If you’re a fan of graphic novels you probably won’t enjoy Shazam! If you’re just looking for a decent, semi humorous, quasi-action film with some (surprisingly) colorful language thrown in, then this might be for you.
The trailer and hype leading up to the official release of Shazam! neither gave too much away or really delivered on either front, respectively. It is a good solid film from the standpoint of viewing it as a purely made up, different take on the genre. But you can’t compare it to the list of other, more notable bars set by Aquaman, Wonder Woman, or Man Of Steel, lest you risk disappointment.
There does seem to be a sort of identity crises when looking at back at the long list of DC releases (the aforementioned aside), underscored by this one in particular. But again, it’s a good alternative to the tiresome, same old washed out cinematography, and effort it takes to watch (and keep track of) a dozen characters offered with every new Marvel movie.
Shazam! (played by Zachary Levi) is a one off character that comes across as a throwaway though he does so with charm and sentimentality and manages to make it his own. It’s not a total waste of time but it still doesn’t do enough to make you care about the end result with the rest of the cast acting as background noise and Levi ultimately suffers.
The costumes will throw you off a bit as well. It’s clear that his (Levi) chiseled physique had to be added in and his cape is laughable (intentional or not). However, the movie is scored well which helps and has some good song choices for what it is. It also has a surprising twist near the end, again, if you’re not familiar with the graphic novels (stay for the end credits).
This had some real potential, even with DC reboots already seemingly in progress, but instead of eliminating a few choice words here and there it was decided for whatever reason to not make it too family friendly. It’s a shame that Shazam! didn’t have better creative direction because it doesn’t know what it wants to be and could’ve been either a really good comedy or a great action movie. Instead, this one just sits idle and doesn’t stir up any emotions one way or the other.
It’s a middle of the road offering and doesn’t do much good for those who have (like myself) continually defended DC movies in hopes that they finally sort things out in a way that does these classic characters some justice.
Shazam! isn’t great but it isn’t good either. Either way, enjoy it for what it is.