An Electrifying Good Time

Shazam Movie Review


Matthew Lyons

The early screening of Shazam! was held at the Regal Fenway 13 Theater in Boston on Monday, April 1, 2019.

Matthew Lyons, Digital Media Editor

In 2013 when Warner Brothers officially announced that they were creating an extended universe of films based on characters from DC Comics to compete with Marvel Studios, fans were ecstatic to see their favorite characters interact with one another. But unfortunately… the now called “DCEU” (DC Extended Universe) got off to a rocky start.

The release of “Man of Steel” in 2013 was met with mixed reviews with audiences and critics alike, and things only got worse as “Batman Vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice” (2016) and “Justice League” (2017) were all panned by critics and under-performed at the box office.

However, after seeing “Aquaman” and “Shazam”, I can safely say that… DC is back!

Warner Brothers

“Shazam” is the newest installment in the DCEU, and it is the best one yet. It is directed by David F. Sandburg and stars Asher Angel as a reckless 15-year-old boy named Billy Batson. After coming across a wizard with magical powers, Billy receives the ability to transform himself into an adult superhero, played by Zachary Levi, with one word… Shazam!

“Shazam” is fantastic. It has a great plot, great writing, and most importantly… great characters. Each character is given thorough development and motivations for their actions. While this is a solo origin story, it feels like an ensemble. The supporting cast, featuring, Jack Dylan Grazer as Freddy; Faithe Herman as Dara; Cooper Andrews as Victor; and Mark Strong as the antagonist Dr. Sivana.

This movie is a perfect blend of humor, drama, and heart

— Matthew Lyons

This movie is a perfect blend of humor, drama, and heart. The jokes are solid, there are shots that will take your breath away, and there is a lot of human qualities to these larger than life characters. By the end of the film you feel like each of these characters are real, and your friends (with the exception of Dr. Sivana). This movie is well crafted, with subtle details that add to the story. For example, it is set in Philadelphia, the City of Brotherly Love, and family is a topic addressed in this film. After seeing it, you get the feeling that the developers, writers, and actors really cared about this film, and wanted to bring this story to life in an epic way.

When I first saw the trailers for this film, I had hopes, but I wasn’t sure how the movie would be. After seeing this film I realized that the trailers didn’t do this movie justice at all. It focused on the humor, but didn’t even hint at the heart and drama of this film in the slightest. While this led to a great surprise in the film, I’m not sure how this will impact its box office numbers.

This film takes risks, and they pay off. This film brings a lot more humor than we’ve ever seen in a DC film before, but it still stays true to its DC roots. While it is overall a very funny movie, it has a lot of violence and even some jump scares. The most surprising things about “Shazam” is Mark Strong as Dr. Sivana. The trailers didn’t do his character justice at all. The trailers made it seem like he would be a generic villain, with his sole goal being “king of the universe”, but this wasn’t the case at all. He was sympathetic, and you understood all of his actions. He even has very similar motivations to Billy. Both were kids who were neglected and who just want love, they just have very different ways of trying to get it.

The reason this movie works is because it is a self contained story. It is connected to the larger DCEU, however it can stand on its own. Audiences don’t need to see previous DC films, they can come into this movie blind, and still enjoy it. I can’t recommend this movie enough, and I think no matter what genre of films you like you should definitely see it.