A student-operated publication at Santa Rosa Junior College.

The Oak Leaf

A student-operated publication at Santa Rosa Junior College.

The Oak Leaf

A student-operated publication at Santa Rosa Junior College.

The Oak Leaf

“Shazam!”: Finally, a fun DC movie

Courtesy of Warner Bros. Studios
“Shazam!” netted $53 million in its opening weekend at the box office.

“Shazam!” is a fun, relatable and highly entertaining superhero movie that’s oddly family-friendly when compared to the rest of the gloomy DC Extended Universe (DCEU).

Based on the DC Comics character of the same name, Shazam first debuted in 1939 as “Captain Marvel” and became the best-selling superhero of the time, even more popular than the Man of Steel himself.

But Shazam is no ordinary superhero. Billy Batson is a 14-year-old boy stuck in the foster system while desperately searching for his birth mother whom he accidentally wandered away from years ago at a carnival.

During his search, Batson is placed in a home with two parents who were once foster children, too. Their home is filled with other foster kids who all immediately accept and love Billy, but he’s lost and still wants to find his mom.

But how does a scrawny 14-year-old boy become a musclebound powerhouse over 6 feet tall?

Batson is chosen by a haggard, old wizard played by Djimon Hounsou to be his successor and champion. Once he says the wizard name, “Shazam,” he is imbued with enough magical power to be Superman’s equal in speed and strength — except Batson can shoot lightning from his fingertips.

Director David F. Sandberg seamlessly blends heartfelt family drama, superhero action and chuckle-inducing fun together in one of the best features from the DCEU so far.

Some of the best scenes are simply when Batson shouts “Shazam!” causing a lightning bolt to strike him and transform him into the white-toothed, slick-haired, musclebound, red suit-wearing “perfect” version of himself.

Asher Angel portrays Batson, playing a somber kid with courage, wit and room to learn from his mistakes. Angel is surprisingly likeable as a protagonist despite his age and background with the Disney Channel. In his adult form, Batson is portrayed by Zachary Levi of “Chuck” fame.

Levi gives a top-notch performance as a goofy kid in the body of an adult age superhero. However, there is a disjoint between the two versions of Batson as Angel is much more tame compared to Levi’s outlandish antics and cartoonish, eye-popping expressions.

Jack Dylan Grazer, a 15-year-old actor, portrays Billy Batson’s foster brother and best friend Freddy Freeman. Grazer gives perhaps the best performance of the film. Grazer is energetic, witty and annoyingly charming as he helps Batson learn the ropes of being a hero with his intimate knowledge of the subject, being a superhero super-fan himself. The relationship between the two depicts a friendship and budding brotherhood with relatable ups and downs.

Mark Strong stars as the villain, Dr. Sivanna. In the film, he seeks a way back into the wizard’s sanctum after being brought there as a child and deemed unworthy of magical powers.

Sivanna is one of Shazam’s weakest villains and with the absence of Black Adam, Shazam’s nemesis, the film misses out on having a compelling villain for a boring, business suit-wearing baldy. Strong would’ve made a much better Lex Luthor, sorry Jesse Eisenberg.

Along with Sivanna, Shazam does battle with the Seven Deadly Sins; these CGI demons are creepy, intimidating, evil and perhaps a little too macabre for the younger audiences. So, if you have children, or younger siblings be aware there are some frightening images in this film.

The film is great for the whole family, not just the comic buffs. “Shazam!” manages to brighten up the dreary DCEU with laughter, down-to-earth beginnings and humor rivaling the riotous “Deadpool.”

Leave a Comment
About the Contributor
Jordan Allums, Staff Writer
Jordan Allums started his career with The Oak Leaf in 2018, beginning as a staff writer for the news section. He is now the arts and entertainment editor, in his second semester with The Oak Leaf. Jordan hopes to become a professional movie critic as his career in journalism progresses.

Comments (0)

All Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *