“Shazam Brings Magic to The Big Screen”


“Shazam” is an exciting and funny addition to the DC cinematic universe.

Jack Wright, Radical Reviewer

It’s no secret that the DC cinematic universe got off to a rocky start, “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice” and “Justice League” were both pretty much the cinematic equivalent of a child smacking a bunch of action figures together.  However, thanks to hits like “Wonder Woman”, “Aquaman”, and most recently “Shazam,”, released on April 5, it seems that DC is starting to finally get their heads above water (pun intended). With enthusiastic characters, heart warming and honest themes, and a perfect balance of dark fantasy and meta humor; “Shazam” is an exciting breath of fresh air into the comic book movie genre.

This movie is fun because the characters are having fun. After watching Superman and Batman mope about for multiple movies, it’s so refreshing to see a superhero genuinely psyched to be a superhero. Thanks to an ecstatic performance from Zachary Levi and fellow cast member Jack Glazer, audiences get to enjoy an honest representation of a kid getting  superpowers. From posting himself testing superpowers on Youtube, to seeking real estate agents to find a “lair”, it’s just a good time watching Billy Batson giving this whole superhero thing a go.

“Shazam” is interpreted from Geoff John’s New 52 comic run on the character. Thankfully, the film brings the two most important themes from the comic, finding family in wherever you go and no one is truly pure anymore, to the screen. Old versions of Billy Batson were all goody two shoes, because Shazam is supposed to be truly pure at heart. The only problem with that is, no one is truly pure. In fact, Batson is kind of a jerk sometimes, but as a foster kid abandoned by his mother, you can’t really blame him for it. He has to find family in his new foster home and he has to decide how much of a good guy he really can be.

DC has been known as the darker side of comic movies, often going for more of the brooding dark fantasy tone. While “Shazam” is funny and doesn’t take itself too seriously, once the seven deadly sins hit the screen, the mood changes. These guys look terrifying when they first attack; kids in the theater were covering their eyes. Their first scenes were well-executed monster movie attacks, balanced with comedic timing. It was almost as if the filmmakers were winking to the audience and saying, “scary right?”.

Only a couple things hold “Shazam” back from being a perfect movie. First of all, the CGI starts to get a little hokey once Shazam starts to fly around and fight. In some scenes, his arms look like rubber. This could also be blamed on an $85 million budget which is pretty modest for superhero flicks nowadays. However, thanks to the excellent tone and experience the film provides, these effects can be forgiven.

There’s also a story arc with Batson’s mother that isn’t executed to the best it could have been. It feels rushed, and with strong actors like Asher Angel and Caroline Palmer, these scenes could have been more aired out to let the actors breathe and provide more heartfelt moments. Letting the arc stretch out to the second movie could have provided these scenes to just have more of an impact.

“Shazam” is an exciting step for the DC cinematic universe. True positivity made this movie a thrill ride that leaves audiences wanting more. If DC can keep this tone in their next few releases, maybe they can actually start competing with Marvel. “Shazam” receives an 8/10.