Movie Review: Shazam!
Let me start off by saying there are no spoilers in this review. I was so happy that I’ve gotten to see an early screening of Shazam! before it releases in two weeks. To my surprise, I was entertained for sure and now have feel in love with the Shazam as a character! Director David F. Sandberg does do an excellent job of mixing in humor to some of the sequences as well as keeping it serious when it needs to be in this film. The story is exceptionally well done and flows very well. It’s rather straightforward revealing both the origins of Billy Batson’s Shazam as well as the evil Doctor Thaddeus Sivana.
The gist of the movie we see Billy Batson discovering not only his superhero powers but the powers of friendship and family. It’s not an easy discovery. He will be hunted down by Sivana, who aims to defeat the young Shazam before he gains full mastery over his superpowers. Shazam reveals 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 school? Shazam sets out to test the limits of his abilities in a funny way.
There’s no question about it. Zachary Levi is the perfect Shazam and was born to play this role. Levi was funny and very convincing in making you believe that he was a 14-year-old kid stuck in an adult’s body. His performance was reminiscent to that of Tom Hanks’ Big (1988). His on-screen chemistry with the supporting cast, such as Jack Dylan Grazer who plays Freddy, was very entertaining especially during the scenes showcasing their back and forth arguments.
One of the absolute best aspects of Shazam! is the tone of the movie. For the most part, the fun tone of the film is in perfect alignment with the character of Shazam. While the film is mostly entertaining and light-hearted, it still manages to introduce some touching and heartfelt moments with its drama. Despite having some darker moments, Shazam! doesn’t fall victim to sacrificing the effective fun nature of the film just for the sake being dark. Another element that supports the tone of the movie is the very plot itself and the writing. The story was pretty easy to follow and stayed true to the heart of its comic inspirations. Best of all, the movie doesn’t fall apart in the third act like other superhero films. The cinematography worked very well by not going overboard with the special effects. We got some excellent slow-motion action sequences along with some quick shots. It was also a nice touch to add in some more modernized elements into the story such as including the presence of social media. It was interesting to see how the effects of social media status would assist in moving the plot forward and shaping the character of Shazam as well.
Shazam! is the epitome of a fun superhero movie that is sure to provide an audience with a fun time. This film didn’t feel forced. I know one question some people may ask is, “Where does Shazam rank among the other DCEU movies?” I think there’s now a two-way tie with Wonder Woman. Wonder Woman was a solid film that showcased female empowerment that was true to the character. Shazam! is right to form, fun movie that’s put together pretty so well.
Overall, the action in the movie was entertaining. This movie has heart. You don’t want to miss Shazam! Be sure to stay until the end because there will be two post-credit scenes. I give this film 4 out of 5 stars.