Surely almost every kid has wanted to be a superhero at some point in their life – even once grown up.
In DC’s Shazam!, young Billy Batson (Asher Angel) is granted the opportunity, but all that super-heroic stuff doesn’t necessarily come naturally a foster kid who hasn’t entertained thoughts of capes, powers, snappy names and spandex. Being a superhero film, there’s origin story, but it’s swept away fairly quickly in favour of getting to the fun parts. While escaping from a bunch of bullies, Billy encounters an old wizard who transfers his powers to him. Uttering the title word, Billy is transformed into a buff – and very adult (well, physically) – super-dude (Zachary Levi). Naturally he finds a nemesis in Dr. Thaddeus Sivana (Mark Strong), who covets the wiz’s power and has the seven deadly sins in his corner.
A fun and family-friendly addition to the DCEU, Shazam! pinballs from silly to goofy to serious to parody to action-packed like a giddy puppy, and somehow it all works. Beyond the irreverent air there’s a darkness that underlies proceedings at times, and as such, this isn’t a movie for very young kids (as reflected by the M rating). But for big kids with super dreams, it’s a satisfying dose of wish-fulfilment.
Release Date: July 17, 2019
Format: DVD, Blu-ray, 4K
Starring: Zachary Levi, Mark Strong, Asher Angel