DC’s had it a bit rough and tumble for films over the past few years, but especially from Aquaman on, things seem to look up. Does Shazam continue that?
Overall, I’d say the answer’s yes! It’s big-hearted, and consistently funny and action-packed, and the villain, Sivana, played by Mark Strong, has just about decent enough character development too.
It’s about a foster kid, Billy Batson (an amazing Asher Angel) who comes across this ancient wizard (a cool Djimon Hounsou), who grants him superpowers. Clearly modeled in part after the great Tom Hanks film Big, he proceeds to indulge in wish-fulfillment. Let me give a shout out too to his foster brother, Freddy. Jack Grazer plays him to real show-stealing effect and I hope we see more from him, as well as Asher.
Now it’s not a perfect film. One of my criticisms is while Mark Strong plays Sivana nicely enough, and we get a good twist involving him, frankly he seems to lose depth as the film goes on. It also doesn’t help that some of the other baddies fall into typical CGI genericness and the action falls into some predictability as time goes on.
But as a largely self-contained (within the DC universe) film that has plenty of heart to spare, it’s hard to complain too much overall. It’s a solid 4-star film that I’d recommend, in the end!