It’s been quite a while since I reviewed anything on this blog. Unfortunately, I don’t have the time to turn this website into a consistently flowing online magazine, where the knowledge is just being pumped into your minds. For now we will have to settle for quality. Sorry Solomon.
There have been moments recently where I was compelled to write reviews, but I decided against it. I was usually too busy, too tired, and honestly, too weak to even try. However, those ideas are not completely under the bridge yet. They may come to fruition some day. For now, I’m no Hercules.
This post itself won’t be too long, I don’t want to spend all hours of the night as I don’t have the endurance of Atlas.
The other night, I was so compelled to write while there erupted a large thunder clap, I thought it was Thor himself at my doorstep. It jolted me out of bed that when I saw the lightning approach my window, I knew it had to be Zeus.
You’re probably wondering why I’m blabbering on about nothing when I should just get to the review, but before I do, please check out my last recent post on a self-centered poem about myself and what I had to overcome because of the courage and will I can confidently say is close to Achilles.
I promise that in the next paragraph, the review will start. However, maybe as a reader you began (hopefully) by now, catching on to what I’m trying to say. I think the bold lettering should spell it out for you. Maybe instead of sprinkling clues I’ll just speed this right along and flat out say it like Mercury (not the Planet, the God).
What can I say? Or is there really anything bad about this movie I can say? The answer is no. This movie starring Zachary Levi as the cape crusading Captain Marvel, Captain Thunder, Captain Sparkles, Captain Shazam, and Shazam! from the pages of Whiz Comics is a delight from beginning to end. The film also has Mark Strong, the scary bald guy who always plays every villain, but he was good, his character is Dr. Sivana where he harnesses all of the deadly sins personified as creepy CGI gargoyles. I have no desire to name any of them. Just go and see the film ‘Seven’, just don’t let your kids watch it. Sorry to ruin your hopes, but there’s no Black Adam in this movie. Dwayne Johnson will have to wait to smell up the cooking in the sequel. And somehow Djimon Hounsou made his appearance in both Shazam! and Captain Marvel. He must have the ability to traverse through dimensions or was filming on both sets during the same day. You figure out that one for yourself.
In Shazam! Mr. Hounsou plays a homeless looking wizard who bestows the god abilities to a 14 or 15 year old foster child named, Billy Batson, played by Asher Angel. Even Jerry from The Walking Dead is in it. To save you some time googling his name, it’s Cooper Andrews, a Long Island native. He plays a benevolent foster dad, until he’s angry. Don’t worry, this lighthearted, hallmark, and near spoof of Superman tale is fun and appropriate for the whole family. The story even takes place during Christmastime when every child’s dream comes true. I mean, Santa Claus even makes a cameo, Ho ho ho…
This film was hilarious. There were times that I burst out with laughter. I almost felt embarrassed, but luckily the theater was almost empty. Also, the dad who played Lionel Luthor, John Glover from the old WB channel (now The CW) TV series ‘Smallville’ played Dr. Sivana’s father in Shazam! There is another actor who has a cameo in the movie, but I won’t spoil that. Lastly, there is a caterpillar named, Mr. Mind in the movie that is more interesting than the entirety of ‘Suicide Squad’.
The boy is told to say SHAZAM! where a lightning bolt strikes him from the sky and then he becomes 38 year old Zachary Levi. Shazam appears is as if Elvis Presley and Superman had a baby. There are many subtle parallels to the 1988 film, ‘Big’. The movie has a great lesson that we should all aspire to be heroes in our own ways. There could be a hero in the smallest of creatures.
Directed by David Sandberg, the setting takes place in today’s social media society, yet acts like a movie from the 80’s and 90’s, I think of ‘The Goonies’, ‘The Sandlot’, ‘Gremlins’, and ‘The Indian In the Cupboard’. However, it is none of those movies, but inspirations. If you were a fan of ‘The O.C.’, like myself, you may enjoy this movie. For those who have not seen it or heard of it, you’re probably confused as to what an ‘O.C.’ is or why I’d be making any connections towards an early 2000’s teen soap opera.
The story electrifies viewers with its abilities to poke fun at the seriousness of the DC Extended Universe and the ridiculousness of a superhero flying around with a cloth for a cape and spandex. It does not take itself seriously and I think that is why it works. For several years, I believe the DCEU films were failing due to a formula that was not working against the behemoth of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. However, the DCEU is finally finding its stride and adding a positive footprint into the cosmos of superhero Hollywood pictures. ‘Aquaman’ was a surprising success and ‘Wonder Woman’ was another home run, but Shazam! gets the grand slam. Mind my references, it’s Baseball season.
I urge you to go see it, preferably in 3-D because although, some 3-D movies come off as pop-up books, this film makes the experience more energizing.
There is a serious story in the mix of Billy’s own journey to find his biological mother who he never found when he lost her during a time spent at a carnival. Billy is somewhat of a troubled kid due to his consistent run in with the police from escaping continuous foster homes while hijacking cop cars and fast food to locate his mother. As a 14 year old student he knows how to take down some annoying pick-up truck bullies. He’s aided by a close friend he rooms with in a group home, Freddy Freeman played by Jack Dylan Glazer. With Freddy’s extensive geek knowledge about superheroes, comics, his love for Batman and Superman, he becomes a solid sidekick for our eccentric Shazam! The story then takes off and shows us how awkward it really is when a teenager is growing into an adult body. Billy’s experience with Shazam’s muscle bod is puberty times a million. There’s moments when he shows courage, there’s moments when he’s scared, there are moments when he has a taste of adulthood, there are moments when he takes advantage of his powers, is appreciated of his powers, and times when he’s the hero that everyone needs. There is even a section of the story where it feels like an episode of ‘Power Rangers’. Not going to say what actually happens though.
For someone who is thoroughly more a Marvel fan, this DC hit blew me away. I feel like Hercules flung me out of Earth’s atmosphere. In an age where real world events are so uncertain and stressful, this movie served as an escapist bottle of fresh air.
I give this 5 out of 5 lightning bolts. If DC can continue to deliver on projects as Shazam!, someday they could be contending with the MCU. Until that day arrives, I will just be my normal self, SHAZAM! And here we are, back to being human again.