Shazam! movie review : The most friendly and gleeful superhero from DC

Shazam! movie poster (courtesy Warner Bros)
Shazam! movie poster (courtesy Warner Bros)

SHAZAM! movie review is here. The American superhero film based on the DC Comics character of the same name is produced by New Line Cinema and distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, Directed by David F. Sandberg, the movie stars Zachary Levi, Asher Angel along with Mark Strong, Jack Dylan Grazer, and Djimon Hounsou. Is SHAZAM! the superhero fun we are looking for?. Find out in SHAZAM! movie review.

Immediate reaction when the end credits of SHAZAM! roll
The DC Comics universe (DCU) is on a redemption spree and how?! Wow! After WONDER WOMAN, AQUAMAN comes your friendly gleeful SHAZAM! and we want him to keep coming back again and again.

Who is SHAZAM!
 For those who have come in later and are awed by BATMAN, SPIDER –MAN, SUPER MAN etc, Shazam! is a 79 year old creation by Bill Parker and C. C. Beck created for Fawcett Comics in 1940’s where a young Billy Batson has the power to transform into the superhero Captain Marvel. Since 1973, DC Comics has billed Captain Marvel's adventures under the title Shazam! and owing to a trademark dispute with Marvel’s character of the same name, in 2012 DC officially changed Captain Marvel's name to "Shazam" ( the probable reason behind the exclamation! mark after the name!). However, the original name of Billy Batson is Mamaragan. From where and why does Billy gets the name Shazam?, for that read further.

The Story of SHAZAM!
A centuries old mysterious wizard (Djimon Hounsou) chooses a cute street - smart Billy Batson (Asher Angel) a teenager who is searching for his mother lost in a carnival. The wizard who is on the lookout for the right heir to his legacy, gifts Billy with the ability to transform into an adult superhero (Zachary Levi) in a flash just by uttering the word ‘Shazam’. On the other hand, Dr. Thaddeus Sivana (Mark Strong) has been a visitor to the wizard during the 70’s and life for the troubled child has changed dramatically since then.

Plus points
Director David F. Sandberg known for horror films like LIGHTS OUT and ANNABELLE: CREATION, takes the unconventional route – its circa 70’s and introduces the antagonist before the protagonist and without wasting much time, we are introduced to the cute Billy Batson in present day Philadelphia (the real world for a change – no planets, islands etc) – teenage foster home hopper looking for his mother. Billy gets adopted by the Vasquez family played by Cooper Andrews and Marta Milans respectively. The couple runs a group home where Billy meets the superhero obsessed Freddy (Jack Dylan Grazer) and the real fun begins. The amusingly goofy banter between Freddy and Bill Batson aka Shazam and their adventures right from finding a name like ‘Sir Zaps-A-Lot' to asking for Beer, to a meeting with a real-estate agent to fetch a good home for Shazam, homage to Big, funny digs at spider – man etc all make for a perfect entertainment for the young at heart and especially those who love the concept of superhero and are a freak wanting to try all their stunts. The sheer goofy delight gets more pleasurable with some rewarding performance from Zachary Levi who is sheer joy portraying the enthusiasms of a fourteen year old teen with perfection. Jack Dylan Grazer is all fun and Asher Angel is fantastic. Other noteworthy performances come from the hug-loving Darla (Faithe Herman), Cooper Andrews, Marta Milans and Djimon Hounsou.

Minus points
Though Director David F. Sandberg begins by introducing the antagonist, the villain over here is routine and carries one single expression most of the time. The seven deadly sins are creepy and a mundane CGI creation that fails to add anything to the delightful goofiness of SHAZAM!. The action is at the most passable.

Final words
SHAZAM! is a delightfully goofy superhero entry, the most friendly DC superhero is now at your neighborhood theatres. SHAZAM! has an unconvincing start, an unconvincing end, enough fun in between and amidst all these has that unique thread that ties the basics of a superhero with everything that goes on convincingly. No, you don,t need to know about Shazam in advance thankfully, the movie will introduce you in its on screen debut. Well, with AVENGERS: END GAME threatening to eliminate a superhero forever, it’s time for SHAZAM! to say the magic word in this world of superheroes that promises to add the much needed sparks of fun.

Rating 4/5

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Movie Cast & Crew
  • Actor: Zachary Levi, Asher Angel, Jack Dylan Grazer
  • Director: David F. Sandberg
  • Release Date : 05 Apr 2019
  • Movie Duration : 2 hrs 12 mins