“Shazam!” features new kind of hero

By Amani Salahudeen
Staff Writer

Image result for shazam from trailer
Billy becomes the new wizard champion in the movie (YouTube)

In the midst of recent criticism that DC comic movies are “too dark” or “too serious,” the new film “Shazam!” provides a much needed breath of fresh air.

“Shazam!” details the captivating adventure of a foster child who becomes a superhero. Billy Batson (Asher Angel) is just an ordinary boy who encounters the extraordinary every time he says the word “shazam!”

While jumping from home to home, grappling with adolescence and trying to find his birth mother, Billy finds himself in the middle of a superhero story. He soon befriends Freddy, who leads him to the wizard, Shazam.

Shazam selects Batson as a new wizard champion, who now has the ability to transform into an adult version of the wizard (Zachary Levi). The two then work together to combat the evil that is Dr. Thaddeus Sivana (Mark Strong).

“Shazam!” is different from previous DC superheroes in that Batson is separated from his mom at a young age and never gives up in his journey to find her. It also has a much lighter and more colorful tone than previous films in the DC canon.

The cast thankfully looks like they were real kids and not twenty-somethings playing the roles of young people. This gave the film a more realistic look, and was different from most of the characters I have seen in both Marvel and DC Superheroes.

The dialogue between some of the characters was engaging, and Batson’s responses and ideas actually sounded like things a kid his age would say, rather than sounding far too old or too rigid.

One criticism I have is that the dialogue and relationships between the protagonist and the antagonist was lacking. Within the script and the writing in general, there is certainly a lot of room for improvement.

The fight scenes were also not as good as the other superhero movies and shows that I have seen. I was left feeling a bit disappointed, as the action often lacked thrill.

Similar to other Marvel and DC superhero movies, “Shazam!” also has two post-credit scenes, so keep an eye out for those. Fans of “Shazam!” will be thrilled to know that there will be a sequel and the same writer (Henry Gayden) will come back to add his own magic to the next movie.

“Shazam!” is a family-friendly comedy that’s about more than meets the eye. It not only shows a young boy encountering things beyond his wildest dreams, but also documents him on his journey to believing in himself.

The movie is about realizing that anyone has the power to be a superhero, as long as it’s for the right reasons.This is a message that we have seen before, but is delivered in
Shazam!” with a nice but shocking twist.

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