Genre: Fantasy/Science Fiction
Cast: Zachary Levi, Asher Angel, Jack Dylan Grazer, Mark Strong, Djimon Hounsou, Grace Fulton, Faithe Herman, Ian Chen, and Jovan Armand
Director: David F. Sandberg
In the dark and brooding essence of the DC Extended Universe, Shazam is definitely one of the bright spots of the DC movies. It’s truly a fun, energetic popcorn film with a ton of heart. There’s so much to like in this film as you are taken along for the ride of this origin story.
I honestly never would have guessed that walking into this film and laughing as hard as I did. It truly balanced the humor with realism. I really have to appreciate how realistic the depiction of the foster family is. You usually see the environment of a foster home as cruel and uncaring.
I was blown away by how loving and supporting the foster family was once the protagonist, Billy Batson moved to another foster home. I have to give kudos to Cooper Andrews and Marta Milans who played Billy Batson’s foster parents. They were really cool and made the house dynamic very sweet.
The Christmas backdrop of Shazam resonated with the essence of family. The idea of Christmas meshed to the overall moral of the story showed how anyone could be your family. I really love that aspect because it makes the movie more memorable because it has a message that everyone can relate to.
Our main protagonist, Billy Batson played by Asher Angel did pretty well. I do think that his acting ability has not peaked yet. With that in mind, I feel that he does have the potential to be a great actor. Billy Batson on the surface was a troubled misunderstood kid, but Asher Angel did add that emotional depth with Billy just longing for a family, a place to belong.
Now with Zachary Levi, who has the best of both worlds being apart of the DC Universe as well the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Who took on the adult persona of Shazam! absolutely imbodied a fourteen-year-old kid. He is goofy, charismatic and was practically born to wear the iconic yellow and red suit. He knew when it was time to be serious and realize that put himself before others.
Jack Dylan Grazer who plays opposite lead Asher Angel/Zachery Levi gave a great performance as well. As Freddy Freeman, Billy’s foster brother was an absolute fanboy who just wanted the world to see him for more than he was. I felt like his motivations and actions the majority of the time are justified as he and Billy had their differences throughout the film. But regardless of what happened, they thought of each other as family nonetheless.
So I mentioned the foster children earlier and I definitely think that they deserve their own little section. Starting with the youngest of the bunch is Faithe Herman who plays Darla Dudley. She was so sweet and pure. I really think that she stole the show in many scenes. Grace Fulton who plays Mary, Ian Chen who plays Eugene, Jovan Armand who plays Pedro were also bright spots in the film as well.
But do not let lighthearted film fool you, it definitely has some dark elements in this film. It surprised me that this movie is rated PG-13. These dark elements could relate to the director, David Sandberg’s horror movie background.
Regardless of that element, this movie will surely win the hearts of moviegoers. The film makes you feel like a kid again, careless and free. That’s what really makes the film special.