So, as you might have gathered from that awesome artwork, this, is a superhero movie. I had the opportunity to see a special premiere screening of Shazam before the UK release – one of the many perks of having an Odeon Limitless membership! My screening was filled with mostly adults, both male and female so, take from that what you will.
Shazam starts off with a mysterious wizard who seeks a champion to carry on his legacy and immense power. For this, he calls upon those purest of soul. To his disappointment, every potential champion fails miserably until he summons 15-year-old Billy Batson. At this point Billy has moved onto his next foster home, only this time there is a collective mix of diverse personalities that will prove invaluable when it comes to fighting in the face of danger! By saying the magic word: “Shazam!”, Billy can transform into a super-charged, totally cool, man-sized superhero. As with every good comic book, there is always a bad guy. This one has a particularly monstrous grievance with a certain wizard and an illustrious kid-champion.
The shift in roles were completely believable, the dual characters played by Zachary Levi (Shazam) and Asher Angel (Billy Batson) were completely on point as each transformed into one another on-screen. The story and script were solid in terms of entertainment. As with the majority of superhero features, there is an element of predictability, that being said, I didn’t mind that so much in this one.
Although this film is entertaining and family-friendly, there are also some tough themes underlying such as; parental loss, abandonment and bullying. Obviously, when Billy becomes a superhero he realises that he has the full-potential to stand up to bullies, help out his friends, save the world and, eventually find his true calling in life. This is nicely constructed throughout the script, we don’t see rigid jumps between themes and entertainment, it is all very neatly injected so we don’t have to think too hard, however, we should be mindful of the topics suggested.
I feel that this film stands out from most other superhero blockbusters. We view the events played out in Shazam through Billy’s eyes rather than watching from an adults perspective, a refreshing change. It almost sounds silly to say that as the majority of superhero comics which are made into movies are in fact for kids, but for the most part are produced by grown-ups and portrayed by grown-ups.
Shazam lit up all expectations and stayed true to what you see on the trailer. It is engagingly funny from the start with quite a lot of LOL moments but not overdone. There is undoubtedly some adult humour in there but the jokes are fairly simple to understand.
Jam-packed with excitement this vibrant, fun-filled, fantasy flick will leave you uplifted and energised and, perhaps make you think about the superhero in your life. An ideal movie for the whole family, there is something for everyone. Take your kids, go alone or go with the gang! A perfect flick for the Easter holidays.