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  • Elise Paris

Review: Shazam!

Updated: Jul 11, 2019


So lets talk about Shazam!

Even though it’s been less than a week since the film’s UK release, everybody already has an opinion on it. From the looks of things, Shazam! Is a prime example of a marmite movie. People really love it or they hate it!

But just like actual marmite, I’m fairly indifferent. I wouldn’t search for Shazam! in the supermarket, but I wouldn’t turn down some Shazam! on toast if I was feeling peckish. Okay so that's a rubbish analogy, but basically it was alright. It wasn’t a terrible movie, but it wasn’t as good as I wanted it to be.

You’ve probably heard Shazam! be described as ‘the superhero version of Big’ and that is probably the best way of summarising it. A 14 year old foster kid called Billy Batson has had a hard life ever since he was misplaced as a child (like a set of car keys or something.) He’s been running from foster homes like it’s going out of fashion and searching for his parents in a hardly law abiding way, until he gets placed in a group foster home as a sort of ‘last chance’ scenario. When Billy is randomly chosen to become the heir of a dying wizard and take on all his invincible powers, he acts how I imagine most teenage boys would. From here outwards, the film becomes a coming of age movie, as Billy and his roommate Freddy try to work out the greater purpose behind these powers.

Honestly, I went into this film hoping for too much. Considering the interesting premise, the great cast and the entertaining trailer, I was anticipating that this could be a game changer among an era or same-ish superhero films. But it wasn’t that revolutionary. Whilst it had it’s strengths and it did make me laugh a fair bit, I had a lot of problems with the plot and some of the characters.

For example, I thought the villain was an undeveloped character - Ha, Mark Strong? more like Mark Weak……I’ll leave.

For reals though, he was just a really angry middle aged man with daddy issues, which felt like insufficient reasoning for wanting to destroy the whole world but hey, that’s just my opinion. Also with his blue eye and subsequent scar, he totally looked like the love child of The Night King and Nick Fury, right?

Moving on, the first act of Shazam! really struggled getting off the ground and it had the same problems as Captain Marvel with establishing its origins. The whole movie was very campy and not self-conscious by any means which isn’t a problem, because I get that’s what they were going for. However, this did mean that it felt like there was less at stake and in the finale scene especially, it felt a bit like a 'Scooby Doo' live action, with the whole gang trying to take down some medium to low threat ghouls. Also, I don’t wanna give away spoilers here, but I thought the plot surrounding Billy’s mum was so ridiculous. In the first half of the film I was confused as to why or how Billy could have been lost so easily and I was left assuming that there would be a really good explanation later on. Nope. Just kinda is what it is. The acting felt off considering the situation and Billy bounces back from it a bit too quickly in my opinion.

But with all that being said, I enjoyed the movie as a whole. Zachary Levi nailed the portrayal of his character and there were some moments where the story hit home in quite a sweet way. The plot holes and ‘cheese factor’ felt less overwhelming in this film due to the fact it was never claiming to be a big serious superhero movie. It was just fun to watch and a nice light hearted story for the whole family. So overall, I do reccomend that you go see Shazam! In the cinemas.

Thats all for today,

Elise, out.

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