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Shazam Review, A Superhero Movie Like Superman

Shazam 2019 poster courtesy of Warner Bros.

Shazam is a superhero movie and it’s good. If you haven’t seen it because you’ve had enough of these types of films, definitely give this one a chance. Thankfully, this great superhero movie is now streaming on Netflix.

I watched this movie at the cinema, it was totally cool to see a guy towards the final quarter get the call of nature. Obviously, I wasn’t pleased he had to pee, but I laughed because he literally ran past me down the stairs. Of all the times I have been to the theatre, that’s the first time I’ve seen someone sprint. This epitomizes just how great this movie is. You don’t want to miss a single second of it.

Shazam Movie Code Phrase

You need magic you expel your inner superhero. Billy Batson’s shouted SHAZAM! and just like that his life was different.

Jack Dylan Grazer as Freddy in Shazam! (2019)
Jack Dylan Grazer plays Freddy. Shazam Movie Review

Directed by David F. Sandberg. Written by Henry Gayden, Darren Lemke, Bill Parker & C.C. Beck.

Released in April 2019.

I’m not a big fan of slapstick. Similarly, even if the humor is low brow, I still like it to have a bit of intelligence. Shazam! includes good consistent laughs throughout the course of its two-hour runtime. Also, the time just flies by, pun intended. The type of comedy used here is derived from innocence in the face of impending doom and its funny as all else. There is also a truckload of what I termed ‘jump-laughs’ that can only come from the impact of violence that is somehow hilarious.

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Is That the Piano From Big?

The narrative here is totally formulaic but I didn’t care, there is too much to like here. There is an underpinning value system that comprises of what a family can look like even if they aren’t the ones you were born with. I’m positive the way this was told will strike the hearts of many.

The dynamic of the story feels fresh and by the end of the movie, I felt a franchise or in the very least a sequel is just begging to be released. It has a face like Tom Hanks in Big (1988) except in Shazam! you get a 14-year-old runaway in a man’s body. There is even a scene where Shazam finds a giant piano on the floor of a toy shop just like in the 1988 film. The icing on the cake here though is the man he has become is an accidental superhero.

Zachary Levi as Shazam!
Zachary Levi as Shazam!

Shazam! Is On Netlfix, Watch it Now

Both parts were performed to perfection and were entirely believable when the unlikely hero is morphed from boy to walnut in a cape. Zachery Levi is a fantastic likable character. The smaller version of him as Billy is just as convincing and personable too. As only his second full-length feature film, I do hope we see a lot more of Asher Angel on screen.

In most superhero films, the heroes have a specific task and Shazam does as well. His job is to protect the world from the seven deadly sins. In the film, though, we get given more of a character-driven story instead. Billy and his new best friend Freddy go through numerous journeys as people which is really nice. I should also not forget to mention Freddy (played by Jack Grazer) does a formidable job performing his role here.

Zachary Levi, Grace Fulton, Jovan Armand, Jack Dylan Grazer, Ian Chen, and Faithe Herman.
Zachary Levi, Grace Fulton, Jovan Armand, Jack Dylan Grazer, Ian Chen, and Faithe Herman.

The monsters were on point and had a Ghostbusters (original) vibe mashed up with the insidious look of Venom. Like any good superhero movie, the villain (played by Mark Strong) does incite some decent callousness. I went to check the art department roll call for names that stood out, however, there are 74 on the team. At least it makes sense now why that side of it looked so good.

I’ve not read the comic books this character was squeezed from but I love what the team of writers, producers, and directors did with it. There are even some notable Easter eggs planted within it so keep your eyes peeled for them. I made a list of some if you scroll to the end of this page.

The Production Years

I was also surprised to learn of the mammoth problems this film had getting off the ground. It’s a wonder it was ever completed at all as it was first optioned way back in 2005. Shazam is completed independently from the DCEU earth even though it was at one time planned to be a battle between Black Adam and Captain Marvel. There was so much rivalry between other superhero companies that an ongoing joke in Shazam! is about what he should be called.

Finally, I came away from this film feeling good. However, now that I know it took over 14 years to be finalized, I hope it’s success spurs Warner Bros. into a sequel soon. People need a superhero like Shazam! and he really does brighten up the comic book adaptation world.

Also, if you do head out to see the movie, stay past the closing credits. As I was leaving, I noticed that many in the audience had not left their seats so I lingered in the exit passageway with a few others. There is a final scene when the credits finish rolling.

I give Shazam Movie

4 Mr. Sparkle fingers out of 5

4 stars out of 5
4 stars out of 5
Shazam, just one of many superhero movies. Trailer from Warner Bros.

Shazam Movie

Superhero movies, Billy Batson and Freddy Freeman
How many comic book references can you spot in this picture? Shazam Movie is now on Netflix.

Easter Eggs in Superhero Movies

This is not all of the Easter eggs, however, I’ll update these if I come across any others. In addition, feel free to leave any you spot in the comments.

  • Billy’s hoodie reflects the 1940’s comic book and also the costume assigned to him in the film.
  • The series Game of Thrones is mentioned in a conversation in the film giving it a place in the DCEU world.
  • Freddy is a massive superhero fan and in his room, we see a Batman Batarang, a wooden Superman toy and, the Superman collector’s item bullet. There are also newspapers referencing the iconic hero along with many other items.
  • Freddy himself wears an Aquaman and a Wonder Woman shirt.
  • Billy Batson has an affinity for tigers. His cape buttons have tigers on them and this is a reference to Mr. Tawky Tawny, a magical tiger who is the original Captain Marvels ally.
  • The skate ramp has Arion graffiti on it, referring to an Atlantian sorcerer in the comic books.
  • The Annabelle doll appears in a shop window. The director also featured it in the Aquaman movie. David F. Sandberg directed the Annabelle: Creation (2017) movie and likes to link the films.

Shazam Movie Action Figure. Pretend You’re In the Movie While Watching the Movie