Shazam! Review – Bringing Back That DC Magic
Shazam! is now in theaters, and while you’ll never convince me that Zachary Levi doesn’t look odd in the wizard’s suit, I can tell you that it’s a helluva fun DC live action film, and it definitely adds some magic back to the floundering, but on-the-rise DC Cinematic Universe.
What really makes this comic book movie shine is its teen cast, especially Jake Dylan Grazer, who steals the show in my opinion. But Shazam!’s reliance on humor and a more personal superhero and super villain origin stories, also makes it stand out amongst the more dark DC films. It’s funny as hell, but packs in plenty of heart, so it’s a less serious type of comic book movie, but not a full on slapstick affair.
Please check out the full review below in video or script form.
“Hey now fans of the DC Cinematic Universe, Matt Heywood here to review Shazam, or what I like to call, a pretty solid live action DC movie, which is a feat in and of itself.
Shazam is definitely one of the better DC films to release over the past few years. It opts for a much more lighter tone than most recent DC live action films, and while the narrative is much more jovial overall, it still manages to tell a story with emotion and great characters.
The characters stand out for sure, and believe it or not, but the teen cast puts forward the best performances. Jack Dylan Grazer stands out in particular as Freddy Freeman, who is essentially Billy Batson’s, and in turn, Shazam’s sidekick throughout the movie. This kid is a pro level actor already, and his physical performance is just as impressive as his ability to deliver witty lines, as well as emotionally charged ones.
He really helps to flesh out this film’s place in the DCCU, and through him you get all sorts of Easter eggs and nods to the other existing DCCU properties. I especially loved the tie ins this character throws out for Superman and Batman. They’re not in your face type of mentions either, rather they’re subtly dropped to make the world of Shazam feel like it exists alongside the world Snyder setup in Man of Steel, BvS, and Justice League. Albeit a much more fun take on that world. Like no brooding and grittiness whatsoever.
In terms of Shazam himself, he’s a super fun super hero, which is due to the fact that he’s a 14-year-old in a man’s body. Zachary Levi did a fantastic job at bringing this character to life, and while he may look all grown up, Levi definitely made the character feel like a teenager who swapped places with a grown man. He made the character feel innocent, but still kind of a shitty teen at times, so I felt that Levi really nailed the essence of who Shazam is.
I still can’t say that I love the way he looks in the suit, because it does look kind of ridiculous at times, but the movie even pokes fun at that, so like I said, everyone involved with Shazam knew exactly what they were doing with this unique type of superhero.
You can’t have a great hero without a solid villain though, but luckily Mark Strong doesn’t disappoint as Dr. Thad Sivana. I actually loved how this movie simultaneously told his origin story along with Billy Batson’s. It provided a great contrast between their journey’s, and it setup Sivana as a perfect foil to Batson. His story is just delivered in a way that I found to be unique. I mean at times you almost feel like your watching Sivana and not a movie about Shazam, but it completely works, and makes the world and characters feel more authentic.
Shazam also doesn’t really opt for city leveling cluster bang type of action either, so it’s fights and displays of super powers are a bit more personal and toned down, which offers up a bit of a change from typical end of the world type of end games that comic book movies put out.
Shazam is definitely a winner, and it offers hope that the DCCU is getting itself back on track. It has a great cast of characters and actors that bring them to life. It’s origin stories are told in a unique way by essentially mirroring the path of the villain with that of the hero. And more importantly, it’s just fun as hell to watch thanks to some killer dialogue, and its exciting and emotional plot. It’s gets a strong 8 out of 10 from Team EB, and is highly recommended to check out in theaters for the visual spectacle, but also to experience it with other comic book movie fans.
Thanks for watching, I’m Matt Heywood signing off for EntertainmentBuddha.com, where we make you a better geek, one post at a time.”
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