Shazam! follows a 14-year-old Billy Batson who is struggling to find his place in the world and most importantly, he is seeking his mother. Amidst this, he comes across a wizard who transfers his powers to him, making him his successor.
I think one of the main reasons why people seem to love Shazam so much is because of how simple, joyful and inspiring the film is. Shazam is different from other superhero movies because it is all about fantasy and magic. Superhero films generally are intense, sober and complex while in a drastic contrast Shazam progresses in defiance of the very notion of darkness and it seems to be poking fun at the genre of super hero films through a child’s narrative.
The film remains lighthearted and innocent at its core. It’s a cauldron of comedy, magic, heroism and fantasy. It takes us back to the roots of what superheroes were always meant to be and reminds us that of the target audience that such films were always meant to target, i.e children! While superhero films today have become very sober and do not cater to a child’s taste, Shazam is an entertainer for all ages.
It has an impactful stance on bullying and the value of family and friends. Now these are the themes we often see in children’s films therefore its safe to say that the film reminds us of the Goonies, other Amblin classics and of course, Big. The horror inspired sequences and the sense of wonder and adventure is right out of Amblin films.
The film pleasantly surprises us with comical moments and you will find yourself laughing out loud on many occasions. These are the very moments which form the heart and soul of the film. The comedy in the film is what makes it truly shine.
Apart from that, Zachary Levi & Jack Dylan’s charismatic performances bring the film to life. They are absolutely amazing in their characters and we can not help but love them. The supporting child actors have given very cheerful and captivating performances too.
However, the antagonist of the film Doctor Sivana played by Mark Strong comes across as bland and his character arc feels incomplete. We can not relate to him and also fail to sympathize with his story due to the weak buildup despite seeing him being mistreated by his father and brother in the starting.
The film generally breezes its way through the first half with effective comedy introducing us to arresting characters. The pacing remains engaging in the first half, however it does get dragged in the second half.
The climax and the final act of the film is amazing thanks to excellent direction by Director David F. Sandberg who has done a brilliant job throughout. The grading and colors of the film remain dark as commonly seen in DC films however the setups and the costume designs are vibrant and bright and they seem to be right out of a comic book!
Overall the film is a nice watch despite being a bit too childish and somewhat dragged. It is a family entertainer which one should enjoy with the entire family especially the children!