Shazam! I’m finally interested in watching another DCEU Movie. Justice League was awful, Wonder Woman was fine and I haven’t even seen Aquaman. They ruined a perfect Batman, so why should I care anymore?
Ranting aside, I’m aware that the Snyder tone wasn’t going to stick. Things needed to get lighter without feeling forced.
Shazam precisely fits the bill, reminding me of family films from the eighties. ‘Superman meets Big’ is a real good indicator, with it being full of humour whilst also managing to be fairly violent. There’s a surprising amount of swearing too.
Zachary Levi nails being a 14 year old in a man’s body, with most laughs derived from his and friend Freddy’s response to superpowers. This is a world that’s well aware of the Justice League, which gives it a curious view point at times. I shouldn’t be surprised that a world with real superheroes in it would merchandise the hell out of them!
Countering the joy and humour is the issue of characters generally being paper thin, with several story beats falling flat as they lack the time to grow. Mark Strong’s Sivana suffers from this, though he still fares better than he did with Sinestro; he’s suitably menacing if not the most memorable.
There’s plenty to like here, and some clear pointers towards what we might see in the future. Shazam is not a top tier comic book movie, but it’s pure wish fulfilment, and there’s always a place for that.