Shazam! is the new addition to the DC film universe directed by David F. Sanberg, who’s coming from a horror background with his past work on “Annabelle Creation” and “Lights Out”.
Shazam! centers around Billy Batson, a moody, streetsmart foster kid living in Philadelphia who is given the chance of a lifetime from an ancient wizard to assume his role as champion of the world and take upon all of the wizard’s powers by saying his name, Shazam.
With his newfound abilities, and with the help of his friend Freddie Freeman, Billy is having the time of his life like any kid who suddenly had powers would. But, with the mantle now passed from Shazam, Billy Batson will have to learn to control his inner child and assume the mantle as the world’s champion against the deadly seven sins.
Save from Wonder Woman and — from a box office perspective — Aquaman, there really hasn’t been a resounding “critical success” in the DC Universe since Man of Steel, and even then there was a divide starting to set in between the DC fanbase and critics.
Those who follow the industry know of the never-ending cycle of DC news, whether they’re a sinking ship carrying too much baggage from Zack Snyders universe or if the new direction taking place with Shazam! will set the universe on a better path.
While I can’t say for sure what roads are ahead for the DC universe, Shazam! brings new life, heart, and energy to the DC universe by not only paying tribute to Snyder’s universe but paving a new course and a very bright future that I can’t wait to see!
The movie had me grinning from ear to ear, with so many tributes to the classic films I watched growing up, including Tom Hanks’s ‘Big’ and ‘The Goonies’. The opening sequence even gave a very strong ‘Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone’ vibe that I dug so much!
Coming from a horror background, director David F. Sanberg was able to create moments of suspense and mysticism that still feel very real and grounded. He also used comedy in the right places to help balance out the film.
The comedy throughout the film is incredibly strong, particularly with Freddie Freeman, who’s played by ‘IT’ star Jack Dylan Grazer. He was so incredible with his comedic timing and was still able to have restraint during the serious beats. I think he was the MVP for sure in this film and the character people will leave loving the most.
The acting throughout was great. Zachary Levi was born to play this role and worked seamlessly with the younger Billy Batson, who was played by Asher Angel. I never once doubted that they weren’t the same character, and they nailed each other’s similarities and mannerisms. The foster parents and children in the film were all lovable and fun characters. The foster kids had a very fun ‘Goonies’ vibe when all together that I want to see more of in the next film.
The film delivers on every aspect you may have seen if you watched the trailers, but where there are some issues I believe lie within the villain. Mark Strong gives a good performance as Dr. Sivana; however, Shazam! goes for a “Marvel-esque” decision to focus mainly on the hero, which sacrificed this villain from being able to be properly fleshed out after the first act. This made him a bit generic and one-note in his ambitions and what he was able to do in general.
Although the comedy is gold, it’s a little too abundant in the more serious scenes. These scenes could have used more drama to them, but they were undercut by jokes that sometimes worked and sometimes didn’t.
The third act is also a little bloated with a lot of reveals and action, but this does not stop Shazam! from being my personal favorite DC film to come out since ‘The Dark Knight Rises’.
Shazam brings new life to the DC Universe and I had an absolute blast with this film. Definitely go and check it out. Stay for the after credits scenes (2) and tell me what you thought about it after you’ve seen it!
Thank you so much for reading! See you, at the next review!