Reviews

Movie Title: Shazam!
Director: David Sandberg
Cast: Zachary Levi, Asher Angel, Jack Dylan Grazer, Mark Strong
Run Time: 132 min
Year: 2019
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The continuous expansion of the burgeoning DCEU has provided audiences with 2019’s first DC film, 'Shazam’. This film could either mark a refreshing change of pace for DC or be a disappointing and immature attempt to ape the MCU's style of humour and lightheartedness. This movie places audiences by the side of Bill Batson, a young foster child that has had to face everything on his own, gain superpowers and come to terms with the importance of family and the people around you.

'Shazam’ carries a PG-13 rating, features the usual superhero fare of stylized, fantasy violence and contains an infrequent use of colourful language. It does contain more than enough important messages for kids to take away. Whether that be the celebration of family or the understanding of responsibility and redemption, it's easy to say that kids that see this movie will not only enjoy it but also learn a few important things.

With regards to the overall quality of the film itself, I'd easily say that this is significantly better than some of the DCEU films to come before it(namely, Justice League). 'Shazam’ manages to bring in likeable characters with both Zachary Levi and Asher Angel turning in great, charismatic performances as Billy Batson/Shazam. Another definite standout would be Jack Dylan Grazer as Freddy Freeman, Billy's foster brother who encourages him through super-powered shenanigans. The chemistry between all three of these actors is extremely palpable, truly seeing them act as kids and not kids written by a 45-year-old Hollywood executive. The trio does an excellent job of acting as an emotional anchor to the plot of the film with the aforementioned chemistry. The film, unfortunately, falls somewhat short in its third act, wherein the unique style and childishness of the film essentially devolve into a very generic, cookie cutter superhero blockbuster. A rather unfortunate fault as up until that point, the film did a great job at poking fun at the usual superhero tropes of these films.

To conclude, 'Shazam’ is definitely a fun and enjoyable film that shows audiences a side of DC heroes that has been pushed to the wayside to make opportunities for the same Batman stories. In my personal opinion, this is the best DCEU film to date and I'd definitely recommend it.

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Nirek Panditha
Author: Nirek Panditha
Self professed film buff, aspiring writer and comic book geek.
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