The DCEU sprints across the finish line with Shazam, a new superhero film that brings one of the oldest comic book characters of all time to the big screen with third-time director David F. Sandberg taking the helm.
Billy Batson (Asher Angel) is a kid who has run away from foster homes intent on finding his mother (Caroline Palmer). However, he ends up in the home of Victor (Cooper Andrews) and Rose Vasquez (Marta Milans), who are taking care of six other children. Mary (Grace Fulton) and the nerdy Freddie (Jack Dylan Grazer) take a liking to Billy, though he does not return the sentiment.
After running from some bullies, he gets pulled into a magical realm where he meets the great wizard Shazam (Djimon Hounsou). The magical being is fading away after being attacked by Dr. Sivana (Mark Strong), who stole the power of a band of demons called the Seven Deadly Sins. Shazam gives Batson the Wisdom of Solomon, the strength of Hercules, the stamina of Atlas (near-limitless resilience), the power of Zeus (lightning control and magical resistance), the courage of Achilles (near indestructibility), and the speed of Mercury (also provides flight). Saying SHAZAM, Billy becomes a powerful champion (Zachary Levi). At first, he decides to become a local celebrity in Philadelphia, under the guidance of Freddie. He is soon targeted by Sivana, who wants the power of Shazam for himself and the Seven Deadly Sins.
The DCEU made some pretty bad stinkers like Batman V. Superman and Justice League, but then made a comeback with the solo films for Wonder Woman and Aquaman. However, the damage was already done and it seems like Warner Bros. will be focusing on these solo movies. Which is good, because if Shazam is any indication, this will be a good direction.
Sandberg crafts a hilarious narrative. Though Shazam appeared from Fawcett Comics as the original Captain Marvel and very serious, his adventures have grown to become misadventures in the DC Comics universe. Bill is a child who plays at being a man to save the day like his hero Superman. This tone is delivered in an excellent and humorous way in the film.
Levi is perfectly cast as Shazam. He delivers all of his lines with perfection. At times, he was the most childish one in the room, which played perfectly as a kid in an adult’s body. Levi was funny, tough, and made one excellent rookie superhero. The rumor is that Shazam will be a trilogy and if that is the case, I look forward to seeing it through until the end with him in the role. He’s come along way since his appearances in the Thor sequels. Grazer, likewise, does an excellent job as his “sidekick” who helps learn about his abilities.
My only critique about the film is when Billy is a kid, there is a certain maturity about, but when he changes into Shazam, he acts more like his age. I feel this was a conscious effort from the director, that the maturity kids give off is a show when it comes down to it, but the change was so quick, it felt out of place at times.
Bottom line, this movie is loads of fun. Levi is in his best form and plays Shazam with all the perfection you could expect from a veteran actor of his caliber.
FAVORITE QUOTE: Superpowers? Dude, I don’t even know how to pee in this thing!
PARENTAL CONCERNS: Foul language, Violence, Innuendo
Check out the trailer below:
What do you think? Let me know in the comments below. Tell me if there is a comic book, movie, or novel you would like me to review. While you are at it, check out my reaction to Avengers: Endgame beating Avatar at the box-office and the dismal news DC Comics received. Don’t forget to like, share, and subscribe for more posts like this one.
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