So I am a little late to posting this review but we finally took our older kids to see Shazam! last Tuesday during spring break. It was what they call “5 Dollar Tuesday” at my local Holiday Cinemas 10 so I said “lets go see Shazam! tonight. To be honest, we can probably all agree that DC movies have been pretty much lackluster when compared to there counterpart Marvel. Whether its studio interference, terrible scripts or just flat out dumb mistakes. The only real DC movie I have liked so far has been Wonder Woman followed by Aquaman (more on that later).
Upon hearing good reviews from friends on Shazam! and that it currently sits at 90% on rotten tomatoes, I said why not, its only $20 bucks for all 4 of us to go (and another $20 for snacks). To be honest, I never read the comic of Shazam! but I know its premise. A kid gets super powers similar to Superman and has to say the name “Shazam!” in order to access his full powers. Some of the most common reviews I read about Shazam! said that its pretty much big with a cape but without Tom Hanks. Lets face it, Big was awesome. So I took the reviews from friends, the Rotten Tomatoes rating and not knowing much on the plot and going into this movie with similar expectations I had for Wonderman, which were mixed but turned out amazing in the end.
So I left the theater and was pretty impressed with what we just saw. Judging from the kids and Kelly, they all enjoyed the flick. A solid 2 hours well spent in my books. Let’s start of with what worked. The casting was awesome in this movie. Asher Angel makes a very impressive outing as Billy Batson. He was a bit more toned down then his adult counterpart but for his first major film did really well. The main stars of this movie though are Zachary Levi and Jack Dylan Grazer. Their chemistry was very organic similar to what Tom Hanks and Jared Ruston had in Big. They played off each other in every scene and makes you think if some improv was thrown in certain areas. Zachary Levi was born to play this role with his ability to bring his inner child to life as though he was inside an adults body. Similar to what Tom Hanks did in Big.
The story progressed well and I didn’t notice any real dragged out scenes. There are many nods to both other DC films and Big which gave me a smirk here and there. The special effects were good, nothing too crazy as most of it was grounded except during some of the battle scenes when the hero and villain would fly. The other child actors in the foster home gave good performances. I always get nervous when films play heavy with unknown child actors but the ones in this film did a good job if it was their first film.
What didn’t work
Now, I hate to post the negatives of movie, but as a blogger its our duty to post both sides if there is one. Again with another DC movie comes another boring and predictable villain. Props to Mark Strong for portraying Dr. Sivana for what seemed like a text book villain. Unfortunately you get the typical villain trying to steal the powers of the main hero because they are unworthy of them from the start. Also since I did not know any of Shazam!’s villain catalogue outside Dr. Sivana and Black Adam, research after the movie showed that Shazam! contained 3 villains. Dr. Sivana, Mister Mind and The Seven Deadly Sins, but this movie was more focused on Dr. Sivana. It would be interesting if the next follow up to this brought in Black Adam. So far, Shazam! has grossed over $300 million on a $80-100 million dollar budget, not too bad.
Should you see it?
Absoultely yes. This movie was a blast from start to finish. Even my spouse who is mostly a Marvel fan when it comes to movies is recommending this movie. Shazam! provides something different in a DC movie, heart. Most of the DC movies are typical of form but the groundwork for Shazam! was family. Once you see it, you will agree with me. Shazam! has laughs, emotion and just is all around fun. So take your kids or even yourself and sit down for some good entertainment. And trust me, coming out of the movie theater I guarantee you will be saying the name Shazam! as well to see if it works.