A 14-year old child gains the power to magically transform into an adult superhero with the say of one word, but soon his newfound powers are put to the test when he battles the wicked Dr. Thaddeus Sivana.
I was definitely not expecting this.
Shazam! Directed by David Sandberg (Annabelle 2 and Lights Out), is a revival film of the 1970s superhero comic that most of us probably do not remember. Maybe because his real name is Captain Marvel.
Yes, you heard right. Brie Larson’s installment is not the only Captain Marvel on screen this year. Both Marvel and DC published characters holding the same name between the years 1940 and 1967. Although Shazam did release the comic first, the character was deemed too similar to Superman; an allegation that unfortunately led to a cease of all Captain Marvel-related comics. Nonetheless, this film is spectacular. Sandberg managed to zap an old-fashioned superhero into a popcorn bearing blockbuster that kids will be dying to see. Conversely, it is an origin story so don’t expect too much action. However, it is extremely well paced and surprisingly heartfelt.
The story follows a 14- year old streetwise orphan who has finally found a home, along with five other foster children. When he encounters trouble with bullies, he finds himself on a subway train that transports him into a different realm where an ancient wizard bestows the power to transform him into an adult superhero by shouting the word “shazam!”. Now with more on his plate, he must learn to effectively use his powers and defeat the nefarious Doctor Sivana.
Every single performance in this film is great. A few standouts include Jack Grazer as Captain Marvel Jr and the beautiful Faithe C. Herman as Darla. They both present staggering performances that provides a sense of drama and heroism. Also, Darla is one of the most adorable AND talented child actors ever on screen. I did prefer the younger version of shazam rather than the adult version, but I blame the corny script. The humor is banal and dry. Not all of it, but most of it. The hero does land a few jokes here and there but for the most part he’s just about as bad as Peter Parker.
This is what I like to see. Fast action sequences and strong character development. The cinematography is marvelous and he’s more powerful than we think. Sandberg mastered the creation of a modern superhero while still sticking to magic of the comics. Also, this film is LOADED with surprises. None that I will spoil, but the Easter eggs is worth the watch itself.
Let’s just say we see some familiar faces.
Stay for both post-credit scenes.