Warner Bros. recently released Shazam! might just be the perfect summer movie but ironically the movie itself is set during the time of Christmas. But that won’t stop the general audience, Kids and adults alike from enjoying this film for its heart, humor and horror, the 3H elements behind its success.
Shazam! tells the story of a 15-year old Billy Batson played by Asher Angel. The young kid who’s trying to find his mother eventually ends up in the care of Vasquez family foster home where he comes across Freddy Freeman (Jack Dylan) and the rest of the foster kids. He then stumbles upon the Wizard whose in search of a successor.
The Wizard then decides to grant Billy the ability to transform into a grown-up superhero by shouting the word Shazam.
Among all the DC films released so far under Warner Bros, Shazam! is one of the few titles that have managed to stay on track with its vision to give the audience a fun light-hearted origin film. Moreover, the movie doesn’t seem rushed at any moment and does well at giving a good amount of screentime for every pivotal character in the movie.
In the case of Doctor Thaddeus Sivana’s arc, (Mark Strong) the direction and storytelling for the character is dark and gritty and the movie starts with a flashback sequence from the antagonist’s point of view instead of the protagonist which itself is a well-executed opening scene. Though the movie entertains the audience with a fair amount of heart and humor, there are few horror elements that catch the younger audience off guard and would possibly leave them dumbstruck.
Thanks to David F. Sandberg exploring his horror roots with his earlier film, the director has pushed in a few PG-13 horror elements in certain sequences which would definitely surprise moviegoers.
And in presenting the audience with the much-loved heart and humor, it is the entire collective cast that has managed to successfully portray this on onscreen. Freddy Freeman (Jack Dylan) gets the spotlight for his natural skills in bringing out laughter from the audience during his comedic moments. But on the other hand, Billy Batson also wins over a lot of heart with his emotional arc in the journey of finding his mother.
Last but certainly not the least, Zachary Levi is a boon that the studio would have never found amongst any of the A-list actors. Levi has the looks, personality and acting skills to take this franchise/character in any direction (dark or light-hearted) the studio or director wishes to.
Even the Wizard’s (Djimon Hounsou) interaction with Billy is a perfectly balanced sequence filled with comedy, emotions and a pinch of darkness. Overall, just in the standpoint of direction and storytelling, Shazam! deserves all the praise and is certainly a movie that some fans would be keen on revisiting in theaters thanks to its heart, humor and horror.
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