The superhero movie you didn’t know you needed in your life is here. The one you least expected, the hero no one felt was worthy of the big screen, is just the hero you will want to see; twice over as a matter of fact.
Shazam!, after close to two decades of attempts, is finally getting its debut in theatres and this stand-alone origin story is just the comedic break you needed from the constant onslaught of Marvel movies being released at a slightly overwhelming pace.
The film is directed by David F. Sandberg, who is better known for his success in the horror genre with movies such as, Lights Out and Annabelle: Creation, and yet his direction with this story is a full package of everything else: action, comedy, and drama.
We meet Billy Batson, a 14-year-old boy in the foster care system who has been placed in a new group home after running away from six prior homes while searching for his biological mom. As he struggles to adjust in a new family with 5 other foster kids, he is inadvertently given powers from a wizard after being transported to a different realm riding the subway home.
Can you imagine? 14 years old and now equip with superpowers. The trick is he must figure out which powers he has first.
So, he and his new brother Freddy set out to discover them and an awesome superhero name. It’s all fun and games until Dr. Thaddeus Sivana shows up to destroy him and take the powers he doesn’t even know how to use.
Zachary Levi, who plays Shazam!, puts on a top rate performance with the quirkiness we all know him for, and Mark Strong counters with an impressively evil performance as Dr. Sivana. But I found that the young actors, Asher Angel, Jack Dylan Grazer, and Faithe Herman were what made this film great.
The cast helps round out the film for a bring-the-whole-family experience, while the script still seems very Deadpool-esque minus the profanity, in which it pokes fun at the rest of the DC Universe and current trends.
For a comic that has been the underdog since the 60’s and struggled to make it to film since the early 2000’s, it was surprisingly refreshing and Shazam! may just find his way into the minds of the younger generation as their next favorite.