Movie Review: Shazam
Updated: May 27, 2019
The Battle of the Captain Marvels
I won’t lie, when this film was announced, I did do the typical fan boy maneuver and shit all over it. My main reasons were because I did not care for Zachary Levi from Chuck and I was never a Captain Marvel/Shazam fan at all. DC, in its attempt to keep the momentum rolling from the success of Aquaman, changed gears and walk away from the ever famous dark films to move towards a comedic and light-hearted story. After the flops of Dawn of Justice, Justice League and Suicide Squad, DC has been the laughing stock of the comic book movie verse.
Sure, Aquaman nailed it but unless this film knocks it out of the park, it would be considered an anomaly. Wonder Woman was also great but the main villain flopped so bad it’s hard to include it as a complete 100% success. But I am super stoked for the follow up Wonder Woman film.
As of this writing the Tomatometer had it at 95(mind=blown)%, Metacritic was at 76% and IMDB was not rated yet.
Zachary Levi(Chuck) plays a complete different character from what he is known for *sarcasm*. He plays a super jacked(yes in a body suit but still he did bulk up) super hero but with the mind of a 15 year old. He literally had me laughing throughout the entire film as he provided a borderline flawless comedic performance. He is joined by Mark Strong(Kingsmen) as the evil Dr. Thaddues Sivana who is hell bent on getting vengeance on the Champion for unknowingly affecting the outcome of his childhood and life. What’s there to say about Mark Strong? Nothing bad. He always provides a top caliber performance in every role he is in. Like come on, he had me crying in the last Kingsmen film.
The infamous Billy Batson is Asher Angel who provides a perfect performance as a kid trying to find out what happened with his mother and jumping foster home to foster home. Along the way he meets a foster family and becomes unlikely friends with socially awkward Freddy Freeman played by Jack Dylan Grazer. At first, his quips and one liners fell flat because you were still learning about his character. But after 15 minutes he did become fairly entertaining.
Billy Batson is a streetwise 14-year-old who can magically transform into the adult superhero Shazam simply by shouting out one word. His new found powers soon get put to the test when he squares off against the evil Dr. Thaddeus Sivana.
The comedy was quite refreshing. Not to say they haven't tried in the past, but their attempts at humor in Justice League were as bad as an Amy Schumer special. Forced and in bad taste. In Shazam, the quips were on point like Robin Williams performances. Once chemistry between Billy/Shazam and Freddy was established, it was comedic gold and kept you entertained throughout the film.
We’ve gotten used to seeing the trials and tribulations of superheros learning how to use powers. Spiderman with Tobey for example was quite funny. However in this film, they treated it like project testing and used youtube to put it over. Honestly, it made the film that much better.
The villain made sense! Finally DC got a villain right that was entertaining, menacing and completely humanizing as to why he is the way he is. Anyone would be able to relate to his pain and why he is driven to destroy Shazam.
Why did we need the power rangers? My biggest annoyance I had, was when Iron Man 3 decided to put in so many Iron Men it drove me nuts. So in Shazam, they decided that all the kids needed to have their own tie ins which could have waited for a sequel or something.
Film like every film was 20 minute too long
Things that stood out:
Who wouldn't want to be a 14/15 year old kid that has the ability to be an adult on a drop of a name. Not only an adult but a Superhero! Honestly the film was hilarious, entertaining and it wasn’t too much “superhero” to exhaust you like most comic book movies these days.
Why we should watch or not watch it:
If it’s a Shazam vs Marvel Captain argument, in my opinion, Shazam wins. If you ask Ellie, she says Captain Marvel wins. You can read her review on Captain Marvel and debate with her if you like, but I digress. But, I was entertained 98% of the time for Shazam whereas Captain Marvel I found it was too drawn out and I didn’t feel like it was anything special. Not to say it wasn’t a good film, but maybe the bar was set to high with it whereas Shazam was set low?
Back story tho, he first appeared in February 1940 in Whiz Comics as Captain Marvel. However DC Comics alleged that Captain Marvel was a copy of Superman and a lengthy legal battle eventually saw the publisher Fawcett agree to cease publication of Captain Marvel-related comics. DC bought it in 1972 and owned it since.
So Shazam was the first Captain Marvel if you want that argument Ellie :)
How you like them apples?
Anyways, this is a must see film and caters to both a child/adult audiences alike and is entertaining from 15 mins in until the very end. Watch both post credit scenes as well.
Rating: 4.75/5 Stars