‘Shazam!’ is the hero that ‘DC’ needed

By: Madison Tappa, Asst. Web and Business Editor

4.5 Stars 

The film company ‘DC’ doesn’t have the best reputation when it comes to films. For example, Marvel’s superhero team-up movie, “Marvel’s: Avengers” in 2012 earned $623 million in the domestic box office while DC’s superhero team-up movie, “Justice League” earned $229 million. That’s a pretty big gap for two team-up movies, which are usually the ones that are most talked about among audiences.

‘Shazam!’ was released on April 5 with 90% on Rotten Tomatoes and it is certified fresh. So far, it has earned nearly $124 million in the domestic box office.
The film follows 14 year-old Billy Batson, played by Asher Angel (‘Andi Mack’) who is in foster home after foster home due to his rebellious behavior. The foster care program places him in a new home and he’s just begging for a way out. One day, Billy escapes and takes the train but the ride isn’t going entirely too normal. All of the sudden he’s in a lair of an old wizard, named “Shazam” just begging for him to say his name to transfer his powers. Billy does and all of the sudden, he’s the grown-up superhero known as “Shazam!”

This film wasn’t just about superhero abilities, but it was about family as well which isn’t what a typical superhero movie focuses on. “Shazam!” reminded me slightly of Marvel’s 2014 movie, “Guardians of the Galaxy” because both heros had a deep connection with their mothers and became a family with the new friends they made in their lives, even if they didn’t particularly get along at first.
Billy meets Freddy Freeman, played by Jack Dylan Grazer (‘It’) who is beyond thrilled to see that his new best friend is a superhero. Together they try and figure out his powers while trying to avoid the evil Doctor Sivana who wants to steal Shazam’s powers to make him unstoppable.

An enjoyable and unique aspect of this film is that it focused a lot on child actors. Although that may be a bit of a turn-off to adult audiences, it is perfectly enjoyable for children and adults alike. It may even bring out the inner child in parents. The child actors in this film all had unique traits and were really able to showcase their acting abilities. Not a lot of superhero films focus on children, so “Shazam!” did that correctly.

Zachary Levi portrays the adult superhero, Shazam, and his acting in this movie is remarkable. Due to the fact that Billy is 14 years-old and Shazam is supposed to be in his 30’s, Levi had to act childish in his character and he does it perfectly. For example, there were scenes where he would get confused when an adult was speaking to him properly or if he rescued a child that was in his foster home, he would have to act differently, but he let some childish lines slip. The portrayal was amazing. It was also hilarious to see him having to act like an adult in order for his stories to be believable, often leaving audiences with the question: how hasn’t he been caught yet?

Seeing the story unfold, it is interesting because Billy doesn’t know the extent of his powers, so he often makes new discoveries which is fascinating to watch.

I really enjoyed the film and agree with the Rotten Tomatoes on their score. As I walked out of the cinema, the thought that kept filling my head was: when does “Shazam! 2 come out?”

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