The Real Captain Sparkle Fingers Has Stood Up and He Is Not Alone!
I’m happy to report that DC Comics & Warner Bros. continue to put their best foot forward with SHAZAM! For an origin story, it feels a bit condensed at times and perhaps a little too fast paced. And for a two hour long film, it felt like it went by really fast. But that doesn’t mean it didn’t leave time for us to enjoy the moments of levity and emotion. As a comic book movie, it continues down the path set by Wonder Woman and also Aquaman. SHAZAM! stays very faithful to the comics. It takes inspiration from a number of different sources. One animated film I’m sure was used during the research for SHAZAM! was Superman/Shazam The Return of Black Adam. That is an awesome movie. It feels like some of the scenes from it are used almost shot for shot.
I thought Zachary Levi playing the ‘Big Red Cheese’, was perfect for the role. While his physique may appear to be less than super, his spirit is truly marvelous. Just like Billy Batson did in the comics, he has proven to be worthy of ‘The Mantle of Champion’, and shown that he is the real Captain Marvel.
I really want to get the Blu Ray for SHAZAM! because I need to see how much time Asher Angel and Zachery Levi spent together behind the scenes. Zachery Levi is a very believable 15 year old and Asher Angel was great as Billy Batson. As a matter of fact, everyone in this movie gave a fantastic performance. Billy’s foster siblings really standout. In one scene in particular, they make some real magic happen. Marta Milans, the actress that plays Billy’s foster mother, is a very lovely woman. Cooper Andrews, the actor that plays his foster father, is very funny and I feel helps bring everyone together in the scenes with the family. Djimon Hounsou was a very comic accurate version of the wizard Shazam!
At first I thought the decision to not go with Black Adam as the main villain was a mistake, I mean he is suppose to be played by Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson. And I think that is perfect tier casting. Then I heard a rumor that he may be the villain in Suicide Squad 2, which I thought was stupid. Then I saw that Mark Strong was going to be Dr. Sivana. Mark Strong is always entertaining, but even more so when playing a villain. SHAZAM! was no different. There is one scene in the movie that pokes fun of one particular villain trope. It’s brilliant. The Seven Deadly Sins look, well deadly and sinful. You can almost immediately tell which sin is which just by observing their first few moments. It’s also clear to see where their designer drew inspiration when working on each one. Let’s just say that Lust has some very unique features.
SHAZAM! is really well put together. Everything is very consistent from start to finish. Nothing feels like it clashes. It maintains the same tone throughout the run time. As an adaptation it was really straight forward. If you are a fan of the comics who is also familiar with the characters and story, nothing really catches you off guard. That does not mean that their aren’t any surprises to be had, because there are. I just can’t mention them here because I don’t want to spoil anything. They even set up one of the next potential villains. He’s kind of adorable. If you blink twice you may miss him, so be mindful and pay attention through out the entire film. It’s full of Easter Eggs.
In closing. While it’s not as epic as Aquaman. SHAZAM! I think has more heart and I certainly hope it does just as well Aquaman. It deserves to. It’s a fun film for the entire family. It’s great for both fans of the classic comics and people just starting out with the characters of the DCEU.
Oh, and SPOILER – it has two ending credit scenes, so watch both. They’re far better than the either of ones at the end of that other Captain Marvel film. Big thumbs up for me for this film. Go see it!