s Molly Freeman:

“It’s a fairly typical origin story as far as superhero movies go, though Shazam! has a new twist because we get to experience it through the eyes of two kids who are more full of wonder and excitement than responsibility.”

Directed by David F. Sandberg, Shazam! stars Zachary Levi, Asher Angel, Mark Strong, Jack Dylan Grazer, Grace Fulton, Faithe Herman, Ian Chen, Jovan Armand, Cooper Andrews, Marta Milans, and Djimon Hounsou.

We all have a superhero inside us, it just takes a bit of magic to bring it out. In Billy Batson’s (Angel) case, by shouting out one word—SHAZAM!—this streetwise 14-year-old foster kid can turn into the adult Super Hero Shazam (Levi), courtesy of an ancient wizard. Still a kid at heart—inside a ripped, godlike body—Shazam revels in this adult version of himself by doing what any teen would do with superpowers: have fun with them! Can he fly? Does he have X-ray vision? Can he shoot lightning out of his hands? Can he skip his social studies test? Shazam sets out to test the limits of his abilities with the joyful recklessness of a child. But he’ll need to master these powers quickly in order to fight the deadly forces of evil controlled by Dr. Thaddeus Sivana (Strong).

Shazam! will be released in theaters on April 5, 2019.

Top Actors To Replace Ben Affleck In Matt Reeves’ ‘The Batman’

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Batman Ben Affleck Matt ReevesBen Affleck is officially out as Batman and it's a pretty sad day.

Words cannot describe how sad I am to see Ben Affleck announce that he's no longer Batman. His Batman is why I do what I do. In Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, I fell in love with his comic book-accurate interpretation of the Caped Crusader. It was a breath of fresh air and it felt like we finally had the one true Batman.

Three years have quickly sped by and we're officially going to receive a new Batman for his next movie. Last night, Ben Affleck announced that he will not return as the Dark Knight in Matt Reeves' The Batman and now everyone's attention has moved towards wanting to know who the next Bruce Wayne will be. Matt Reeves is said to want an actor that's around 20 years younger than Affleck while Warner Bros. wants someone older. My guess is that Reeves wants a fresh start while the studio wants an older actor for crossover potential.

In this list, I will discuss the actors I think can replace Ben Affleck as Batman using the parameters that Matt Reeves and Warner Bros. want. Hit Next to see our picks to play the Batman.

Michael Fassbender

Michael Fassbender X-Men

Michael Fassbender is an X-Men alum and no stranger to comic book franchises. The actor has shown multiple levels of range and could definitely handle the Batman/Bruce Wayne personality. If they go with the older range for the next Dark Knight, then Fassbender is probably one of the best choices to take over the role.

Ben Barnes

The Punisher Ben Barnes Billy Russo Jigsaw Marvel

Ben Barnes is out of a job after The Punisher season 2 and he's one of the best actors in that series. The second season tied up Barnes' arc on The Punisher and the actor has already told us that that he'd love to play the Caped Crusader. Barnes definitely has the pretty boy look going on for him and I wonder what his take on Bruce Wayne could be.

Ryan Gosling

Ryan Gosling Blade Runner 2049

I've said this before and I'll say it again: Ryan Gosling needs to star in a superhero movie. I've always thought Gosling would make a great Batman. Every role that he's done has shown us his capability and he could crush it as Bruce Wayne.

Jon Hamm

Jon Hamm Mad Men

Jon Hamm is my top choice for an older Batman. If Warner Bros. wants to cast an older actor for crossover potential, Jon Hamm is the studio's best bet. He has a similar look to Ben Affleck, and c'mon, the guy's look just screams Bruce Wayne.

Armie Hammer

Armie Hammer The Man from U.N.C.L.E.

Armie Hammer is 32 years old and was cast as the Caped Crusader in George Miller's Justice League: Mortal. That film will never see the light of day, but that doesn’t mean that Hammer doesn't deserve a second shot at being the Batman. He's charming, broody and will probably give his all for this role. Armie Hammer is a great option because he's young enough for Matt Reeves and Warner Bros. could work in a way for him to crossover with the rest of the DC Extended Universe.

Richard Madden

Richard Madden Bodyguard

Game of Thrones alum Richard Madden is my top choice to replace Ben Affleck as Batman. The actor is young, has the look and definitely has the acting chops to play the duality of Batman and Bruce Wayne. Madden just won the Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Television series for the BBC drama Bodyguard, so Warner Bros. may want to quickly snatch him up.

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