Every kids dream growing up is to wake up as a Superhero. To have the power to fly, punch stuff, shoot lightning out of your hand! But what would you actually do? Would you become a hero right away, or would you go buy beer cause you look older and try and become a Youtube celebrity? This is the question Shazam! asks throughout the new movie from the DC Extended Universe.
The DC Universe has become sort of a joke compared toe the Marvel Behemoth. Their movies have become sort of a joke and the antithesis of what Marvel represents.
However, Wonder Woman was fantastic, Justice League might have been a box office dissapointment (if you consider $657,924,295 a dissapointment), but I still enjoyed it, and Aquaman was extremely fun as well. So they have at least been on the right track and seem to be finding the correct tones for their movies now.
Shazam, directed by David Sandberg, is a character and movie that kind of came out of nowhere, even for someone like me who is pretty tuned in to anything comic related. The basic idea of the character is a wizard who is looking for someone who is worthy of taking on the powers of Shazam. Foster child young Billy Batson (Asher Angel) stumbles upon the wizard and is given the powers in order to fight Thaddeus Sivana (Mark Strong) who had stolen the power of the secen deadly sins.
Billy is then able to say Shazam! and he becomes Zachary Levi dressed in a super suit! (Very similar to the movie Big and even has a scene that pays homage) He can fly, he has super strength, and yes he can shoot lightning out of his hands. But in his heart he is still a teenager and acts like it. He grows with his new friends from his foster home and learns that they can help in unexpected ways and with the help of a great twist finds out what it means to be a part of a family.
Stock Up – Zachary Levi has been in my life since Chuck and I have been high on him since then. He has been in 2 Thor movies and then crossed over to DC and this feels like a major breakout for him. He leans into playing a kid more than Tom Hanks did in Big and it felt very authentic. He was funny, heartwarming, and heroic all rolled into one and I am very excited to see his next step.
Stock Down – Mark Strong was fun in the Kingsman movies and usually is a good guy to have playing a bit part in movies. However, for me his villain just did not totally work. Maybe, it was the writing, but it just did not feel fully fleshed out and I would have liked to see a lot more from not only his character but his acting as well.
Stock Up – Jack Dylan Grazer was amazing as Billy’s sidekick and best friend Freddy. He plays a disabled comic book enthusiast who is Billy’s door into the superhero world. He was good in IT but he was great in this, and almost had the theatre crying of laughter every time he spoke. Grazer should have a big future ahead of him.
Stock Neutral – DJIMON HOUNSOU is just in every damn movie ever and I am never mad about it.
*A couple other tidbits
- The whole foster family was great but Marta Milans and Cooper Andrews as the parents were incredible. So funny and so warm that I wanted to live in the foster home by the end of the movie.
- Very enjoyable Soundtrack and score by Benjamin Wallfisch
This was another good step up for the DC Universe. They have some fun characters they can mix and match now and create some really fun stories moving forward, that gets me excited. I definitely enjoyed Shazam and I hope to see more of the character in the future.
Juice Rating: 83/100
*You can find all of my movie ratings here.