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Film Review – Shazam!

Too often have I gone to the cinema after being told a film was some form of transformative experience. Shazam! doesn’t want to be such an experience. Instead, Shazam! stands on its own feet, introducing a humorous cast to the DC Cinematic Universe. Whether you’re a fan of DC as a whole or not, this is a film that you should consider checking out. Here’s our full review of the hero of pure heart.

Overview

Distributed By Warner Bros. Pictures
Air Time 2hr 12mins
UK Release Date
5 April 2019
Genre/s Superhero, Comedy

Review

Story

Billy Batson is a runaway boy who wants to find his long-lost mother. As a child, the two were separated during a carnival, leaving him in police custody after his mother won a compass toy for him. She said that the compass would always help him find his way – and he kept it as a symbol. Unfortunately for Billy, as a child he needed someone to care for him, so he’s taken in by a foster home filled with plenty of children.

After defending one of the kids he lives with from bullies, Billy’s life is transformed as he’s taken to a magical cave. In this cave, a wise wizard bestows upon him the power of Shazam. With this power, Billy needs to learn how to control his heroics. Fortunately, the kid that Billy helped is an avid superhero fan, who is more than happy to help Billy learn to control his new body.

With a supervillain on the rise, taking control of the 7 deadly sins, Billy will need to learn to control his new form quickly.

Cast

Everyone was picked for their roles perfectly. The lead, Billy Batson, is played by Asher Angel for his kid form and Zachary Levi for the adult Shazam. The main villain’s actor is Mark Strong who played it seriously cold, but he wasn’t afraid to let the comedy affect his character – He does a great job here. He uses the comedic elements to make him look even more fearsome. Zachary augments his serious acting with comedy really well and Asher is a really well-rounded young lead.

The rest of the main cast are made up of young performers, who play their parts really well. Each character had their own unique personality, making for a genuinely compelling watch. Even the comic relief bullies were spot on, as they were larger-than-life personalities. All in all, thoroughly impressed with everyone involved.

Soundtrack

The Shazam soundtrack is a mixture of epic superheroics, clever pop culture references and more. Each song is cleverly picked, including montage moments where you hear classic tunes such as Queen – Don’t Stop Me Now. Basically, for a mix of some nice nostalgia, along with some great superhero music, with all the pomp and fanfare associated with it, then this is a great soundtrack, though might not be one you buy on a CD separate to the film.

Overall

This may come across somewhat dramatic, but I genuinely believe Shazam! is DC’s best film since The Dark Knight trilogy. The comedy elements were absolutely spot on, leaving us roaring out with laughter at the right moments. Some points are intentionally awkward, which come across as such. Other parts are a bit more serious, where you genuinely get absorbed into the story.

The antagonist, for the record, is incredible. He went from 0-60 in about a second. Without giving anything away, we’re introduced to him and his reason for why he wants to hurt Shazam really early on. When he obtains his own superpowers, his motifs are cruel, twisted and all in all a deplorable being. You can’t help but root for Shazam after seeing his acts, so huge props to the villain. It’s rare to find a villain who is just that, with no redeemable qualities.

Yeah, this was great. I’d call this one of DC’s best films in recent memory, yes, including big titles such as Aquaman. This isn’t one that will change your life forever, but you’ll certainly walk away with a big smile on your face. Well done to the cast, well done to the writers and well done DC. Now over to you – Have you seen Shazam!? If so, what did you make of it? Share your thoughts in the comments below, or over on Facebook and Twitter.

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