Watched Shazam a few days ago! It was a really fun movie with a lot of surprises that I didn`t expect! In the past decade of multiple superhero movies being pumped out every 3 to 4 months with a backstream of supporting superhero-based TV and Netflix shows, I must admit that I`m getting a little fatigued with these types of movies.
However, DC really hit the mark with their last 2 big films, Aquaman and Shazam!
This film really brings back the good-ol`-fashioned fun of the 1980`s ~ 1990`s vibe. There`s a long lost sense of actual adventure and childhood excitement with this film that has been missing from major blockbusters since the 90`s so this movie was a very refreshing experience!
***** About Shazam (the original “Captain Marvel”) *****
If you don`t know about Shazam, he was actually the original “Captain Marvel” which was created back in the 1940s by Fawcett Comics as a comic book competitor to the popular Superman character by DC.
Due to legal reasons and a fight between DC and Fawcett, Fawcett went out of business, DC got rights to the character, but by then Marvel Comic Company had already relicensed the name “Captain Marvel” for their own character (which would eventually become the Brie Larson version of Captain Marvel that we have in the 2019 film “Captain Marvel” and the upcoming “Avengers: Endgame”). Because they could no longer use the name “Captain Marvel” for the character, DC eventually decided to change his name to Shazam.
The Shazam character is actually a 15-year-old boy named Billy Batson who transforms through magically saying the word “SHAZAM!” in order to change into a top-tier powerful character with the physical, mental and magical attributes of Solomon, Hercules, Atlas, Zeus, Achilles, and Mercury – who`s power level is on par with Superman and Wonder Woman!
*** Review ***
This movie was FANTASTIC in my opinion, but not because it was a Superhero movie!
The reason this movie hit the mark and did so well was that it`s main focus wasn`t to really tell you a “hero origin story” like most superhero films nowadays do. Of course, the movie DID have an origin story and a plot, but the main focus of this movie was really just to have fun, be silly, be enjoyable for the entire family to watch and to have enough twists to keep viewers guessing, and stuck to their seats!
This is a family movie. It does have its surprising moments to be sure, but it`s actually a very clean and fun film because it doesn`t dabble into politics or try to take itself too seriously at any time. Think “Goonies” with superhero kids instead… That`s Shazam!
The thing that sold this movie besides its light-hearted and fun approach was the acting. I honestly didn`t think that I was going to like this movie and was going to chalk it up to another lifeless DC film, because I wasn`t impressed with the actors or CGI that I say in the movie trailers. I didn`t think the acting would be so well done.
But I was very, very wrong… And I`m happy about that!
The cast actually NAILED their performances perfectly. Even to the point of making some of their characters purposely a little unlikeable at the beginning of the film so that you could appreciate the changes in their perspectives and personalities later. Nothing major or earth-shattering, but instead meaningful & subtle differences that really make the viewers invested in the characters!
Zachary Levi, Mark Strong & Asher Angel did very well in the main roles and the supporting cast was perfect for supporting them and moving the story along. At no point in this film was I “bored” with any of the characters. Very well done for a DC film!
Overall, I think Shazam is probably the second most solid and original film that DC has come out with in years. Aquaman is still the best in my opinion due to the story and underwater visuals, Wonder Woman was good but definitely a carbon copy of Marvel`s “Captain America: The First Avenger” movie, but Shazam was the most family-fun oriented film that I`ve ever seen from DC!
If the recent movies are any indication, while MCU films might be on the decline due to oversaturation in the market and the inclusion of Disney–based SJW politics in their recent films (which most fans don`t care about or want to see in their superhero movies), DC might finally be on the proper path to redemption that they`ve needed to find a long time ago. If the quality of their new films can finally match the quality of their animated films and TV shows, then we might have a winner!