Published On: Sun, Mar 24th, 2019

‘Shazam’ Review: Family, fun and heart make this hero super

After Wonder Woman and Aquaman, Warner Bros continues to find success with Shazam!, giving fans hope for new DC Comics film adaptations without Zack Snyder. Billed as Big meets Superman, director David F. Sandberg’s film centers on family, heart and jokes.

Shazam! starts with a a young Thaddeus Sivana (Ethan Pugiotto) arguing with his brother and father, before facing the wizard Shazam (Djimon Hounsou) to become his new champion. Sivana fails the test and the results are tragic for the family.

In our time, the story centers around Billy Batson (Asher Angel), running from foster home to foster home, searching for his real mother before facing the Shazam! test. As teased in the trailer(s), the result is the transformation of a 14-year-old kid becoming an adult hero with super strength and power over electricity. Shazam is played by Zachary Levi, who seeks out advice from his new foster “brother” Freddie (Jack Dylan Grazer), an “expect” on all things superhero.

The adult Sivana (Mark Strong) is seeking out a means to face Shazam again and steal the power of the Seven Deadly Sins. After he succeeds, Sivana must face the titular hero to steal away his wizard powers.

Sandberg’s Shazam! is a complete break from the dark, pessimism of Snyder’s Batman v Superman, Justice League or even the mood of Wonder Woman.

Levi, Grazer and Angel drive this film through great jokes, wisecracks and physical gags. Incorporating YouTube into the exploration of his powers was a fantastic and relevant idea.

Levi, 38, famous for his titular role in Chuck, is perfect for this role. Much like Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man, Billy has to grow up to and embrace “With great power comes responsibility” when he finds find value in his new life, his new “family.”

The closing action sequence gets a bit long, but there is a lot to introduce as Sandberg basically creates his own Shazam! Universe for a future sequel and the promised Black Adam film with Dwayne Johnson. Check out the next page an explanation of the key mid-credits scene (SPOILER WARNING!).

It’s great to see the DCCU expand with different visions and tones to offset the darkness of Batman and that horrible Snyder vision which tarnished the brand.

The rest of the key cast is Grace Fulton, Faithe Herman, Ian Chen, Jovan Armand, Cooper Andrews, and Marta Milans.

Shazam! gets 3 1/2 stars out of 5 stars

The film is much like Aquaman: fun and entertaining for kids and adults. It’s a bit long, but enjoyable throughout. If you expecting something “heavy” or innovative for the genre, you will be disappointed. The predictable nature of the film will NOT be a hindrance for the audience, but may be a target for members of the fanboy hating brigade.

Spoilers on the next page

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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