Oh boy(!),the things you can do with an almost $100 Million budget…
It’s hard to know what Warner Bros. and DC are trying to do as of now… Yeah,they’re trying to be bright and colorful after a grimy start (even if that means both Batman V Superman’s Ultimate Cut and Wonder Woman had that tone and were still 24k Gold),but yeah. I can assure you they did it. They finally made a good movie that isn’t a CG Fest or one Production Hell of a movie that tries hardcore to ride the Slappy Go-Lucky Marvel tone.
“Shazam!” is fantastic and joyous and energetic and yes,it’s the Superhero version of Big. That mixed with Superman The Movie. If anything,I’ll remember it for the child actors. Hell yeah,these boys and girls are some of the best child actors I’ve ever seen on film (alongside Us and The Last Crusade). It’s such a breath of fresh air,considering the movie I saw last week has some of the more annoying child actors. Zachary Levi is having a lot of fun as Shazam and you can tell he cares about the role.
The story also gives a subplot for Billy Batson (Asher Angel),which is so rare in this kind of movie (again,even for a movie with child actors as main leads) while it’s this big story about Learning to be a hero. Unlike the other Origin Stories,it’s probably going to be my main go-to when I’ll make some Action Comics (just like how Marvel watches Superman The Movie for inspo).
Unlike Captain Marvel,no limitations with the Screenplay and they have so many liberties with it,which makes me think Warner was like “Ehh,no one knows this superhero,let’s just let the writers screw around with whatever contraption they have…”. But also,nothing great about VFX work. It’s just there.
The score by Benjamin Wallfisch (Blade Runner 2049,IT and the upcoming HellBoy) is so 80’s or 90’s,you can’t help it,but compare it to Superman The Movie. I’m not saying it as a bad thing,but more of it as a compliment. The joyous and adventurous bits that swell throughout the movie...
Surprisingly enough,the movie manages to get brutal. Human Decapitation happens in here,and it’s half-great and half-expected,coming from the same director of Annabelle Creation.
That mostly happens with the villain,which is also the weaker part of the movie. Sure,he has powers and acts as a villain (and some spoilery stuff I won’t talk in here),but it’s mostly a Villain that is there for the sake of the movie,and also to mirror most of the Hero’s powers.
And some moments happen for Plot Convenience (which I really despise).
But then again,you’re in the theater to have fun,and that’s what matters coming from “Shazam!”:A not so serious (literally) Superhero Movie that has some genuine heart put into it. There’s a cameo in this movie that will blow minds for sure (just like the last Superhero Movie I saw). What more do you want from that?