Shazam! (2019)

shazam poster 2019 movie review
8.5 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 8/10

Fun romp

A little long

 
Movie Info

Movie Name: Shazam!

Studio: Warner Bros.

Genre(s): Comic Book/Action/Adventure/Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Seasonal

Release Date(s): April 5, 2019

MPAA Rating: PG-13

shazam billy batson lightning

Say the name…get the power!

All Billy Batson (Asher Angel) wants is to find the mother who was separated from his as a child.  Now, Billy’s been assigned a new foster home and is sharing a room with Freddy Freeman (Jack Dylan Grazer).  When Billy is contacted by the mysterious Wizard (Djimon Hounsou), Billy finds he can transform into a superhuman “adult” Shazam (Zachary Levi).  Unfortunately, Billy has no instruction book for the powers and must learn how to operate them with Freddy’s help…but a madman named Dr. Sivana (Mark Strong) has unleashed the Seven Deadly Sins from the Rock of Eternity, and Shazam is the only thing standing in his way of world domination!

Directed by David F. Sandberg, Shazam! is a DC Comics superhero comic book movie.  Following the release of Aquaman in 2018, the film officially started DC’s announced new approach on focusing on supporting characters.  It was released to positive reviews and a strong box office.

shazam freddy freeman captain marvel zachary levi jack dylan grazer

I dare you to say your own name!

I always have a problem calling Captain Marvel “Shazam!”.  It has been his de facto name since before I was born, but it just doesn’t seem right (especially since he can’t say his own name).  With the release of Marvel’s Captain Marvel, DC’s Captain Marvel seems officially locked in as Shazam…and the movie has fun with it.

The story for Shazam! plays with the wholesomeness of the character.  Billy isn’t the best kid, but he also isn’t a thug.  You get hits to his classic comic book past (like Tawky Tawny stuffed toys), but the story also doesn’t completely ignore the past by incorporation things like Mary Marvel, Captain Marvel Jr., and even Mr. Mind (who could have a bigger part in a sequel).  The movie despite being a bit long, keeps flowing and seems to hit on everything you’d want from a Shazam! movie…while having fun doing it.

The movie succeeds through the enjoyable cast.  Zachary Levi gets to be goofy (which he is good at) as Asher Angel’s flipside.  Djimon Hounsou plays the Wizard (who I wish was in the story more) and Mark Strong gets another comic book credit as the villainous Sivana.  Jack Dylan Grazer is fun as the motormouth Freddy and the whole Marvel “family” gets to play by the end of the film.

shazam dr sivana mark strong

No…I’m not Black Adam!

The movie has the typical comic book problem, but it faces it straight on.  Shazam’s costume is goofy.  It is dated, bright, shiny, and over-the-top, but the movie manages to reference it.  It is especially fun when the other members of the foster home get to join the Marvel Family and get their stylized costumes of multicolors.

DC is proving they are worth keeping around.  There is always a push toward Marvel movies, but I actually really enjoy DC’s entries…but I worry about them.  I hope DC continues to fight the good fight because the movies truly feel different than Marvel movies.  Shazam! gets the formula right and even has moments where it feels like Superman (but never quite makes the connection).  Shazam! was followed by Birds of Prey in 2020.

Related Links:

Shazam!:  The Monster Society of Evil

The Power of Shazam!

Man of Steel (2013)

Batman v Superman:  Dawn of Justice (2016)

Suicide Squad (2016)

Wonder Woman (2017)

Justice League (2017)

Aquaman (2018)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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