The DCEU is slowly taking shape movie by movie. Shazam is the newest addition to the universe, being the forth origin and the seventh installment, it clearly wanted to take a different path from its predecessors and that's the fun way. The movie is categorized with a bright story, boundless energy, and an irresistible sense of fun. So, does it work?
Shazam movie comes at a lucky time. The success of Aquaman brought hope to the critical underwhelming franchise that is the DCEU. It no longer had much to proof and it took the chance to be as childish and funny unlike any other DCEU movie. Wonder woman had to be iconic and monumental, man of Steel had to build a universe and Aquaman had to create a whole underwater universe, shazam, well shazam just wants to be fun.
Shazam follows the story of a young foster kid, Billy Batson, who after running from foster home to foster home tries to fit into a new family. He is then given superman like powers that transforms him to a grown man, his full potential. The story feels like the classic BIG story from Steven Spielberg, and with the growing number of comic book movies, a nice addition. The movie doesn’t redefine these movies, it’s simply enjoys its existence in the current age.
Zachary Levi found his calling in shazam. His amazing acting convinces you that there is a basically fourteen year old somewhere inside him with childlike enthusiasm and heart so effortlessly. Asher Angel plays the young Billy Batson with comic perfection though his characters sometimes seemed off with that of Levi. Now, Jack Dylan Grazer, who plays an orphanage boy brother to Billy, steals every scene. He can represent envy, enthusiasm, joy, fear and many other emotions with incredible truth! The supporting actors, some big surprises there too, all do a wonderful job overall to steal your heart.
David F. Sanberg (Lights Out, Annabelle: Creation) was outside his comfort zone with shazam. Known for his a more horror genre of film, it’s amazing what he achieves with a fun family friendly film, something close to what Taika Waititi achieved with marvel’s Thor ragnarok.. However, he still managed to sneak a number of horror elements especially in the villainy aspect of the film but the movie remained fun all the way.
The movie had a budget of around 100 million dollars, so the vfx and cgi were not as immense and out of this world like other comic book movies. Given the grounded story in the movie, the action sequences and the costumes were relatively low budget but they don't affect the story in any alarming way.
The major criticism of the film are similar to what we have come to expect from majority of comic book heroes. One is the villain’s generic motivations. Mark Strong does a good job playing the character of Dr. Sivana, and in fact the character isn't bad, but it's not one you're going to remember. Not all humor lands as intended, and as mentioned earlier the fight scene lacks breathtaking chorography and effects.
Shazam is not an action movie per se but a coming-of-age comedy with some action in it. The major theme of the movie are family, and how somehow a healthy family is possible, even if it is a foster family. It is fun, you will have some genuine laughs. It pays great homage to other DCEU movies throughout with name drops and Easter eggs. Plus a pretty good surprise.
So go watch it, and enjoy you shall.
There are two end credit scene, one possibly setting up a sequel and the other (the last) just a funny addition to the Easter egg and name dropping gags.
facebook: Kelvin Kyle
By NAICCON on Apr 7, 2019