Film Review: Shazam!

When times are tough, there’s only one name you can call with confidence… and a little giggle.

Shazam - Makings of a super villain

The Synopsis
Passed from foster home to foster home, Billy Batson (Asher Angel) hasn’t stopped searching for his birth mother, despite finally finding somewhere he could finally call home, and a group that consider him family the second he walks through the door.

When an ancient wizard (Djimon Hounsou) calls upon Billy to inherit his powers, Billy’s life changes forever. With the call of Shazam! he brings forth an older alter ego (Zachary Levi) with super abilities. Entrusting his secret to superhero fanboy and foster brother Freddy (Jack Dylan Grazer) the two test exactly what Shazam! is capable of.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t stay being all fun and games. Dr Thaddeus Sivana (Mark Strong) is in search of the Wizards chosen and their powers, which he thinks only himself worthy of – and he’s not about to let a couple of kids get in his way.


The Good
This movie was really well cast. All the way from Billy to Shazam!, to Freddy and that freaking adorable girl Darla (Faithe Herman). All the characters played nicely off one another and I enjoyed just watching their dynamics/interactions.

I did think a few jokes fell flat or lingered just a tad too long but at the end of the day Shazam! was funny enough. I did in fact laugh out loud, and have to give a special mention to Freddy’s character, who gave me Teen Wolf, Stiles (Dylan O’Brien) vibes, which I was 100% here for.

Inspite of being an action/superhero movie, the core theme of family, and choosing where you choose to make your home, made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Call me a sucker but you just can’t be mad at shit like that.

I am not claiming to be a comic book expert for this movie, but from what I read, especially in regards to Billy and his foster siblings, they did a good job adapting from page to screen. As well as that there are a few cheeky little Easter Eggs for the hardcore fans. *Cough* Fawcett High School.

As a personal bonus, I was extremely happy to see Meagan Good in this movie. I love her.


The Bad
Though overall the movie was alright, it did have a number of flaws.

Firstly, can I just say that I think “Seven Deadly Sins” as a villain/plague or whatever, is such a cop-out. Though they were the larger enemy I didn’t ever really see them as a threat and would have preferred a new entity from the universe to learn about and fear.

I did think it was a little weird that Billy’s personality completely changed when he was Shazam!. He went from being a smart ass, smart-mouthed kid, to just acting like an overexcited toddler when he changed.

At some point during the movie I started to wonder; what is the point of it all? The Sins’ generic we want to take over the world was a bore, and I didn’t really understand what Dr Sivana wanted aside from your bog standard all-consuming power and world domination. Hardly an original ask.


The Conclusion
Was this movie supposed to be for adults or for kids? It’s interesting that it tried to give us the best of both worlds, but I think it ultimately succeeded in doing neither as successfully as it could have if they chose the one path. Though having some dark elements to it, I’d vere Shazam! closer to being a children’s movie – but I’m finding it hard to identify the choice of tone in the wide DC Extended Universe.

Some fantastic acting if not a slightly predictable plot, but overall an averagely enjoyable experience in my eyes.


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