A youthful take on the genre that invigorates it with heart and the
right touch of humor, to make it a beacon of hope on the once gloomy
If you want to save the world, say the magic word.
A teenage foster child is given the ability to become a superpowered adult by a dying wizard. As he revels in learning the limits of his new powers with the help of his foster brother, he must also learn what it takes to be a responsible superhero. If he is not able to live up to his heroic potential, he may lose his power to an evil that wants it for nefarious intentions.
William ‘Billy’ Batson is an orphaned boy looking for his birth mother and is given the gift to become a grown up superhero being by saying the magic word, ‘Shazam!’ Frederick ‘Freddy’ Freeman is Billy’s new foster brother who happens to be a superhero enthusiast dealing with being the target of bullies at his school and ready to help Billy become the superhero he wishes he could be. The Wizard Shazam lives at the Rock of Eternity where he keeps the manifestation of the the seven deadly sins entombed while looking for a worthy person to bestow the magical force of Solomon’s wisdom, Hercules' strength, Atlas’ stamina, Zeus’ power, Achilles’ courage & Mercury’s speed. Dr. Thaddeus Sivana is a physicist who was rejected by the Wizard Shazam in the past and ever since has been obsessed with finding the Rock of Eternity to free the Seven Deadly Sins imprisoned there to get the power denied him.
Shazam! is a pleasant surprise to join the pantheon of movies belonging to the superhero genre as it totally immerses itself in the childlike wonder of having extraordinary powers in the current day. This film is easily one of the best in the DC theatrical universe with a tone that walks the fine line that makes it accessible to the whole family from the older generation who remembers the character’s original name of Captain Marvel to younger generation just being introduced to this world’s mythic elements. The acting across the board is noteworthy with everyone in the cast adding something special to their performances that help make the whole experience that much more believable regardless of what over-the-top situation is playing out onscreen. David F. Sandberg does a great job with a style of realistic yet optimistic storytelling that brings to mind Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy in its masterful delivery. Henry Gayden and Darren Lemke are able to write a screenplay that not only pays homage to the character created by Bill Parker and C.C. Beck in 1939, but brings the story to modern times with genuine delight. The scope of this film is able to cover decades of lore by giving us hints to deeper meanings and characters who will hopefully be explored in future installments. This movie has been compared to Big, but it has more in common with motion pictures like The Goonies, Monster Squad, The Lost Boys or Honey I Shrunk the Kids by the time we reach the film’s conclusion. This is a comic book movie done right in so many ways and on so many levels with something for everyone open to it. I rate this movie a rating of 4 & 1/2 out of 5.
There is an scene after the credits, but it was already shown in one of the trailers for this movie which makes it less of a must see bit of footage.