Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Movie Review: Shazam

Image result for shazam poster
The DCEU (DC Expanded Universe) hasn't had the easiest of starts when it comes to cinematic universes. Man of Steel which I originally liked, I actually began to dislike the more I thought of it to the point where I don't care if I ever see that movie again.

Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice made me wonder HOW a cartoons from my childhood could do a better job of showing the Caped Crusader & the Man of Steel's first encounter.

Wonder Woman I really enjoyed when I first saw and while I might have a few problems with it, I would probably still enjoy it if I were to watch it again.


Justice League...look, I don't care if there IS a Snyder-cut of that film, you can't turn chicken shit into chicken soup. I'll never understand how a film with a fraction of the heroes as Avengers: Infinity War can feel more overcrowded and with too much story going on for it's run time.

Aquaman from last year was...it was fine. Like Wonder Woman, a step in the right direction even though I think Jason Mamoa should have been playing Lobo instead of the King of Atlantis.
Image result for jason momoa lobo
Come on, I can't be the only person who sees this as a missed opportunity. Cuz I'm NOT!

So, could DC keep up the good work with their latest film Shazam?
Thankfully it's another step in the right direction.

Originally, there was talk that the Hero Formally Known as Captain Marvel was going to be played by none other than Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson and when I first heard those rumors, I thought that was an awesome idea.
Seriously, what kid wouldn't want to turn into Dwayne Johnson by saying one word?
Hell, I'm 32 and wish I could do that!

However that casting was not to be and The Great One will be playing Shazam's nemesis, Black Adam.
And he doesn't even show up in this film. So that sucks.
Image result for black adam
Yeah...yeah maybe it could work...

Instead, the role went to Zachary Levi, best known for the NBC sitcom Chuck, a series I never saw because...well it's a sitcom on NBC. Yeah, some people like The Office, I don't. What does this have to do with the movie? Nothing really.

But thankfully Levi looks like he belongs in the film. When he first appears on screen, you think "That's what Captain Mar-I mean, Shazam should look like!"

DC seems to have learned from the mistakes of years past and instead of making things dark and depression inducing, they've gone for a more lighter approach which works since the main character of this film is literally a 14 year old kid.

When foster-kid Billy Batson encounters a wizard in a cave, he's granted incredible powers and decides with his new brother Freddy to be the best superhero he can be...even if he doesn't know how to go about doing that. So what happens when someone else decides that they want that power because they came so close to it?

This movie, a few times, actually got me to laugh out loud and that's not something I can do a lot with modern cinema. But I liked the humor, I liked the characters, I didn't want anything bad to happen to them. Now could I still sense that darkness and despair at moments?
Yeah...but I felt they were never at the wrong moment and they never went over the top with them.
There's a lot more restraint here than there has been in the past.


It's a fun movie and that's what it should be when a teenager inherits the widsom of Solomon, the strength of Hercules, the stamina of Atlas, the power of Zeus, the courage of Achilles and the speed of Mercury.
The scenes of him testing his abilities, showing off and just having fun, that's what this movie should be!

Is it a perfect movie? No, but honestly, I think it might be too much to expect that from DC at this point but like Wonder Woman, I'd probably see this movie again.
One member of Billy's foster family could have been cut from the movie and I doubt very little could have been lost and the third act could have been cut down at one point as I was starting to feel bored.

But regardless of those flaws, I think Shazam is another strong step forward for franchise that is yet to go Up, Up and Away.

4/5

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