Movie Review: SHAZAM!

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STARRING: ZACHARY LEVI, ASHER ANGEL, MARK STRONG, JACK DYLAN GRAZER, DJIMON HOUNSOU, AND GRACE FULTON

DIRECTOR: DAVID SANDGERG

DATE: APRIL 5, 2019

 

The DC Extended Universe (DCEU) has struck gold again by producing yet another Mega hit with the film SHAZAM! After the success of Wonder Woman and Aquaman many fans wondered if the DCEU could go 3 for 3 with financial blockbusters and the answer to that query is an astounding YES with SHAZAM! raking in a whopping $328 million since its debut on April 5th. With the enormity of the film a spin-off is already in the works to begin filming next year starring Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson as SHAZAM’s mortal enemy, Black Adam.

SHAZAM! begins with teenager Billy Batson (Asher Angel) being placed in a foster home with Victor (Cooper Andrews) and Rosa ( Marta Milans) Vasquez where he meets five other foster kids consisting of Mary (Grace Fulton), Freddy (Jack Dylan Grazer), Pedro (Jovan Armand), Darla (Faithe Herman), and Eugene (Ian Chen). Billy, who had been bounced from foster home to foster home since being separated from his mother as a child, was understandably bitter and aloof from the family initially. Throughout the film Billy began to develop a brotherly bond with Freddy who helped him realize that he could trust and love people again.

One day after school Billy saved Freddy from being beaten up by two bullies. As the two ruffians gave chase to Billy, he eludes them by getting on subway car but this is no ordinary subway car because it takes him on life changing adventure. The subway car takes Billy to meet the old wizard Shazam (Djimon Hounsou) who summons him to be his new champion. He instructs Billy to say his name, upon which he does, transforming him into an adult superhero named SHAZAM!. The old wizard explains to Billy that each letter in his name ( S=Solomon, H=Hercules, A=Atlas, Z=Zeus, A=Achilles, and M=Mercury) stands for an ancient mythological God that will enable him with overwhelming power.

Once teleported back to the subway car Billy finds Freddy and the two began to test out his newly found powers. Now of course there’s a bad guy for SHAZAM! to fight in the film (What kind of film would it be if the superhero didn’t have a villain to fight?). Now enters Dr. Thaddeus Sivana (Mark Strong) who possesses powers similar to SHAZAM’s!, but his powers come from the Seven Deadly Sins (Pride, Envy, Greed, Anger, Sloth, Gluttony, and Lust) who the old wizard warned Billy about. The two make for a most entertaining spectacle as they push each other to the limits leaving a very interesting twist toward the end of this fantasy ride.

Everything about SHAZAM! was great from the casting, to the storytelling, to the overall ambience of the movie. The DCEU has been on a roll lately and honestly it’s about time. They’ve gotten away from the dark, brooding characters and gone with the light hearted, comical (not too much, but just enough), engaging stories with the right amount of action added. If the DCEU continues its pace its only a matter of time before it catches up to the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) and passes it.

SHAZAM! receives 10 stars out of 10 stars.

BreNae Scott is a Senior Mass Communications/Sports Management major from Chicago, Illinois. She will be a contributor for The Campus Chronicle for the 2018-2019 school year.

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