What’s up, everybody! Sorry it’s been a bit since my last review, it’s been a little bit of time since I’ve made it to the theater. But, here we are with 2019’s eagerly anticipated, “Shazam!”. For those of us not so comically inclined, Shazam! is based off of the DC Comics character of the same name, who by means of a very strange and mystical occurrence, goes from boy to hero in a rather unique way. Shazam‘s lead, Billy Batson, is played dually by both Asher Angel and Zachary Levi in a story driven by Billy’s desire to both 1. Find his place in a world without a family, and 2. Become the world’s most kickass teenager/ superhero. The film takes us on both an emotional, and extremely comically driven adventure as Billy and his newly-met foster brother Freddy (played by “It”s Jack Dylan Grazer) tag team the process of Billy becoming a superhero without their foster parents getting in the way. Or, at least that’s the goal.
Along the way performances from Mark Strong as the film’s villain and the always fun to watch Djimon Honsou as an ancient wizard are a delight, and help tip the scales back a bit from the often overly light-hearted tone of the film. To be quite honest, I think the “light-heartedness” of Shazam! quickly became what drew me to it least. We know going into this movie that it’s going to be a comedy, that it’s going to be silly, and that it’s hopefully going to do at least one thing- entertain. And it does does do that, believe me. It just lacks any major “WOW” factor.
See back in 2016, a movie called Deadpool came into the world by storm. With an R rating, an over the top amount of action and gore and comedy that would have you laughing for minutes at a time, this movie delivered in ways that I had never seen a “superhero” movie be able to. I wanted to watch it, rewatch it, and eventually take it home. The comedy was phenomenal, the characters were amazing, and it simply felt “original”. Granted, Shazam! and company can’t exactly drop F-bombs in a family movie and for this reason, the humor is much more PG. But the comedy itself just simply didn’t grip me. For me, this is what Shazam! fell short in. Yes, the characters had chemistry and the acting was great; but I never felt like I was being introduced to something original or fresh. In a 2019 world where superheroes can’t go a full 90 days without getting another stab at the big screen, Shazam! had to do big things to stand out for me. And to be quite honest, I don’t think it does. I may get a lot of disagreements with this review, and that’s ok. See the reason Shazam! didn’t hit the mark is despite the wonderful young cast and the at least decent script, it didn’t scratch “the itch” that I look for in an origin story. Funny? Sure, at least a bit. Ranking up there in one of my favorite DC entries at least ? Surprisingly enough, no I don’t think so. I think even with all its flaws I enjoyed Aquaman a bit more (for visual spectacle at the very least!).
To wrap, I think going into this one had I known just how “kiddish” it all would be, I would’ve realized it just wasn’t for me but for someone just a tad bit younger. And hey, that’s absolutely fine. We can’t bring the kids to see a Deadpool, but by all means I think they’d all dig Shazam!. Alright, time to wrap before I start rambling on this one. Bringing a balanced ensemble, a decent and light-hearted story but an otherwise bland origin story, Shazam! lands a 6.5/10 from me. I hope you guys love it, and until next time, thanks for reading.
Peep, out 👋🏼