Shazam! (2019): Exclusive Movie Review By A Teen

Given the increasing seriousness and responsibilities on superheros and their corresponding movies, Shazam! is a welcome respite of wholesome comedy full of flawed, but well-meaning characters.

By Vanshika Devuni Kalanidhi

Shazam! (2019): Exclusive Movie Review By A Teen
Image credit: Shazam!'s official Facebook page

Rating: 4/5 stars

Never make me a superhero. I haven’t figured out how to optimise my human life yet. So, making me a superhero would be very unproductive to society. I wouldn’t know what to do with my powers. I’d get way too excited to use them and somehow expedite the apocalypse. So, it’s good to see that superheroes aren’t always super smart, and that dumb people (like myself) can also be superheroes. Shazam!’s witty, humorous writing, as well as deep messages about family leave me wanting more.

The superhero plot

Fourteen-year-old Billy Batson, a foster kid, gets superpowers when an old wizard seeks a champion and forcefully gives him magic. However, his nemesis, Thaddeus Sivana, is hell-bent on gaining Billy’s powers and releasing the seven deadly sins. On his journey to defeat Sivana, Billy finds his power and shares it with others as well.

The direction 

I really love the way this movie has been directed. I love how the sins were animated. I love Dr Sivana’s blue eye. One notable scene is the board meeting, where Sivana begins his villain-ing (ah, look at me creating words)! It was well shot and animated. It was scary in a good way. Even my mom liked it, and she doesn’t usually enjoy action movies!

The themes 

I loved the central message of film that ‘anybody can be family’. I’m a firm believer that family doesn’t have to be connected through blood. Anybody you trust can be family. I’m a sucker for these kinds of stories, so it was heart-warming to see Billy find his family in the group home. A lot of franchises portray foster homes to be sad and abusive, but it’s good to see that this movie offers a different narrative.

Genuine comedy 

My favourite thing about this movie is its humour. I can sense the difference between older comedy and newer comedy if that makes sense. This comedy is fresh and really appeals to everybody, especially the younger audience. It isn’t dirty, corny, or offensive — it’s genuine and well-written. The bit with the security guard, the video-filming, and the very realistic evil-person monologues are some of my favourites.

Meta-acting

Asher Angel (Billy Batson) did a great job of playing a confused new superhero. I love seeing him stand up to the bullies, and also his reaction to receiving his superpowers. Zachary Levi (adult Shazam) does a great job of pretending to be Asher Angel pretending to be a confused new superhero. He really captures that teenage essence, you know? There’s a scene in the movie where they try out beer for the first time, and I’ve never tasted it, but I think I would have the same reaction.

I really really really love Freddy Freeman. My mom said I remind her of him, and I agree! I’m very likely to research things I’m obsessed with, and say weird things to people, so good job, Jack Dylan Grazer (also this isn’t relevant but he’s so cute!!!). Plus, special appreciation for Faithe C. Herman for playing Darla. I found her really adorable. Not to be dramatic, but I would die for Darla lol.

The only minor problem I have is that sometimes (keyword: sometimes), the drama seems a little forced. I would give you examples, but you know — spoilers!

This is one of the funniest and most well-written films I’ve ever seen! I’ll be sure to watch a sequel. Even my mom liked it, and she isn’t into superhero stuff. So, go book your tickets and watch it now!

My takeaways from Shazam!:

  • Anybody can be a good person if they just try. Billy shows potential to be heroic, even if he doesn’t seem that way at first.
  • Family can be found everywhere.
  • We should control our impulses if we want to achieve greatness, or the seven deadly sins, like in the movie, are gonna destroy your life.
  • What you say to others can impact them forever, so think before you speak. The pressure put on Thaddeus in his childhood transformed him into a very literal monster.
  • Power is better when shared with others – you can create more superheroes like yourself, you know?
  • Sometimes, it’s better to appreciate what you have rather than going after an unrealistic goal

You have to watch the movie to understand the following takeaways:

  • Invisibility is much much greater than flight.
  • Don’t give evil monologues from a mile away.
  • If you find out you have superpowers, please take some time to think of a cool name and catchphrase.

Let’s conclude with an apt song from one of my favorite bands! (a translation of ‘Anpanman’ by BTS)

I’m not a superhero
Don’t expect a lot
I can be your hero
I’m really not sure whether that even makes sense
But mom, I really need to do it
Who’s gonna do it if it isn’t me?
You can call me, say Anpan

Watch Shazam! movie trailer

Also read: Gully Boy: Exclusive Movie Review By A Teen

The author is a writer/blogger who blogs at www.vanshikadevuni.blogspot.com

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