Let's face it, the DC universe hasn't exactly been my favourite place to be when Marvel is too busy keeping me in their glorious clutches. I've still given every DC film a fair shake, but for my money, 'Wonder Woman' was the only time I was thoroughly impressed. I gave 'Aquaman' a decent review as well, if only because it made me like a character I otherwise had no use for. So when the hell is DC's next big hit? Well, I think we pretty much have it here with 'Shazam!'
We meet a foster kid named Billy Batson (Asher Angel), who gets placed in a group home after some trouble with the law while searching for his birth mother. It's here that we meet Freddy Freeman (Jack Dylan Grazer) who eventually becomes Billy's close friend.
One day after helping Freddy out with a bully problem, Billy gets chased into a subway where he is randomly summoned by an ancient wizard named Shazam, who has been on the search for someone who is pure of heart for centuries to pass his powers to. Billy is chosen, and in a hurry, as a man named Sivana, who feels that Shazam has wronged him in the past, becomes a bigger problem than Shazam can handle.
As we probably know by the trailer, by now, by saying the name "Shazam", Billy turns into a full grown superhero (Zachary Levi) and vice-versa. He and Freddy go around town testing out his superpowers as 14-year-old kids probably would, and soon we learn that with great power comes great responsibility. It's all very well executed.
Meanwhile, this Sivana character has joined forces with the 7 deadly sins, and is terrorizing anyone who may have wronged him in his past. Soon enough, Billy and Sivana discover each other, a rivalry is born, and the rest of it plays out as more of a superhero movie than a comedy.
I'd equate this one to something more along the lines of 'Kick-Ass', where really, it's more of a comedy than anything, but it's not without moments of good action and drama. I hae to admit that it's pretty awesome to see one of the two big mainstream comic companies give a movie like that a shot. It's a giant step forward for DC, to be sure, and hopefully this helps nudge the gate open for more good DC material.
Sure, at times the film gets really silly, but it eventually gets surprisingly dramatic towards the end. It kinda throws you for a loop, and before you know it, you're kinda sitting back, routing for Billy. It's a refreshing blend of totally silly and respectably thoughtful, and I have to agree with most that it's probably one of the better titles DC has cranked out. Here's hoping those guys are on the right track.