Shazam! was released on April 5, 2019 directed by David F Sandberg who has directed Lights Out and also Annabelle : Creation. Shazam! stars Zachary Levi, Asher Angel, Jack Dylan Grazer, Djimon Hounsou and also Mark Strong. After countless superhero genre movie releases, I must say Shazam! was a breath of fresh air and was a goofy and fun ride till the end. Unlike most DC movies which always has a darker tone throughout the movie, Shazam! goes on a much lighter tone and has elements of childlike wonder and fun throughout the movie similar to Thor: Ragnarok.
This movie features a lot of old school visuals and it really brings the audience back to their childhood with moments such as when Freddy helps Shazam! discover his powers and they’re both in childlike glee when a new power is discovered. There is also the added element of uncertainty and self-discovery that makes this movie so different than other superhero movies where the lead always seems to know what to do right off the bat.
First of all, the actors were amazing in their respective roles. For instance, Zachary Levi in his portrayal of Shazam! who is the super-powered alter ego of Billy Batson. Despite being an extremely strong superhero, he does not act like most superheroes who are always stoic and macho in their words and actions, he in contrast is always endearingly bubbly and childlike but that could just be due to his alter ego as a 14 year old teen but it is done in such a way that the audience can’t help but love the character. Zachary Levi manages to portray that element of childlike wonder so well and it really carries the movie well as a more fun version of a DC movie.
Asher Angel as well did a great job portraying Billy Batson, a troubled orphaned teen that gets bestowed with superpowers by an ancient wizard where after shouting out ‘Shazam’, he turns into an adult that is blessed with the powers of six ancient gods : Solomon, Hercules, Atlas, Zeus, Achilles and also Mercury. I have not seen many roles portrayed by Asher but his role as Billy stole the show, with his emotional scenes hitting hard and I really sympathized with him.
Jack Dylan Grazer too did a phenomenal job as Freddy, the disabled foster brother of Billy with a strong enthusiasm for superheroes. The chemistry between him and Zachary was amazing to watch and I feel that they really brought the whole movie together with their scenes. If the name sounds familiar, its because he was also in the movie IT and the sequel IT 2 as Eddie Kaspbrak, the asthma prone teen who has a severe phobia of dirt and germs.
I’ll admit this movie threw me off guard a little at the beginning, with its dark and gritty introduction scene which made me think this movie is gonna be similar to the other DC movies. But the next scene completely changed my mind and heightened my interest for the movie with Billy’s scene where he terrorizes a pair of cops, stealing their vehicle and one of the cop’s lunches, all done in such charismatic fashion. He really stole my attention with his scenes afterwards, for he is able to portray such an array of emotions and really connect with the viewers well.
This movie throughout its 2 hour and 12 minutes runtime has never felt too drawn out or boring in any sense, the plot was done perfectly and every scene was done with the right amount of pacing and visually, this movie was gorgeous to watch and experience. The CGI too was done brilliantly and there were much laughs watching the antics of Shazam! and Freddy, as they go around exploring Shazam!’s powers while enjoying hanging out together, staying out late and attempting to buy beer.Praise has to be given to the director, David Sandberg, for his amazing visual and creative directing, it truly felt like a superhero movie through and through. Despite this being his first superhero movie, he was able to do such an excellent job. His command of the actors and the camera made this movie into one that I probably would never get tired of re-watching. Every scene was shot well and the fight scenes were choreographed well and did not feel extremely lengthy and unnecessary. So, props to the director and I can’t wait for the sequel to come.