My first thought when I came out of the movie theatre after watching this film was: damn, they really went there and turned superhero movies into something fun, quirky and whimsical. This is exactly what Shazam! embodies. There’s a thin line between seriousness and whimsy comedy and Shazam! crosses it and reinvents the line as well as reinventing the entire superhero genre!
Shazam! follows 14-year-old Billy Batson who after a strange encounter with a wizard gains the ability to transform into an adult superhero by using the magic word Shazam! He is given the wisdom of Solomon, the strength of Hercules, the stamina of Atlas, the power of Zeus, the courage of Achilles and the speed of Mercury. Yes, I’m not kidding. We watch Billy battle the power of fame versus the right to do good while also facing villain Dr. Sivana. It’s a rollercoaster of fun, craziness, humour and also a little sadness.
The basics of this film is Billy’s attempts to figure out how to use all his powers while also learning to appreciate this new family that has come together in times of loneliness. This is what made the film one I wouldn’t rate the worst film in cinematic history; the family moments had me close to tears quite a few times. You find yourself rooting for a superhero who once he realises he has powers, makes strangers pay for selfies with him and uses his fingertips to charge people’s phones.
Shazam! is a film that every teenager dreams of: the ability to fly, shoot electricity out of their fingers and run as fast as lightning with the click of their fingers, or in this case, simply shouting Shazam!
However, there are a few issues with this film. Firstly, the adult version of Billy is completely different to the younger version of Billy. It was impossible not to miss this difference and although that may have been the point. By turning into a superhero, Billy is able to get past the not so sunshine and rainbow life of his childhood.
In addition to this, Shazam! screams Disney film, lacking the darkness of most DC and Marvel superhero movies. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing as for kids, they love the laughter and silly jokes but if you’re a fan of dark bad-ass fight sequences that characterise films such as Batman v. Superman and Justice League, this will not be your cup of tea.
Also the end where his friends and family also gain superpowers? Unnecessary and definitely not needed. If you’re looking for a fun, quirky and whimsical superhero film that is nothing but laughter and jokes, this is definitely the one and you will no doubt come out with a huge smile on your face.