This is a spoiler-free advance review. Shazam! opens April 5 in the US and UK and April 4 in Australia.
Shazam! is DC’s most joyful and sweet movie since the days of Christopher Reeve’s Superman, a funny yet earnest coming-of-age story about a boy who learns that, well, with great power comes great responsibility. So obviously, Shazam! doesn’t reinvent the superhero movie, but it’s an undeniably fun time that left me wanting more big-screen adventures with these charming characters.
Where Wonder Woman bore the weight of expectations as the first major modern female superhero film and Aquaman had a load of world-building (and redemption) to do, Shazam! is saddled with no such heavy, external burdens. It’s thus able to be as carefree as a child, to just have fun despite having to inevitably grow up and confront some very adult concerns along the way. Namely, how streetwise orphan Billy Batson must accept responsibility for his behavior if he’s going to prove truly worthy of the magical gifts bestowed upon him.