review by Bobby Blakey
Despite kicking off their DC Cinematic Universe they have just not been able to fully find their footing with most fans. After Man of Steel, Justice League, Suicide Squad, and Wonder Woman you would think they would be well on their way. Sadly outside of Wonder Woman and Aquaman most of their films have been met with often times unwarranted criticism. The next film looking to bring a lighter side to the DCU is the long awaited Shazam! starring Zachary Levi, Asher Angel, Mark Strong, Jack Dylan Grazer, Adam Brody, D.J. Cotrona, and Djimon Hounsou with Lights Out director David F. Sanberg at the helm. Could the gods be on the side of the DCU once again or will not be a name worth shouting?
Shazam follows streetwise fourteen-year-old foster kid Billy Batson who is given the ability to become the adult superhero Shazam! by shouting one word procing that we all have a superhero inside us, it just takes a bit of magic to bring it out. I have been a fan of Shazam aka Captain Marvel for years. When my son was little he fell in love with the character after seeing the 70s TV series that we used to watch together. Now 22 years old the talk of this movie getting made as been a pretty big thing for us and after numerous directions it has finally arrived. I wasn’t overly excited with Levi’s casting initially despite loving him in the series Chuck, but I have to say he is perfection. The buzz in this film was Big meets the superhero world and it is spot on. They have done a great job here at balancing some lighthearted fun, superhero action and heart all wrapped together like the gods that give Shazam his power.
To my surprise this film has a lot more to it than the trailers let on. There are a ton of laughs and the dynamic between the trio of Zachary Levi, Asher Angel and Jack Dylan Grazer is the heart of the film. They offer up some great moments and
real chemistry that is essential for you to buy into the overall relationship of it all. Director David F. Sanberg does a great job at allowing it to unfold without rushing the origin or the bigger picture without ever making it feel like it drags. The story is jam packed with a full on origin of not only Shazam, but also Batson and Dr. Sivana. This makes it so much easier for those that know nothing about the character to jump right in while giving more to those that love it. I’ve heard some that felt Mark Strong was a weak villain, but I could not disagree more and think he nailed the character perfectly.
As with the previous two DC films they have taken the lighter approach with this one being the obvious being in a league of its own. They have captured the character perfectly and the light hearted nature of it all keeps it fun for everyone, but there is a darker side. It’s the things that they don’t show in the trailers that make this film come fully together. Make no mistake that this is a full on superhero flick and not just a comedy and offers up some great creatures, fights and surprises like fans have come to expect. There are numerous nods to the original comic that will have the hardcores fans smiling ear to ear and lots of references to the rest of the DC Universe while still being its own thing.
I cannot wait to see where this franchise goes and hope that is one that keeps coming for a long time. I loved this movie way more than I had thought I would and cannot wait to check it out once again, but seeing it with my son made it all the better. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for some great Easter Eggs and stick around for two after credit sequences.
In addition to the film this release includes bonus content including deleted scenes, a gag reel, motion comic, featurettes and more. Step into the world of magic and heroes when Shazam! available now on digital and then on 4K Ultra, Blu-ray and DVD on July 16th from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment.