“Shazam!” Packs a Hilarious Punch

Me? Excited about a DC film? I know, I don’t know who I am either! When I saw they cast Zachary Levi as a superhero, I thought “Sign. me. up.”

Billy Batson (Asher Angel) has had it pretty rough, bouncing from foster home from foster home, lying and stealing just to get by. He gets placed in a group foster home and runs away the minute he begins to get a little comfortable.

While on the subway, the lights begin to flicker and the train speeds ahead as the windows freeze over. Billy finds himself in a cave with a wizard (stay with me…) who insists on passing his powers over to Billy with just one word… Shazam! Billy goes from a scrawny 14-year-old to a buff superhero (Zachary Levi) with just a crack of lightening.

After a somewhat clunky origins story of our super villain, Dr. Thaddeus Sivana, played by the brilliant Mark Strong, we get to watch side-busting hilarity ensue as Billy figures out his super powers with the help of his trusty “small manager”/ side-kick/ fellow foster brother, Freddy (Jack Dylan Grazer). This duo is incredible. Levi’s performance as a 14-year-old is so funny and believable, even more so thanks to the chemistry between him and Grazer.

Once you get past the cheesy villain situation, which is what DC does best, this is a pretty dang good super hero movie. Similar to Thor: Ragnarok in the Marvel universe, the humor is what makes it so great and stand apart from the rest of the dark, DC films. Be sure to keep an eye out for all the nods to other DC characters like Superman, Batman and more recently, Aquaman. There also is an end-credits scene that you don’t want to miss.Shazam! is original, clever, funny and has a good heart. So, just say the word…

Shazam! is now playing in theaters everywhere.

Score: ★★★.75 / ★★★★★

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