Welcome back Crunchers! Guys….. I saw Shazam! As you might be able to tell from my alias, I am a huge fan of Chuck and Zachary Levi is one of my favorite actors. Needless to say, I was very excited to see this film. Shazam! is such a different type of superhero. Even with the massive amount of superhero movies that have come out in the last decade or so, I was still expecting to see something special and unique. The question is, did Shazam! deliver? Let’s Crunch this!
The movie really started off in a fantastic way. It gives us some of the history of Shazam! while simultaneously setting a dark tone for our villain Dr. Thaddeus Sivana. They did a great job keeping that tone for the majority of the time that Dr. Sivana is on the screen. Mark Strong really got in to the role and had a top-notch performance. His character makes you have mixed emotions for him as the movie goes on, ranging from hate, compassion, and pitty.
Despite the great start of the film in the first few minutes, some of the first half of the movie was a little slow. There were still some moments of very funny humor there, but there was also a lot of focus on Billy Batson (Asher Angel) being a depressed orphan. It was an element that was needed to build his story but was just focused on maybe a little bit too much. That was really one of the only complaints that I had about the film. The only other negative thing that I would have to say is that Shazam! and Billy didn’t really seem to be the same person. There was a large margin of difference in the personality of the character when portrayed by Zachary Levi vs. being portrayed by Asher Angel. Ok, back to the good stuff!
The humor was fantastic throughout the entire movie. There were quite a few moments where literally the entire theatre was laughing out loud. Zachary Levi flat out nailed it playing a 14-year-old superhero. His sense of humor and excitement to play the role really came through. He was as excited to play Shazam! as a 14 year old kid would be to actually be Shazam!. He was definitely the right choice to play the role and a lot of the writing is really clever and fit his acting style. There were even some really comical scenes performed by Asher Angel even though he had a very somber face through most of the movie.
On top of our main performers doing a fantastic job, there was a great cast of supporting characters as well. Billy’s foster family does a fantastic job of not only providing additional comedy to the film, but also aided in anchoring the move down from fantasy in the film, even if it was just a tiny bit. I don’t know if there are any real foster families out there that are remotely like this one, but it gave the movie a real world feeling that sometimes can be completely or nearly completely lost in films that focus almost solely on the fantasy.
The clashes between Shazam! and Dr. Sivana were great. Billy once again reacts as a 14-year-old would his first time facing down a super creepy powerful villain. The visuals are fantastic and the dialogue between Shazam! and Dr. Sivana is really fun to watch. There is great chemistry between the characters, which makes their interactions especially enjoyable.
Overall, the movie was fantastic. There were a couple of speedbumps along the way, but with the humor being as good as it was, the performances being fantastic, and the visuals being spot, I really didn’t walk away too disappointed. It brought out that unique feel that I was looking for and hopefully that is what you are looking for too, because that’s really how this movie shines. Go check it out Crunchers!
4 Out of 5 Couch Cushions and a Throw Pillow!