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Shazam! Movie Review

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Shazam! Movie Review

Image Courtesy of Russellmoore.com

Image Courtesy of Russellmoore.com

Image Courtesy of Russellmoore.com

Christopher Ocker, Staff Writer

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The DC movie universe began to hit its stride last year. With the groundbreaking Wonder Woman and the enjoyable Aquaman being critical successes, DC is continuing its superhero origin movies with Shazam. Although Shazam is not a well-known comic character, this film provides an enjoyable trip into the hero’s origin story.

Shazam follows foster kid Billy Batson as he tries to acclimate to his new foster family. During his time, he receives the powers of a wizard that allow him to transform himself into a super-powered version of himself. Zachary Levi absolutely steals the show as Shazam. His fun-loving attitude and fantastic comedic timing make Shazam instantly enjoyable. However, Asher Angel’s performance of the young Billy Batson should not be understated. He is the one who grounds the story in reality and keeps the story emotional. The two actors almost work off one another in this sense with Billy getting to more dramatic moment and Shazam getting the more satirical scenes.

This movie does a great job of maintaining a serious tone on a mostly satirical movie. Shazam mocks the typical superhero cliches without the need to break the fourth wall. So (unlike Deadpool 2), the film is able to have an emotional story while still satirizing superheroes. Although there are a couple of moments of tonal whiplash, overall the movie balances the humor and drama quite well. The story also has some fun sequences that really stand out as the highlights. The finale, in particular, is the standout because of the similar concept with which the story has to play around. The story does have some minor issues such as the villain being underdeveloped, but the core story is very strong and heartfelt.

By far the most severe issue of Shazam is its pacing. Each scene just seems to last a little too long, especially those which don’t further the plot. Whether it is because some ideas become too repetitive or because there are jokes that simply don’t land, the story is constantly dragged to a halt due to its speed. While not too noticeable early on, it becomes more distracting as the movie progresses. As great as the final act is, it struggles to find its rhythm because of this sluggish editing. As a result, the film fails to justify its two-hour runtime since most of the story could be condensed into nearly half that time.

Overall, Shazam is a fun movie to watch despite its prominent flaws. Due to its abysmal pace, there is very little incentive to rewatch it but that does not impede its initial quality. It’s a perfect popcorn flick that will keep you entertained at the theater.

 

Score: 6.5/10

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