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Shazam! (2019)

April 10, 2019

Shazam! (2019)

Director: David F. Sandberg (Annabelle: Creation, Lights Out)

Starring: Zachary Levi, Mark Strong, Asher Angel, Jack Dylan Grazer

Anticipation Level: Strong

How Was It? Eh. The critics have been very kind to Shazam! and I don’t get it. I thought the trailer looked great and the tone of the film looked like a lot of fun, but I wound up thinking it was a bit too corny and some of the jokes really didn’t land for me – I’m looking at you, Santa Claus.

There was a lot of potential in a story where a kid suddenly gets the powers and physique of a Superman-like superhero, but I felt like Shazam! left a lot of that potential untapped. Imagine you’re a teenage boy that can turn into Superman whenever you want. Are you going to spend your time charging people’s phones with your lighting fingers and taking selfies for money… or… doing literally anything else?

Also, while I thought the individual performances of Zachary Levi and Asher Angel were pretty entertaining as the child and superhero versions of Billy Batson, they didn’t seem congruent at all. Angel plays the teenage Billy with quite a bit of gravity and a sprinkle of comedy while Levi is in full-blown, over-the-top little kid in a candy shop mode. Entertaining? Sure. I just wasn’t buying the separate performances as the same character.

The villain in this movie is some dude that ends up housing the seven deadly sins in his body and the sins emerge as smoke monsters to help him wreak havoc. Do I need to say how dumb that is?

Jack Dylan Grazer and young Faithe Herman give really fun performances in supporting roles as fellow foster kids.

Overall, I was disappointed with Shazam! because it looked pretty good to me and it wound up leaving me cringing more often than it genuinely entertained me. It wasn’t terrible though. It definitely has funny moments and it was at least watchable. I’m sure lots of people will like it.

Replay Value: I’d probably watch it again just because, but I might wind up actually hating it.

Sequel Potential: Well duh.

Oscar Potential: None.

5/10 (Decent)

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