Shazam!, 92%, A-, 4.5 Stars
Warning: Spoilers Ahead, if you care about that, turn back, watch the movie, then return!
Put your mouse or finger on my link and read my review of this shockingly good time at the movies.
The movie flowed well and consistently. I was a little confused towards the end when Mary changed and I couldn’t tell if it was the same actor or not. Otherwise, it all makes sense and Dr. Sivana’s motivations are clear, and some expectations are subverted approriately.
Billy Batson’s a great lead, with Freddy being the perfect foil and the rest of the kids each having their moment. They are each unique and a great ensemble. I think Billy/Shazam’s point of relatability is the way he rips on super heroes at first, because there are some of us worn out by superhero content, and Freddy is one of those people who are more obsessed.
My complaint with the characters is Dr. Sivana not being the greatest foil to Billy. He’s better developed than Kaecillius and Malekith from the MCU, but he’s no Loki or Thanos, or for same universe comparison, Orm.
The visual effects are great, but I think the CGI nature of the seven deadly sins was kind of obvious, but they were otherwise consistently well done. Everything added to the origin story, but maybe Sivana wasn’t worth the opening flashback sequence. My only real complaint is that they just had Billy reunite with his birth mother, but after he leaves, she never comes up again, which is just lazy writing because they’re clearly saving her for a sequel.
Also, points off for cringey dance moves by Billy in Shazam form. At least they kept the game Eugene was playing vague, because Fortnite is absolute garbage and the last thing I need is to have it thrown in my face. Also, missed opportunity to have Injustice: Gods Among Us as the game Billy and Freddy play with their new video games.
The orchestral soundtrack was kind of dull. While the song choices worked well with their scenes, especially “Do you hear what I hear?” brilliantly foreshadowing Billy in the flashback sequence, I’ll probably buy maybe one song off iTunes to commemorate it in my library, but my music habits are a separate discussion for another time.
The humor was great, and none of it was forced. There was plenty of room for it to get juvenile because these are literal kids, although Grace Fulton, who played Mary, is older than me by about six months, and she’s portraying a 17-18 year old based on the fact she’s getting ready for college. It was also fitting that Freddy would wave his middle fingers around at Dr. Sivanna and give payback wedgies to those bullies when he saves them instead of just saving them like the adult he physically became.
All hands on deck, because this movie is a blast, with a few flaws and I admit I can’t stand watching that floss dance or anything like it. I get you need to attract current audiences, but that’s just gonna date it faster than the deadly sins CGI. It’s no Aquaman or Wonder Woman, but at least it’s not Man of Steel, BVS, Suicide Squad, or Justice League. Please have lightning strike three times in a row DC and get a sequel out before these kids outgrow their child personas!
-Visual Believability 9/10
-Purposeful Content 9/10
-Emotional Resonance 8/10
-Appropriate Use 8/10
-Appropriate Humor 10/10
-Appropriate Cursing 10/10