Release Date: April 5th, 2019
Cast: Asher Angel, Zachary Levi. Mark Strong, Jack Dylan Grazer, and Djimon Hounsou
Director: David F. Sandberg
Studio: New Line Cinemas, DC Films, Seven Bucks Productions, Safran Company
Distributor: Warner Bros. Pictures
IMDB | Rotten Tomatoes | Wikipedia
What a world we live in! Shazam! the second ‘Captain Marvel’ movie is in theaters, in the same year! People, we live in a universe where (when it comes to comic book movies at least) it seems anything is possible!
Billy Batson (Asher Angel) is a kid with some problems. Bouncing from foster home to foster home, he’s desperately trying to find the mother he lost years before, and is getting in trouble doing it. Not the world’s most likely hero to become the Champion but here we are. After defending his bullied foster brother (Jack Dylan Grazer) he finds himself summoned by the wizard Shazam and gifted his powers, to defeat the 7 Sins set free by Dr. Sivanna.
Over the course of the movie, we see a bit of an original take on origin movies: one set in a universe already populated with heavy hitters like Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman. The two kids pair off to discover just what powers the Champion has and get into the kind of antics you’d actually expect of teenage boys. And that’s a breath of fresh air!
The biggest thing going for Shazam! is its humor. Those teenage-boy-as-superhero moments make for good laughs and Zachary Levi has the experience and chops to make most of those jokes land. The other is it’s really kind of sweet? The family dynamic of the foster family is great and charming. It’s nice to have a movie full up on nice people doing nice things and LIVING PARENTS. A shocker for any real superhero, surely (though Shazam doesn’t fully escape any parental drama).
It has some flaws but overall they don’t detract too much. The movie is so heavily set in Christmastime it’s wild that this didn’t come out in November. I’m not sure if anything went down behind the scenes that got this pushed back but it is a little distracting at times. Some jokes don’t land completely and the charm wears off.
Mark Strong meanwhile doesn’t bring much to the table. The guy plays the same villain he has always played which has made for a fine career for some (and obviously is working for him!) but it doesn’t add anything to the fun of Shazam!
All in all, Shazam! is another one for the Win column for the DCEU. It seems Warner Bros. has finally started finding their footing in their movie-verse, fans are finally due for some good takes on their favorites… hopefully!