It’s ironic that Shazam! released the same year as Marvel’s Captain Marvel since that was also the heroes’ name in the comics. I actually thing this was better than Captain Marvel. Yeah you heard me. DC managed to make a superhero movie better than a Marvel movie this year. I would compare Shazam! to Spiderman Homecoming since both focused on a kid protagonist and were both more lighthearted.
Zachary Levi is perfectly casted as adult Billy Batson and brings so much life and heart to this hero that would have been difficult to bring to life. Mark Strong while a standard take of the world villain is also wonderfully casted as Doctor Sivana. The kid actors are also really good too. Asher Angel and Jack Dylan Grazer have a fun dynamic as young Billy and Freddy. The other foster kids are also enjoyable and have their own personalities.
One of the problems with the recent DC movies were that the stories were complicated. Shazam’s story however is very simple. It’s about a kid in a foster home who finds a magic wizard, gets superpowers and fights a villain. The movie’s tone manages to balance both comedy and emotion. There are a lot of fun moments like the montage (bonus points for using my favorite Queen song). The comedy is really funny mostly because of performances and moments poking fun at the other DC heroes. I will say that the action scenes are kind of standard for a superhero movie. The climax keeps cutting back and forth between Shazam vs Sivana and the other Shazam heroes. To be fair that’s not really the focus of the movie. The focus is really on the theme of family. The emotional parts come from Billy’s relationships with Freddy and the foster home. I heard this movie takes place at Christmas because it matches the theme of family.
You know come to think of it, the bad DCEU movies focus on Superman and Batman and the good ones focus on the other heroes like Wonder Woman, Aquaman, and of course Shazam! Shazam! has a lot of the fun and emotion that DC has been missing lately. There’s no contest that Shazam! is the best DCEU movie and the best DC superhero movie since The Dark Knight.
+ Balanced tone
+ Simple Story
+ Zachary Levi
– Standard action scenes