This is the first DC movie that I have been genuinely excited about for about a decade now, and I have to say it wasn’t what i was expecting. The reviews for this film were through the rough 90%+ on Rotten Tomatoes, and that was really surprising me because the lead up to the movie was low expectations because of the very cheesy trailers that we received. This movie really surpassed a lot of expectations for many, and for myself it was much more focused on the character development of Shazam and the theme of family much more than action and CGI pieces.
I did enjoy Shazam for the most part. We sill start with the bad before the good because there was not much to dislike with the film. My main issue with Shazam was the CGI of the seven deadly sins. The main villain of the film Doctor Sivana had demons that he could summon on command to help him in battle, and I must say… the CGI for those characters was hideous. It felt like a 2005 Nickelodeon movie CGI job. The monsters from Scooby-Doo Skull Island looked better. That being said Doctor Sivana as a villain had some good development that started the movie off with him as a young child given the chance to become the all powerful Shazam, and he showed he had too much darkness in his heart to take the mantle. This drives him mad with revenge to take the power of Shazam which gives a very solid plot point for the villain. Then the only other negative I had with the movie was some of the jokes were very lame and didn’t land at all. Which was a little cringy, but not terrible by any means.
This movie really replicated what Marvel did with Ant Man. A much more light hearted film that revolved more around the theme of family and the development of the main character rather then big budget action scenes. Shazam does an amazing show with the coming of age story of Billy Batson to mature over such a short period of time so he can become the hero the world needs at this given time. Growing up Billy had no interest in family running from foster home after foster home, but after meeting Freddie and becoming Shazam he starts to realize how important family can be. Which was a really nice change of pace of a lot of current superhero films being love interest/power development. The movie also did a very good job in the marketing by not spoiling a very huge plot twist at the end with the whole Shazam family getting abilities. This is something I knew we would see eventually in the movie arch, but I did not expect it in the first film of Shazam which was a very pleasant surprise to say the least.
All in all Shazam was a very enjoyable superhero film that did a very good job at breaking the current mold of introduction superhero films. It definitely is getting the DCEU in the right direction after Wonder Woman and Aquaman’s success. Hopefully DC will continue on this track. I will give Shazam an 84%. It is very fun, family oriented superhero movie, with some very rough CGI at moments, but after that it is a great coming of age story for Billy Batson.
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