DC’s SHAZAM! is now officially in theaters! (there was a Fandango early screening a couple weeks ago.) For the latest DC film from Warner Bros., let’s take a look at the top five things DC’s SHAZAM! does best! You can check out our in-depth SHAZAM! review here.

1. Casting: DC’s SHAZAM! Has An Incredible Cast

Right off the bat, DC’s SHAZAM couldn’t have had a better cast. Asher Angel plays 14 year old Billy Batson, a foster kid given power by a wizard who turns him into the fully grown adult superhero Shazam (Zachary Levi). Both actors playing this character are absolutely amazing. Angel’s portrayal of Billy carries this seamless transition when he says the magic word which transforms into Levi who then continues on with the character. As one character, the word gets said a lot, frequently switching them back and forth. At no point does the transition seem forced or odd. It’s perfect, and you can tell that they worked hard to work in such a great tandem.

DC's SHAZAM!
Image from Warner Bros.

The antagonist Dr. Sivana couldn’t have been played by anyone other than Mark Strong. He’s perfect for his role in THE look and in personality. An emotionally tortured youth whom the wizard determines is unworthy, who then grows up to obsessively hunt for the magic that rejects him. He then succumbs to the dark forces the wizard had kept at bay, and together they seek to destroy the wizard’s champion (Shazam). While some of his more sympathetic qualities at the beginning seem to be left in favor of a more intense, violent, and intimidating character, Strong owns the role.

DC's SHAZAM!
Image from Warner Bros.

While all of Billy’s foster siblings were great, the breakout star was Billy’s roommate Freddy (Jack Dylan Grazer). Why? Freddy is all of us superhero fans. Especially if superheroes were real. He is a superhero fanatic and incredibly funny. He helps Billy figure out what his powers are, and he thinks the entire thing is awesome. Grazer embodies the character so well, and you can tell it’s not hard to act like superheroes are awesome when playing Freddy.

2. Lots of Laughs

The humor in DC’s SHAZAM! is really good. Jokes abound just by the nature of the material. A kid who can turn into an adult superhero at will? The only way to take the comic book source material and best transfer it to screen is with humor. I mean, how would you even adapt it as a serious piece? I have no idea.

DC's SHAZAM!
Image from Warner Bros.

Billy and Freddy’s interactions are hilarious, even before Billy is able to turn INto Shazam. When he does get his powers from the wizard, it gets even better. Billy immediately goes to Freddy for help. They go figure out what his powers are and have a total blast doing so with great hilarity. I mean c’mon, it’s a teenager who turns into an adult with powers! Any teen in that situation would freak out at first and then realize he/she could get up to some awesome stuff.

DC's SHAZAM!
Image from Warner Bros.

DC’s SHAZAM! has some wonderful humor and some genuine laugh out loud moments. If you’re a fan of humor in your superhero films, get to a theater as fast as you can to see this film.

3. Spectacle (Even For It’s Own Sake)

There are some great actions and visuals in DC’s SHAZAM!. Shazam’s powers are visually appealing: strength, speed, flight, invulnerability, and command of lightning. It was all really cool even if the first half just had Billy goofing off with his new powers. Before he truly becomes a hero, he just uses his powers for the sake of using him and to show off. Never the less, it’s still really cool to see.

DC's SHAZAM!
Image from Warner Bros.

The action and visuals get even better when Billy finally does put the purpose behind his powers to save his friends and fight Sivana. One of the best moments is when he jumps off a roof like Billy, says the magic word mid-air, and flies to the rescue like Shazam. Furthermore, I will say that the climatic fight is super cool as well. Without spoiling too much of it, the fight gets even bigger and better than one might originally assume. DC’s SHAZAM! is a wonderful and colorful spectacle that’s for sure going to keep your attention and keep the entertainment levels up.

4. DC’s SHAZAM! Has A Classic Style/Look

Much like AQUAMAN’s costumes and characters, DC’s SHAZAM! sees no real need to reinvent the wheel. Shazam’s costume looks a lot like it does in the comics, specifically the DC Comics New 52 run. Mark Strong’s Sivana also looks like he does in the comics, with his bald head and round glasses. He then also gets his magical eye in the comics as well. Both Shazam and Sivana look like they’ve been ripped right from the comic pages, and they look good. There’s a really nice balance between classic look and some of the few modern elements they contain. Even Billy (as a kid) sports a classic look, sporting primarily red clothing as he does in the comics.

DC's SHAZAM!
Image from DC Entertainment

As far as the settings go, the wizard’s domain and the Rock of Eternity look accurate from the comics as well. There’s even a hall with statues of the Seven Deadly Sins and the seven thrones for the Rock’s guardians. This classic style we see in DC’s SHAZAM! works well, and creates a very lighthearted and magical feel while still having grounded elements.

5. A Heartfelt Theme Of Family From Various Angles

Sure DC’s SHAZAM! has some great action and tons of laughs, but that’s not all we get. There were also some great moments containing a lot of heart. The central theme of the film is family. We see this theme from several different angles and perspectives. We see Sivana’s broken family which leads him to darkness in adulthood. The wizard loses his family and wishes to see his family’s power passed on. Billy’s loss of his mother causes him inner conflict.

While he hopes to reconnect with her one day, it causes him to be jaded and untrusting of others, like his new foster family. The arc of the family is present throughout the entirety of the film, and that’s what pushes Billy to become a hero, rather than just a showboating goof off with powers.

DC's SHAZAM!
Image from Warner Bros.

The theme of ‘family’ comes across in some incredibly heartfelt moments. Director David F. Sandberg makes sure to take the time with these moments, rather than speed through them as some superhero films tend to do. These specific moments of the family end up being tied to crucial moments of the plot and it makes for quite a significant impact for the film and on the audience. All in all, DC’s SHAZAM! is another wonderful, magical, and hilarious addition to the DCEU, and we’ll hopefully be seeing more of Shazam soon! Perhaps alongside Rock’s Black Adam? One can only hope!

SHAZAM! is now in theaters! Go see it now!

3 Comments

  1. Jake Palermo

    April 8, 2019 at 7:52 pm

    Got that right on the family part, they come in way bigger than in the comic book: https://gutternaut.net/2019/04/adaptations-done-right-shazam-origin/.

    Reply

  2. Randy Rivera

    Randy Rivera

    April 7, 2019 at 11:41 am

    There release timing is horrible, lots of good movies are out this week.

    Reply

    • Jake Palermo

      April 8, 2019 at 7:51 pm

      What do you mean? The only thing that even comes close is Us.

      Reply

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