‘Shazam!’ Review: Hilarity and Heart Make This Throwback Superhero Movie a Breath of Fresh Air

/Film | 3/23/2019 | Hoai-Tran Bui
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There’s a moment for every superhero movie fan where something clicks. Whether it’s when we pick up a comic book, flip to a superhero TV show, or watch a superhero movie for the first time, it’s the magic of experiencing something greater, weirder, and just generally more than us. The entirety of Shazam! is like that magical moment.

A raucous, charming kid adventure that is a delight to behold from start to finish, Shazam! feels like a throwback both to ’80s comedies and to the superhero movies of the early 2000s, with abundant callbacks to both genres. But rather than playing like an appeal to nostalgia, Shazam! is more of a spiritual throwback that captures the sincerity and silliness inherent in the superhero genre, while delivering a heartfelt story about the power of found families.

Shazam - Thaddeus - Sivana - Ethan - Pugiotto

Shazam! opens with a young Thaddeus Sivana (Ethan Pugiotto) who, in the midst of an argument with his cruel brother and father, is summoned by the wizard Shazam (Djimon Hounsou) to become his new champion, but fails the test to prove that he is pure of heart. Resentful at losing out his chance to become an all-powerful being, Sivana (now played by Mark Strong) dedicates his life to finding Shazam’s enchanted realm and claiming the power for himself. Several decades later, he steals a magic-seeing eye from Shazam and lets loose the Seven Deadly Sins, monstrous supernatural beasts hellbent on destroying the Earth. Desperate to find his champion to defeat the Seven Deadly Sins, Shazam plucks Billy Batson (Asher Angel) out of obscurity — and out of a chase in which he’s fleeing school bullies — to bestow his powers upon him. Suddenly transformed into an adult superhero with powers of the super strength and electricity, Billy does what every kid would do in his situation: have...
(Excerpt) Read more at: /Film
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