Warner Bros and DC Films continue their hot streak of enjoyable DC Comics adapted material. The film doesn’t hold back from its whimsical and cheesy source material. Instead, it relishes in it and because of that is surpasses all expectations.
Star Zachary Levi perfectly embodies the title character. His journey as a showboat loud mouth to bonafide superhero is believable and enjoyable to watch. His relationship with stepbrother Freddy (played hilariously by Jack Dylan Grazer) is a highlight and creates some of the best comedic moments of the film.
Asher Angel, who plays Billy Batson, does a serviceable job, but he doesn’t get too much to do once he gets the powers of SHAZAM. Hopefully, he will get more to do in future sequels.
The film’s protagonist, Dr. Sivana, played by Mark Strong, is excellent as well. He’s intimidating but also relatable. He wants to prove himself to his father but ultimately gets seduced by the power of the seven deadly sins. This is where DC was smart in hiring Annabelle Creation and Lights Out director David F. Sandberg. His keen eye for horror and build up is reminiscent of a young Sam Raimi (director of the Spider-Man and Evil Dead films). And sharp-eyed fans will notice, possessed doll, Annabelle, does make a blink-and-you-miss-it cameo in the film much like how she appears in Aquaman.
The movie acknowledges that is in the shared DC cinematic universe but it stops there. Despite an awesome cameo at the end, there is no crossover or set up for a future crossover film here. Interestingly though, DC heroes are apparently very popular in pop culture in this universe now. Kids sport lots of Justice League related clothing and accessories throughout the film.
The movie overall is a joyous fun experience for the entire family. There’s no hidden political messages or subtext to be deciphered here. It’s merely a story about a boy who is gifted with superpowers and treats it like any kid nowadays would. By making YouTube videos, getting cash, and buying beer. The movie drives home the importance of family and gives us a new hero who isn’t moody or suffering from some kind of memory loss for once.
With that said, HipsterZOMBIEJoint gives SHAZAM! a strong 8.5 out of 10. It’s just a movie that makes you feel good walking out of.