Shazam! has finally arrived in theaters and the general public can now embark on the magical adventure WB & DC Films has to offer. If you were lucky enough to catch the early screenings of Shazam! two weeks ago, then this opening weekend is just a refresher of what you have already seen. But if you haven’t, welcome the club!
Before we continue, I want to give a hefty spoiler warning to everyone reading because I will briefly touch up on any and all spoilers. If you’re looking for a spoiler-free review of Shazam!, you can check that out right here.
Still here? Good. So you watched Shazam, you had a ton of laughs, some tearjerking moments, moments where you geeked out and yelled HELL YEAH or was that just me? No!? Glad we agree!
As I mentioned in my spoiler free review of Shazam. Shazam is a huge win for DC. Not only for the reasons I mentioned in that review and above. This is the first film that truly tested the strenght of film making for WB and DC Films post the “Snyder Era”, if you even want to call it that. While Aquaman was a massive success for Warner Bros. it still had some Snyder in it. In which way you ask? Well, Jason Momoa was cast as Arthur Curry/Aquaman by Zack Snyder. Snyder also has producer credits on Aquaman and worked alongside director James Wan on the film.
Warner Bros. has openly admitted that solo films are their strong suit and Shazam solidifies that to a tee. If you take a second or two to look back at the overall picture. Every DCEU film that has been a success amongst critics and fans have all been solo films.
So what makes Shazam so special other than not including Zack Snyder’s “blueprint” in it?
Well, WB did what they didn’t do before. They let the creator, create. By that I mean they gave director David F. Sandberg the liberty to just direct his movie. They let the writers write the movie they wanted to write. Not like they need much guidance anyways, they did adapt Geoff Johns’ critically acclaimed New 52 run of Shazam….
It was also a lighthearted film about family. While the titular character is the focal point of the film, the movie heavily focuses on the effects of not having a family of your own. But also finding a family bond in people who aren’t family by lineage.
Overall the pacing of the story flows great. Time is spent where it’s needed to be spent. Things are developed as they needed to be developed. The humor lands and isn’t forced. The cute adorable moments between the Vasquez Family were great too.
Asher Angel as Billy Batson was great but for me and this might upset a few fans out there. Jack Dylan Grazer really stole the show here. His onscreen chemistry with Zachary Levi was just organic. It never seemed like they had any issues playing out their scenes and they honestly looked like they had a ton of fun filming this movie.
While that unfortunately takes away from Billy Batson, lets remember that Asher Angel technically is Zachary Levi since he’s supposed to be the adult version of him, so they’re one and the same. It’s crazy. Comic books, movies, mix them together and this is what you get, but hey we love them.
Mark Strong as Dr. Sivana was phenomenal. The onne thing I really liked about him in this film is that he’s an amalgam of himself, Black Adam and Mr. Bryer from the comics. This film serves an origin for not just Shazam but Dr. Sivana too. We see how he was deemed unworthy by the Wizard Shazam, only to fall into temptation and become a conduit and host to the Seven Deadly Sins. In the comics, Mr. Bryer becomes so enraged with Billy Batson and the Shazam Family that the Sins are drawn to him and use him as a host to impose their will.
His motivation of seeking the Wizard’s new champion is Black Adam’s sole purpose in the comic book. Other than the hologram teaser we got of Black Adam in Khandaq and how he let his power consume him. There’s no other real mention about him, other than having him live through Dr. Sivana.
In the comics Dr. Sivana assists Black Adam in hunting down the Seven Sins and Shazam. Which is more or less what we get in this movie. The Seven Sins served their purpose just like they did in the comics. They were here to wreck havoc on the world.
The Shazam Family
Unfortunately for us, the reveal of the Shazam Family in full costumes was spoiled via some early product announcements from Funko, revealing all five members of the Shazam Family in their superhero forms. They, just like Billy Batson when given the powers of Shazam, are transformed into adults. They also share all the same powers and abilities as Billy when they are in this form.
Now the early reveal didn’t take away from the experience of seeing it in live acton. The suits looked amazing on screen and it I couldn’t help geeking out about it and I honestly shed some nerd tears of joy watching this play out onscreen and while they took on the Seven Deadly Sins.
Mid and Post Credit Scenes
One of the plots points of the film is Freddy Freeman boasting about knowing Captain Sparkle Fingers aka Shazam to his bullies and classmates at school. Throughout the film Superman is mentioned more than I honestly wanted him to be, and at the end of the film, Freddy’s boasting has paid off.
Shazam arrives at the school along with the rest of the foster kids. To Freddy’s surprise, Shazam has brought a friend, Superman. A hero Freddy is a big fan of and a hero who is an inspiration to Shazam. Unfortunately, we don’t see Superman’s face nor does he speak.
The post-credit scene of the movie features longtime Shazam villain Mister Mind. If you remember, Mister Mind is shown towards the end of the first act when Billy Batson arrives at the Eternal Rock.
Mister Mind in the comics has teamed up with Dr. Sivana, and is currently teamed up with Dr. Sivana in the current DC Rebirth Shazam title. Which is a continuation of the New 52 storyline written by Geoff Johns.
With Mister Mind being fully introduced in this post-scene, in what seems to be a set up for a potential sequel. It looks like the DCEU is ready for the Monster Society of Evil.
Shazam! is now playing in theaters everywhere.