Jay Dubb here with another awesome movie review! This week I checked out one of DC Comics’ latest superhero movies ‘SHAZAM!’ As always, a quick 30-second review is followed by a full review. How does Shazam! stack up against other DCU superhero movies? Find out below!
Surprisingly better than I thought and very entertaining for the entire family. Unlike a lot of the darker Zach Snyder/Christopher Nolan DC movies, SHAZAM takes us back to lighthearted, fun-loving heroic adventures, reminiscent of 1980s Spielberg classics! This is a spot-on look at how a modern teenager would act if given incredible super powers. DCU’s closest response to Marvel’s Spider-Man; ‘with great powers comes great responsibility’ – Or -in Shazam’s case, with cool powers comes more ‘likes’ and followers on social media! 😀
I’ll be the first to admit, I’m not even a fan of Shazam the comic book character!
I always thought he was corny AF. And technically he IS. But that’s kinda the point.
In the DC Comics world of Superman (a god), Batman (dark knight), Wonder Woman (goddess warrior), and Aquaman (a king) – Shazam is just, well…a KID. A very powerful Kid. And that is exactly why this movie works!
Asher Angel (who looks a lot like Maisie Williams!) plays Billy Batson, a runaway foster kid bouncing from house to house until he finally settles in with a loving family.
In a mysterious event he gets a bunch of super powers from an old-azz Wizard, played by a VERY ancient, crusty looking Djimon Hansou lol – He super powers appear every time he says the word ‘SHAZAM!’ and turns into a brightly colored lightning ‘superman’.
Let’s talk about Zachary Levi (Shazam), who does a great job of channeling a kid trapped inside a grown body. Levi reminds me of the hulking goofiness of Brendan Fraser (The Mummy), but better. His superhero is all ‘Super’ and far less ‘hero’. In fact, The BEST part of Shazam is Billy Batson’s unwillingness to do ANYTHING heroic lol
Not only does this make the movie more realistic, but also makes the character more likable. Shazam isn’t a brooding vengeful vigilante (Batman), or an all-powerful Boy Scout (Superman). Nope – he’s simply a 14-year old kid who is perfectly fine using his powers to BUY BEER lol and hustling on the street by popping lightning bolts out of his hands.
It is altogether shameful and absolutely hilarious.
So much power….So wasted on dumb shit lol
In terms of power – Shazam is super strong, is bulletproof (“bullet immunity!”), super fast, and can fly. But his strongest power is harnessing lightning. This places him on par with Marvel’s Thor but a few levels below Superman. As I explained in my Captain Marvel review here, powers come from different sources. Where Superman’s powers are alien-based, Shazam’s powers come from MAGIC. (like Thor)
But that doesn’t make him any smarter, which is the punchline.
Shazam spends most of his time running around with his hero-worshiping foster brother, uploading YouTube videos of ridiculousness (“secret fire immunity test!”) and peddling for chump change, smdh… all the while coming up with outrageous superhero names including ‘THUNDER CRACK’ lol, and ‘FLASHY FINGERS’ haha!
Meanwhile, a truly sinister villain Dr. Thaddeus Sivan (Mark Strong) has managed to get the OPPOSITE amount of magical powers from the same source. Mark Strong does a solid job making his bad guy scary enough without going full Rated R. Sure people die horrifically, but It’s a weird balance watching a evil guy take on an over-sized kid and his foster siblings. By literally harnessing Evil, he is a perfect counter of dark magic to Shazam’s colorful goofball.
The foster child story line adds a nice touch of humanity and keeps in line with the original comic book. There are a few heavy emotional moments that I’m SURE resonates with foster children and maybe even stepchildren – including one scene about a deadbeat mom that was so deep it threw me off for a minute. But, it helped to connect the theme of family bonding….
…Which turns out to be THE BIGGEST SURPRISE/NOT SURPRISE OF THE MOVIE! 😀
The final 20 minutes is a HUGE payoff for fans! It pushes this movie from Really Good to GREAT, plus a nice cameo from an actress I won’t name here (wait until you see who it is) 🙂
BEST OF ALL, Shazam takes place in the current DC Univers (Justice League, etc), so plenty of not-so easter eggs and tons of DC Comics references.
My theater had a nice mix of all ages and kids were CRACKING UP laughing throughout the entire 2 hours. There are no wasted moments here from start to finish. Considering that I’m NOT a fan of Shazam the comic book character, it’s really hard not to like this movie.
Definitely go see it in theaters!