Nathan is a film critic and aspiring author with a true passion for the film industry & hopes his writings will help launch his careers.
Shazam! is a perfect example of a movie that had trailers which did the movie no justice at all. Each trailer that came out made me not want to see the movie a little bit more each time. But, thanks to my loyalty to the crumbling DCEU and my even greater loyalty to superheroes in general, I went to the theater and I had a blast. Impressed is almost an understatement. In fact, I want to go see it again.
The film follows Billy Batson, a 14-year-old boy who has been bounced from foster home to foster home for most of his life. He's never stopped searching for his biological mother, and has even ran away from his various homes a total of 23 times. Each time, he's been disappointed by finding yet another dead end to his search. He's told he has one last chance with the Vasquez's, a couple that has 5 foster kids already. During his stay at his new home, he's suddenly transported to a cave where the wizard Shazam resides. He explains to Billy that he's been searching for someone pure of heart to receive his powers and become the next Shazam. But the heinous Dr. Sivana, an angry man full of hate, greed, and envy has taken advantage of Shazam's failing strength and released the Seven Deadly Sins upon the world. Billy, now endowed with the wizard's powers, must quickly learn what it takes to be a true hero in order to stop Sivana from releasing chaos on the world.
There's not much about this film that wasn't great. What I thought would be horrifically cheesy was actually brilliant. Of course Billy acts like a kid in Shazam form; he is a kid. It's like if you combined Big with Spider-Man: Homecoming. You have a kid who becomes something strange and unfamiliar overnight, and now is left with his kid friends coaching him on how to manage being different. He's been trying to figure out where he belongs in the world and now he suddenly has to save it too.
The writing was spot-on and the jokes fit perfectly with each situation. DC took a huge chance on hiring fairly new writer Henry Gayden and novice film director David F. Sandberg. The two turned out to be a dynamic duo that brought this character to life and made me want to see more.
The only gripe I have is very small. In fact, I'm not even deducting that much for it. To me, the CGI effects for the Sins was not that great. They looked like they popped out of the Jack Black Goosebumps movies and wandered onto the wrong set. Other than that, it was a fantastic film.
In conclusion, I have nothing but high praise for Shazam. Go see it. If you're looking for a fun, meaningful superhero flick that's got a ton of laughs and a ton of heart, you'll undoubtedly love it. I give the film a 3.8 out of 4.
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© 2019 Nathan Jasper