Though the DC Extended Universe once proudly distinguished itself from the MCU with a bold "no jokes" policy, the Warner Bros-produced franchise has, little by little, been loosening up.
In large part, the shift has been a welcome one. Movie fans en masse have celebrated the bright and hopeful spirit of Wonder Woman and the fun-loving nature of Aquaman, and it appears they've taken kindly to DCEU's latest handiwork as well. On Thursday, the internet met with the first wave of reactions to Shazam!, an especially lighthearted DC property that has ostensibly given way to an appropriately goofy feature film.
By and large, the reactions are incredibly positive, cheering on Shazam!'s willful sense of humor and positive nature. See for yourself below:
#Shazam is an absolute delight! Super vibrant, tons of heart & a great fun-loving vibe. The family element is a big charmer & so is the humor that comes with watching @ZacharyLevi explore his new powers. Said this after IT but it's worth repeating - @Jgrazerofficial is a star.
— Perri Nemiroff (@PNemiroff) March 8, 2019
#Shazam is a super-powered BIG & I LOVED every second of it. A colorful, vibrant, vital addition to the DCEU. Vivid character-driven action, heartrending central relationships & fully earned, totally satisfying emotional moments. Super hilarious. Super thrilling. Super awesome! pic.twitter.com/KelHZ5YzFq
— Courtney Howard (@Lulamaybelle) March 8, 2019
Shazam! is another win for DC. Sure, the humor & action you'd expect from a superhero film are there, but #ShazamMovie stands out because of the emotional, family story at its center. I had some small issues with the hero/villain aspects but the family stuff is dynamic & powerful pic.twitter.com/FYM3QVp5hu
— Germain Lussier (@GermainLussier) March 8, 2019
DC is finally building a solid run: #Shazam is a delight! Its familiar origin structure is forgivable because of all the new it brings to the table - primarily it's gleeful, childlike enthusiasm, & heartfelt perspective on family. It's also the role Zachary Levi was born to play. pic.twitter.com/5zXtfFDBGm
— Eric Eisenberg (@eeisenberg) March 8, 2019
#Shazam was damn near PERFECT in my book. My FAVORITE DC movie (DCEU? What are we saying now?) by far. Pure of heart, incredibly funny, full of in-jokes and references. Brought me a childlike joy to watch. This role was MADE for @ZacharyLevi... & Jack & Asher & the entire cast pic.twitter.com/rVrxjcwvCe
— Ash Crossan (@AshCrossan) March 8, 2019
As you can see, repeat mentions of cheer and humor suggest something very different from the DCEU's inceptive era, even for those of us who enjoyed the more serious-minded Man of Steel and Batman v Superman. One particularly interesting consistency among the conversation is comparisons to '80s family classics:
#Shazam is a laugh-out-loud funny romp that captures the innocence and challenge of being both a superhero and a kid at once. It’s clever, fun and heroic with an obvious nod to 80s classics like Big, Ghostbusters, The Goonies etc. @joblocom @ShazamMovie
— Paul Shirey (@arcticninjapaul) March 8, 2019
#Shazam is big, goofy, lovable, and unlike anything DC has done before. 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 pic.twitter.com/WQJgo61gMg
— Erik Davis (@ErikDavis) March 8, 2019
Among general praise for the film's good vibes, star Zachary Levi himself seems to have been called out as a particular highlight.
I absolutely loved #Shazam! It's my favorite DC film yet. Zachary Levi as Shazam was perfect casting and the kids absolutely steal the show. It's an amazing family movie with dope fight scenes and great humor! You guys are going to love it. pic.twitter.com/pZd5oORVA3
— Dorian Parks (@DorianParksnRec) March 8, 2019
Shazam! is the superhero film that you never knew you needed. Zachary Levi was born to play this role. Ridiculously entertaining & non-stop fun from start to finish. Loved every character & all of the pop culture references. This is what going to the movies is all about. #Shazam pic.twitter.com/SxCcCTy2ZB
— Scott Menzel (@TheOtherScottM) March 8, 2019
Shazam showcases Zachary Levi's charm and charisma as an actor and has a heartfelt and inspiring message at its core. Despite the dark tone in parts, it ends up bringing about lots of laughs and fun for all. #shazam #shazammovie pic.twitter.com/nyK1fWgykE
— Ashley Menzel @ SXSW (@AshleyGMenzel) March 8, 2019
Sounds like they nailed this one, eh?
Images: Warner Bros.