Film Review: Shazam!

I said it a week ago with Aquaman, and I’m saying it again today with Shazam!: I really thought this movie would be the one to finally break the streak of mediocre DC films. Unfortunately Man of Steel continues to be the only real highlight from the DCEU for me.

Basic Synopsis: A 15 year old inherits a large spectrum of superpowers, and a super body, from a wizard living in a cave.

First Things First: First Lex Luthor, now Dr. Sivana. Good to know John Glover hasn’t improved his child rearing skills since Smallville.

Brief Thoughts: I don’t know why I’m in the minority opinion on this one. I really wanted to like it! I love Zachary Levi and was not disappointed in his performance in this far less creepy version of Big (smooth allusion, BTW). Unfortunately not a lot else was clicking for me. Blame the truancy, the flossing, rudeness towards dogs, or the overwhelming personality of Billy Batson’s superhero obsessed foster brother, but I found myself getting annoyed with the leads every so often, especially post the power discovery section of the film. Enough for it to become a problem.

Say My Name Say My Name: Even if I found him annoying at times (and am extremely disappointed in the lack of business savvy shown by not picking up the flattened bullets that bounced off of Shazam’s chest given his collection of memorabilia), I do appreciate Shazam’s sidekick’s ability to come up with a wide range of superhero names. It might not be the best of the list, but Zaptain America holds a special place in my heart for obvious, bearded reasons.

Brief Thoughts Part 2: Add the underdeveloped Black Adam Lite (what are his goals post obtaining phenomenal cosmic power exactly?), his gang of cheap Halloween decorations who were too expensive to animate talking (which sin gives Dr. Sivana lightning powers exactly? Or flight? Or strength?), and the cast of foster siblings who are way too quick on the uptake, and there really isn’t enough time to go around for an adequate amount of character building for all. Definitely not enough to earn that Seth Cohen approved ending, that’s for sure.

Quick Question: Speaking of origin stories, did one of the bullies become one after being incessantly heckled for carrying nunchucks around with him all the time? Because seriously, who keeps nunchucks in their back pocket!?

They Never Learn: Edna said no capes! Granted had Shazam listened then we wouldn’t have gotten the best shot of the film. So I’m fine with the cape, but I need more convincing on the glowing lightning symbol still.

Follow Up Question (Spoilers): There are 6 kids, but 7 chairs. Who’s missing? Will I be able to figure that out during my caterpillar inspired deep dive into further understanding Shazam?

Final Thoughts: With Shazam! failing to gloriously rise from the ashes of the DCEU, I know turn to Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) to end the streak of mediocre DC films.

So what did you think of Shazam!? Were you one of the lucky majority who give this film the thumbs up? What superhero name do you think should permanently replace “Shazam”? Let me know in the comments below!

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