Like a combination between SUPERMAN and BIG, SHAZAM! is a goofy, lovable, family-friendly twist on the superhero genre. It’s a refreshing reminder that as much as we love watching films about dark, brooding, morally-compromised crusaders, comic book films can also be bright, bold, and just plain fun.
Initially created as a Superman knockoff called Captain Marvel (it’s a long story), Shazam was the most popular comic book character of the 1940s. And it’s easy to see why – the premise is perfect for kids. Instead of merely being a superhero’s sidekick, imagine you could actually become a superhero.
In the film, a mysterious being chooses foster kid Billy Batson (Asher Angel) as a vessel for its extraordinary powers. When Billy says this being’s name, he transforms from a 14-year-old boy into the grown-up superhero Shazam (Zachary Levi, THOR: RAGNAROK). With his friend Freddy (Jack Dylan Grazer, IT) in tow, he works to make sense of his powers, which include being able to fly, resist bullets, and purchase beer without getting carded.
With a great comic actor like Zachary Levi wearing the cape, SHAZAM! manages to give us something we haven’t seen from superhero cinema in far too long – a funny, action-packed adventure film that the whole family will love.