Shazam! – Movie Review!

Shazam! is directed by David F. Sandberg and it is the origin story of Billy Batson. Billy is a problematic orphan whose life will change forever when he meets a wizard who grants him extraordinary powers which he can use by saying the wizard’s name, Shazam. What Billy doesn’t know is that there is someone out there like him only with evil intentions who plans to steal this power. The movie stars Asher Angel, Zachary Levi, Jack Dylan Grazer and Mark Strong.

I had heard of Shazam before this movie, I knew the basic concept, boy turns to adult superhero by saying Shazam and that’s it. I never read the comics so this movie had some work to do for people like me who haven’t read the comics. However the movie won me over before it even came out thanks to that charming little comic-con trailer from last-year. I was instantly intrigued and I wanted to see more. Having actually seen the movie, the trailers reveal very little which is amazing because thanks to that, the movie has a lot of fun surprising the audience with one cool thing after the other.

To me, a comic-book movie and sci-fi lover, this concept sounds fun and it can go in a lot of ways. However to an average movie-goer, this might sound a bit silly and not even worth checking out. I showed the trailer to my mom and she wasn’t really impressed or intrigued. I went to see the movie with her and she came out absolutely loving the movie. I believe that a major part of why she liked it so much is the stellar cast, which has an insane level of charisma and energy. Zachary Levi and Jack Dylan Grazer strike gold whenever they’re in a scene together. This never came as a surprise to me as I’ve been a fan of both of them before this movie but it’s honestly one of the best duos ever.

Going in to the movie I thought Asher Angel would be set to the side and let Zachary Levi take the spotlight but I was proven wrong because the movie does a smart choice by using Levi’s Shazam wisely. I liked Angel’s performance he definitely has a charm to him. I wouldn’t say that he is able to carry a movie on his own but he definitely has potential. Faithe Herman who I know from This Is Us gets a lot more to do in this movie and I’m so glad about that. She is an absolute bundle of cuteness, she won over the audience immediately. Mark Strong is really good as Dr. Sivana. I love his backstory and I like how he was actually a threat and had a motive. He’s not the new Killmonger or anything but he’s no Steppenwolf either.

The concept of this movie has been endlessly compared to the movie Big starring Tom Hanks. Now I have never seen that movie but I do agree that this movie feels a lot like a movie from the 80’s or early 90’s. It reminded me a lot of the Gremlins movies. It was filled with awe, fun and a ton of heart. I haven’t had this much fun during not only a superhero movie but a movie in general in a long time. It is also the most I’ve laughed watching a movie probably ever. I was legitimately laughing out loud during several of the scenes. My favourite scene is the montage where Freddie and Billy are figuring out what powers Shazam has. It is extremely entertaining and funny, something this movie does with ease.

My favourite aspect of the movie actually doesn’t have to do with the superhero stuff. It’s the family aspect of this movie that appealed to me the most. The focus on family in this movie is so important. When you think about it even breaks barriers how they portray a family in this movie, a superhero movie nevertheless. I love how it’s a foster family as the focus family in this movie. The movie does a beautiful job of not making a big deal of it being a foster family, it’s just an incredibly loving family. It was incredibly heartwarming to see such a loving family try their all to make Billy feel like on of their own because he is now one of their own.

As for flaws, there was really only one, for me at least. I felt the movie was a tad too long. The big battle at the end though it was entertaining, it just didn’t want to end. Speaking of the ending, there is a surprise which is really cool and it isn’t shown or advertised at all. However it was weird that this movie had a Christmas setting, it would’ve been so much better to release this back in December instead of Aquaman. It’s really sad how a lazy movie with no heart makes a billion dollars but a movie with hard-work and heart struggles to get people talking. Go support this movie!

Shazam! is by far the most fun movie I’ve seen this year. It’s an incredible improvement over past DCEU movies, this is definitely my favourite one. With a charismatic cast featuring electric performances from both Levi and Grazer and a witty and smart script, Shazam! feels like one of those movies which sticks with you because of it’s timeless feel. I can definitely see this movie becoming a family favourite for many people.

RATING: A

 

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