WITH a story that is more believable if it was set in the 1980s, scenes that are both extremely violent and childish, and a plot that has more holes than a colander, Shazam! is perfect for riffing.
I enjoyed watching Shazam! only because I was with friends and we were making fun of it.
At its core, Shazam! is a story about an abandoned boy who is determined to find his long-lost mother.
What he finds instead is superpowers, and a ridiculously diverse family of foster children that he will need to learn to love and protect.
It’s basic heartwarming stuff, but with violent deaths and crunching accidents. I would also advise those going to see the movie to think of it as a live-action adaptation of a cartoon – an 80s cartoon.
Some things happen in this movie don’t make sense, and would not be logical in this decade.
For example, in this day and age, if two high-school bullies beat up a disabled child on crutches, they would be made so internet-famous and be so publicly shamed that their parents would have to hire a public relations company to clean up their image. Not so in this movie.
There is also the part about the seeking spell used by the supposedly-powerful wizard (Djimon Hounsou) to find his champion; it is so comically undependable that it never truly succeeds in its mission.
The only reason Billy Batson (Asher Angel) was chosen to be the champion is because he was the last person the spell found. He wasn’t even tested for purity of heart, because the bad guy (Mark Strong) took the test away.
Acting points go to Strong as Dr Thaddeus Sivana. Incidentally, even though he and his brother aged in the movie, their father didn’t.
As for our hero, Levi looks like a late-night talk-show host wearing a muscle suit to do a sketch, and Grazer, who plays the aforementioned disabled kid and foster sibling to Batson, was just too annoying.
For DC movie fans, Shazam! is peppered with misplaced and unwarranted references to other DC superheroes. It comes off as awkward and pandering, although there is a sneaky reference to the comic character’s co-creator.
A mid-credit and a post-credit scene cap the movie off. Both tease other DC superheroes, but hold no bearing to the overall film, and do not set up a sequel.
There’s also no point staying for the post-credit scene. It is just a riff on Aquaman.