“Shazam!” — Although not a stellar movie, it still delivers the goods in a fun and engaging way.
Mind you, this is a DC Entertainment-produced title, so the color scheme and palate is not as bright and vibrant as the other superhero stable. It is slightly different from most Marvel-based entries, since the DC universe has its own way of color correcting its films.
Zachary Levi of NBC’s long-running TV show “Chuck” is the elder version of Billy Batson, (Asher Angel), a 14-year-old orphan kid who accidentally becomes a superhero known as “Shazam!”
Batson accidentally wanders off the school grounds into an abandoned subway station where he meets Djimon Hounsou’s “Shazam!” of the title. This aspect is kind of ironic, since Hounsou recently appeared in “Captain Marvel” as Korath, one of the soldiers who turned out to be unsavory.
This is where the story shifts and turns it to a darker tone. Mark Strong’s Dr. Sivana has an old score to settle with his father, John Glover’s Dr. Sivana.
Part of Dr. Sivana’s demise comes via the greed aspect of one of the seven deadly sins. Strong’s Dr. Sivana was rejected by Shazam many years ago, so he feels slighted by just the mention of his name.
When it comes down to it, however, comic book movies are just supposed to be fun.
Throw out all the notions that were in the WWI setting of “Wonder Woman” and the misfire that was 2016’s “Suicide Squad,” which was just plain disappointing.
I think “Shazam!” will ultimately not change a thing. It will be another in a long list of titles that just kind of pass through. I have a feeling that superhero fatigue is inevitable.
Directing chores on “Shazam!” were handled by David F. Sandberg who did a competent job with the eerie “Lights Out” in 2016 as well as that annoying creepy doll tale “Annabelle: Creation” (2017).
As I’ve said I the past, I don’t do horror tropes that are just sheer ridiculousness or preposterous in nature. I did like this movie, but am at the point where I just honestly don’t care about superheroes anymore.
Martin Campbell’s 2011 “Green Lantern” came out in 2011 and I just shrugged my shoulders and asked myself, “Why do I even care about this garbage?”
“Shazam” is a simple family film that looks at how families’ can come in any shape, size or color. It also has a lot to say about bullies and the like, since it shows they will get their just deserts in the end.
I’ve seen better and I’ve seen worse. “Shazam!” is a fun movie, but wait for the discount house. It’s not a movie worth shelling out $10 bucks for. It just lacks the pizzaz.