“Shazam” is the first DC movie in a long time that is pure and simple fun. After an onslaught of dark, brooding and completely misguided failures, DC has finally scaled it back and made just a light-hearted, entertaining superhero romp.
The story follows Billy Batson, a young orphaned boy who gains superhuman abilities when he discovers a mysterious wizard. When a troubled man absorbs the powers of the seven deadly sins, Billy must step up and learn how to become a superhero. The ridiculous plot works because of the way the material is handled. “Shazam” embraces its goofy premise to the fullest extent and makes what could have been a mess a really fun ride.
The primary reason the film works is the charisma of Zachary Levi, who plays Billy when he turns into the superhero “Shazam.” He is charming, likable and downright hilarious. The child actors in this film, of which there are many, are surprisingly strong. The highlights are Asher Angel as the young Billy and Jack Dylan Grazer as his best friend. Mark Strong plays the villain well enough, even if he isn’t given much to work with.
The script is a very strong point as well. There is some consistently hysterical comedy throughout the film and almost all of the jokes land. But the writers also made sure to give this movie an emotional core by centering its themes around the importance of family. The film does a great job of making the audience care about Billy and his foster family, and because of that, it is a really effective blockbuster.
Although it is a pretty typical superhero origin story, its presentation is what makes “Shazam” a hit. Though the opening scene isn’t great, and its third act may overstay its welcome by a hair, this film hits almost all the right beats. With fun and likable characters, a great sense of humor and engaging action sequences, “Shazam” is a fast-paced and super entertaining superhero movie.
Categories: Arts and Culture