It’s going to be fun in the DC universe – and after the production company announced this in advance for several of the comic giant’s other films, it’s true in the case of SHAZAM! actually. It’s the best thing that could have happened to the viewer! We reveal more about this in our review.
The Plot Summary
There’s a superhero in all of us – it just takes a little magic to awaken it. When Billy Batson (Asher Angel), a clever 14-year-old foster child, says the word SHAZAM! calls, he transforms into the adult superhero Shazam (Zachary Levi) – the legacy of an ancient wizard. Shazam – a boy with a muscular, divine body – does what any teenager with superpowers would do: he indulges in his adult version and has fun! Can he fly? Does he have x-ray vision? Can he make lightning shoot from his hands? Can he skip the social studies test? With the blissful carelessness of a child, Shazam sets out to test his abilities. But to combat Dr. In order to be able to fight the deadly forces of evil controlled by Thaddeus Sivana (Mark Strong), he must master his powers as quickly as possible.
Movie explanation of the ending
The enthusiasm for the next big superhero blockbuster has long since given way to entrenched cynicism for many. On the one hand, that’s a shame, but on the other hand, it was hardly unavoidable when you look at the rapid pace at which the comic giants DC and Marvel bring new films from their film universes onto the market. Marvel is releasing films 21 and 22 from the MCU into theaters just two months apart. In addition, the next film in the franchise, “Spider-Man: Far From Home,” will follow in the summer. DC is countering this with “Aquaman” (December 2018), “Shazam!” and “Wonder Woman 2,” which is scheduled to hit theaters in the middle of next year. Between the big crowdpleasers, related productions such as “Hellboy”, “X-Men: Dark Phoenix”, “New Mutants” and “Joker” will also follow in the coming months. You can’t blame anyone for a certain dislike of comic films, but what if you had the opportunity to watch all these films again with the childlike enthusiasm with which we probably all witnessed the creation of various film universes? Of all people, the director David F. Sandberg, who has so far mainly specialized in horror fare (“Lights Out”) achieved this little feat with “Shazam!” The film adaptation of the reluctant hero, who was previously called Captain Marvel (no joke!), is so different from his colleagues, who primarily rely on bombast and epicness, and that is precisely why it is so refreshing.
Billy (Asher Angel) tells his friend and roommate Freddy (Jack Dylan Grazer) his secret.
The first thought that came to mind after watching “Shazam!” was the comparison to Marvel’s “Spider-Man” reboot. Around two years ago, this brought a new genre coloring to the MCU and supplemented heist movies, political thrillers, etc. with friendly high school or coming-of-age comedy. The two main characters Billy Batson and his best friend Freddy Freeman (“It” star Jack Dylan Grazer) don’t stay in the said high school for too long. But screenwriter Henry Gayden (“Earth to Echo”) Spends at least as much time in his script on little Billy’s (foster) family life and the friendship of the two boys as he does on the fight between good and evil and everything that deals with the superhero theme. In addition, he applies similar effort to all narrative parts. At no point does one subordinate itself to the other. “Shazam!” is equal parts a touching story about family values, a cheerful buddy comedy with all the emotional ups and downs, and an examination of sudden heroism (“With great power comes great responsibility!” and so on…) and of course a classic superhero actioner in which Shazam soon has to defend himself against a dangerous opponent. It speaks for itself that the latter part – and therefore the heart of every superhero film – is the weakest.
Like “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” “Shazam!” didn’t necessarily require a fight between protagonist and antagonist. Despite Mark Strong (“Kingsman: The Golden Circle”) solid embodiment of a madman tormented by fantasies of omnipotence, his motivation is all too interchangeable. This is also because he is simply used as a vessel by the really evil beings – namely, deadly sins that have manifested themselves into scary monsters. His kills, which are certainly implied to be brutal (but are always carried out off-screen), never happen on his own initiative. This is what the character of Dr. Thaddeus Sivana isn’t nearly as threatening as she could be. Furthermore, “Shazam!” is the kind of film in which a dramatic fall is virtually non-existent. From the beginning, the tone and story suggest that everyone we would like to spend time with in any sequels will survive here in the end; and perhaps would have liked to have spent some time before, because when a kind of “Justice League” of absolutely likeable, extremely motivated teenagers forms into a group of heroes towards the end, you wonder why you don’t simply turn this into the eponymous “Justice League”. has made. Because despite all these weaknesses, this is exactly where “Shazam!” has its great strengths: the interaction between the characters is simply excellent! In the initial phase, Henry Gayden not only takes a lot of time to devote himself to the topic of foster families (see also: “Suddenly Family”), but also uses this topic as a basis for the authentic development of various friendships. This is important, after all, Billy aka Shazam and Freddy do a large part of the film alone.
Dr. Thaddeus Sivana (Mark Strong) wants to destroy Shazam.
From the moment Billy gains his superpowers thanks to a magic ritual reminiscent of “Harry Potter,” “Shazam!” also develops a large portion of humor among all its warm-heartedness. It does get quite silly at times, but at the same time the comedy only develops to a limited extent from punch lines written specifically for the gag, but mainly from the situation. When Billy, in the form of his alter ego Shazam, discovers one superpower after another by chance (and as a teenager is most excited about finally being able to buy beer in full-blown superhero gear) and is encouraged by his pop culture-loving friend to try out even more skills , the slowly building momentum speaks for itself. Whether you’ve never seen a superhero movie or know the films of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and DC Extended Universe inside out, “Shazam!” will captivate everyone in these minutes. David F. Sandberg directs these scenes full of experimentation, Zachary Levi (“Thor: Day of Decision”) complemented by perfect comedy timing and lots and lots of passion for his awkward, enthusiastic role. “Shazam!” is able to largely maintain this dynamic until the end, even though the film finale, which is much smaller in terms of bombast and CGI thunderstorms, sometimes drags on a little. But here too, until the end, the family always remains the element that holds everything together. And so we already know for a long time that all of this will probably end well. But it hasn’t been that important to you for a long time.
Conclusion: Without a villain character, “Shazam!” would probably have been even better. But this DC comic book adaptation is also a lot of fun with her, as David F. Sandberg is more interested in telling an intimate story of growing up and friendship than just staging an interchangeable world saving story.
“Shazam!” can be seen in USA cinemas nationwide from April 4th.