When a film is named “Shazam!”, you can sort of guess what you are going to see. It’s one of those words from the days of Vaudeille and tacky magicians, utter that famout term when they are about to pull the proverbial rabbit out of the hat.
I hadn’t heard of Shazam from the DC comics series, his origin story has turned out to be one the best DC film in years. And all in all they are a very good series.
“Shazam!” also knows its superheroes encyclopedia and all the usual tricks that come along with it. But with it being set in Philadelphia, the usual big city crime isn’t an issue and this superhero has a lot of time on his hands in between missing high school classes. So until Sivana comes into the picture, we get to see Billy testing out his Shazam’s powers, which is where the sparks fly, literally, as he gets paid by people on the street for shooting electricity from his fingers.
Zachary Levi is the star of the show as he manages to portray an almost fifteen-year-old in the body of an adult with effortless endearment. He’s hilarious, he’s silly, and most importantly – he’s completely believable as a superhero. Jack Dylan Grazer has an interesting part to play as he interacts with the teenage Billy and the adult Shazam and he manages to hold his own against both. However, it’s the foster family, including the kids – Darla (Faithe Herman), Mary (Grace Fulton), Eugene (Ian Chen), and Pedro (Jovan Armand) – who are surprisingly brilliant in their roles and make a strong impression. When it comes to the villain, Mark Strong manages to be foreboding and scary all on his own.What Could’ve Been Better:
There are some CGI monsters in the film that aren’t particularly good, especially in the last big fight, but they’re easily overlooked as something much more awesome happens in it that makes the many monsters a more worthy opponent.
“Shazam!” is the kind of superhero film that makes you want to have superpowers. In fact you think that they might be just around the corner!
This might seem like an obvious thing for all superhero films to do, but with so many world-ending catastrophes, the sheer size of powers sometimes gets lost. With Shazam!, you get the classics of the genre – a endearing superhero vs. an intense villain – along with many unexpected surprises.