Superhero time again, with the DC offering of Shazam!, a series/characters that (like for most DC properties) i really wasn’t familiar at all, so i didn’t have any expectations of fidelity to the source material for this adaptation.
Billy Batson is a 15 years old boy that keeps escaping from foster homes in search of his mother, and yet again is assigned to a new family, that he tries to get away as well. But he summoned as the Champion by an old wizard, that passes his powers unto him by uttering his name, Shazam, as he’s too old to keep the Seven Deadly Sins sealed away into stone statues.
Billy transforms in a full grown and caped adult superhero (played by Zachary Levi), but as he’s still a teenager, he just fucks about with his newfound abilities, acts like an arrogant idiot, but the appareance of an occult villain (played by Mark Strong), will force him to not play the hero, but become an actual one in order to save his family.
If you are feeling tired of the genre (and of some of Marvel copious offerings), and think you might skip this one, don’t. It’s funny, really funny, the action is good, the humour is incredibly well balanced with the more emotional moments (which don’t shy away from being serious and dramatic), and overall the comedy never feels out of touch or “mandated”. It’s earnest, understanding, like it’s young main character, trying to figure where he belongs more than how to cast lazer beams from his eyes.
All of this with good characters, and a really welcome touch of horror (there’s some decapitation, which i really didn’t expect, but nothing too graphic overall), making it one of the best superhero movies i’ve seen in a while.
P.S.: Stay not just for a post-credit scene, but for the ending credits themselves, funny and tonally fitting of the overall tone. 🙂
Also, yeah, i know that the horror bits are not so surprising, given the director previous works, like Lights Out.