Shazam is DC’s newest film and I can gladly say it’s fantastic. Shazam has everything a superhero movie should have and more! It’s complete wish fulfillment. The film is strongest when it’s doing the least superhero stuff; it’s at its best when it’s being like an 80’s kids movie. The film’s biggest inspiration is Tom Hanks Big.
The film is full of big laughs; the chemistry between the film’s lead (whether it be Zachary Levi or Asher Angel) and Freddie (Jack Dylan Grazer) is one of the many hearts of the film. Shazam has many hearts, and that’s what makes the movie so great. The hearts of this film could be the foster family and the dynamic there and the growth of a family. Or it could be Billy Batson’s search for his real mother.
The hearts of the film create a sense of levity this universe had been lacking for quite some time. Now this film has you smiling almost the entire run time. There are moments that are genuinely heart breaking, and it can really hit close to home for a lot of audience members. But overall the film is way more fun than anything.
There’s a lot of jokes in this film and some don’t hit, but there are a lot more hits than any misses. The film’s comedy is almost exactly like a conversation teenagers would have, the humor feels like something more akin to The Goonies and Big than Iron Man or anything of the sort. The humor pokes fun at the superhero genre over and over in a way Deadpool hasn’t. It’s comedy is so great and just so much fun.
I think the film’s greatest strength is in its humor and character relations. Billy Batson and Freddie Freeman are great characters and their actors put in their all. Zachary Levi as Shazam is almost perfect casting. He feels like Christopher Reeves to Superman. Mark Strong gives as much as he can to Dr. Sivana who is at some points a weak character.
The character’s one flaw is in Dr. Sivana as it’s main villain. The character is given some good justification for why he wants to do what he’s about to do but once he does get that he’s just kind of generic bad guy who wants power for some reason. His goal is pretty much achieved by when he’s introduced so when he’s fighting Shazam we get no real justification as to why other than he wants his power. He’s just kind of generic. You have some sympathy for him in the beginning but other than that he’s a meh character. Mark Strong brings in a threatening performance which helps mask his characters flaws but looking past that it’s okay.
Shazam is possibly one of DC’s best films yet. It’s full of laughs and the hearts of the film are just fantastic. It’s more of a fun movie rather than one that focuses on superhero antics. It’s definitely refreshing for anyone feeling a bit of the superhero fatigue. It’s a great little movie. When I say little I mean the films scale is little, and this helps it out. The scale makes it feel like it’s nothing too big and just a fun time for audiences. Shazam is a great time for all audiences. It’s fun, humorous, and most of all it has a huge soft spot in my heart as an audience member. Shazam gets an A.