Shazam! Review: A Humor Superhero Movie
That is an effortlessly entertaining blend of humor and heart. The Film Shazam! is a superhero movie that never forgets the genre’s real power: joyous wish fulfillment.
At last! A superhero we can get with. Zachary Levi has great fun playing a klutzy superhero with a body of steel and the mind of a 14-year-old boy in DC’s latest attempt to claw something back from the Marvel behemoth.
What with Batman turning 80 and the equally aged Superman looking increasingly hokey, it’s high time we had a new kid on the superhero block. Thing is, DC supehero Shazam is just as old as those two crime fighting duffers and, in fact, made his comic book debut as the first superhero to bear the Captain Marvel name as far back as 1939.
We all have a superhero inside us, it just takes a bit of magic to bring it out. In Billy Batson’s (Asher Angel) case, by shouting out one word–SHAZAM!–this streetwise 14-year-old foster kid can turn into the adult Super Hero Shazam (Zachary Levi), courtesy of an ancient wizard. Still a kid at heart–inside a ripped, godlike body–Shazam revels in this adult version of himself by doing what any teen would do with superpowers: have fun with them! Can he fly? Does he have X-ray vision? Can he shoot lightning out of his hands? Can he skip his social studies test? Shazam sets out to test the limits of his abilities with the joyful recklessness of a child. But he’ll need to master these powers quickly in order to fight the deadly forces of evil controlled by Dr. Thaddeus Sivana (Strong).
Rating: PG-13 (for intense sequences of action, language, and suggestive material)
Genre: Action & Adventure, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Starring: Adam Brody, Andi Osho, Asher Angel, Cassandra Ebner, Cooper Andrews, D.J. Cotrona, David J. MacNeil, Djimon Hounsou, Faithe Herman, Grace Fulton, Ian Chen, Jack Grazer, Jovan Armand, Lovina Yavari, Mark Strong, Marta Milans, Meagan Good, Michelle Borth, Natalia Jaroszyk, Ron C. Jones, Ross Butler, Stephannie Hawkins, Zachary LeviDirected By: David F. Sandberg
Written By: Henry Gayden
In Theaters: Apr 5, 2019 Wide
Runtime: 130 minutes
What are the Critics saying about ‘Shazam!’?
Matthew Norman (London Evening Standard)
After lazy reliance on phoney gravitas and blundering with its first serious stab at levity with Aquaman, DC has found a comic torch-bearer of pure heart to illuminate the path of righteousness ahead.
Joshua Rothkopf (Time Out)
For a long, glorious stretch, Shazam! plays like the anti-Nolan antidote it is.
David Edelstein (New York Magazine/Vulture)
It’s a bummer when the bad guy shows up and Shazam becomes like every other superhero movie – worse, really, because the storyboarding is so poor that it’s hard to tell what’s going on. So in the climax, Sandberg misses nearly every one of his marks.
Kevin Maher ( Times UK)
In context and considering the movie monstrosities that have preceded it, so ‘Shazam!’ is irrepressibly fresh and wholesome, and ultimately suggests a new and exciting future for the stars of the DC Extended Universe. Up, up and away!
Matthew Lickona (San Diego Reader)
Director David F. Sandberg remains a horror guy at heart (Lights Out, Annabelle: Creation), and the ping-ponging between yuks and yikes leads to a pretty nasty case of aesthetic whiplash.
Noah Berlatsky (NBC News THINK)
Even in its most inspired moments… “Shazam!” can still feel weirdly disjointed.