“Shazam!” Movie Review


Warner Brothers

Shazam and Freddie Freeman enjoy a donut breakfast after saving a woman from getting robbed.

Carter Colvin, Photo Editor

On April 5, the DC comic-book hero movie Shazam! released to theaters. The movie was directed by David Sandberg and features Zachary Levi as “Captain Sparkle Fingers” alongside a set of talented young actors including Asher Angel and Jack Dylan Grazer. As hinted to by his nickname, this film is different from most superhero movies because it embraces its hokey nature which provides comic relief while simultaneously telling a sentimental story.

The story focuses around a young foster kid named Billy Batson who has been in and out of foster homes all his life. He has dedicated his time outside the homes to search for his birth mother until he is taken in by authorities who send him to a group home as a last resort before getting him into serious trouble. At the home, he is surrounded by some interesting family members and characters. One of whom is superhero fanatic Freddie Freeman who is not shy about sharing his opinions on caped crusaders actively playing a major role in society. Freddy’s greatest ambition to meet a real superhero come true when Billy is confronted by an ancient wizard known as Shazam. The feeble old man is desperate to find someone to combat the oncoming evil devised by Dr. Sivana and the Seven Deadly Sins, so he transfers his powers to the 14-year-old boy which transforms him into a dashing hero with bright red tights and a white cape. All Billy has to do to trigger the transformation is say the wizard’s name to obtain the wisdom of Solomon, strength of Hercules, stamina of Atlas, power of Zeus ,courage of Achilles and speed of Mercury (otherwise known as the powers SHAZAM). With Freddy as his mentor and videographer, Billy learns how to use his powers while gaining some important knowledge on growing up which leads up to a final confrontation with literal and internal demons.

While watching this film, I was caught off guard by how truly entertaining and funny this DC superhero flick was to watch. In the past, DC Extended Universe (DCEU) movies were depicted by rather dark and serious backstories for some of fans’ most beloved superheroes such as Superman and Wonder Woman, but Shazam tells the story of a protagonist who is actually excited about receiving superpowers because he sees his situation through a child’s perspective. Needless to say, movie-goers were able to share in plenty of laughs as Billy tried to figure out his new abilities while being able to sympathize with his adoption story . This film captures the tone of content found in classic superhero television specials that aired in the 1960s and 70s such as Batman (TV series) and the original Superman starring Christopher Reeves . Audiences were thrilled and entertained when Batman threw a batarang at the Joker as a visible BAM or POW flashed across the screen. This movie certainly pays pilgrimage to its roots by incorporating lighthearted humor and authentic costuming found in its source material which brings back nostalgia for more experienced comic book fans. Additionally, it provides modern fans and younger audiences with a fresh interpretation of the formerly known “Captain Marvel” hero by embracing its hokey nature which is too often compensated for in other films by utilizing highly budgeted special effects and CGI made available by current technology.

Overall, I would highly recommend this movie to anyone looking for something entertaining to see with friends that would be enjoyable to talk about after exiting the theater. The jokes in this movie hit well and it incorporates good old-fashioned superhero fun that is appropriate for most ages to view.