Shazam! is one of the best movies I’ve seen this year.
It’s fun, imaginative and it has the type of personality the DC film universe has been missing. It’s everything DC should’ve been doing from the start instead of you know, dark and brooding, Shazam! Does something that no other DC film has up until now…understood what “family” actually means.
Shazam! follows Billy Batson, a runaway orphan played by Asher Angel, is chosen for being pure of heart by an old wizard named Shazam played by Djimon Hounsou and given powers that so that whenever he says “Shazam!” which is an acronym for for the powers he possesses (Solomon, Hercules, Atlas, Zeus, Achilles, and Mercury) becomes the “Champion of Eternity” played by Zachary Levi that is needed protect the world when it’s threatened by Dr. Sivana played by two time DC villain, Mark Strong.
This is the thing.
Shazam! is good…like really good. This is where DC should’ve started (not finished). All of the relationships in the film are pitch perfect whether that’s Billy and his foster brother Freddy played by the scene stealing Jack Dylan Grazer, Billy’s foster parents or fleshing out Dr. Sivana’s backstory, the movie takes the time to develop it.
The performances across the board are fantastic whether it’s Mark Strong chewing up the scenery as the villain or Jack Dylan Grazer with laugh out loud one liners but the best performance is without a doubt Zachary Levi, who perfectly inhabits the mentality of a 15-year-old who has been newly given super powers.
But at its core, the film is about family and it’s the first film in the DCEU that understands what it means for better and worse. And you might go, “Well so were Man Of Steel, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Aquaman…but this does it soooooo much better and that’s testament to having characters that feel like real people and not macho, one liner spitting jocks.
Shazam! was a pleasant surprise after years of being disappointed by the DCEU. It finally feels like they’ve hit their stride with the commercial success of Aquaman and now Shazam!. And with the DCEU slowing down, we’ll just have to see what becomes of it…but for now, Shazam! Is a bloody good time.