With so many laughs, I almost thought I was at a Marvel movie. DC, the darker of the superhero genres, didn't let me laugh for too long before reminding me that they love nothing more than to crush the hearts of those watching.
There were dark moments, to be sure, especially in our first introduction to the Seven Deadly Sins. These monsters (demons?) were creepy, and maybe not for the sensitive youngsters out there.
Shazam's shining moments were found in its underlying theme of family. Billy is sent to a group home, and the foster parents love their kids with grace and sincerity. No matter what Billy throws at them, they're ready with open arms. So often in teen-focused movies these days we're presented with parents that are either absent, stupid, or uncaring. It's refreshing to see two individuals involved, in love, and devoted to their kids.
With the strongest, and most unique, story to come out of DC in ages, Shazam! is worth seeing. It's solid narrative, humor, fun, and action all rolled together.
The problem with Shazam! is it didn't stand up to afterthought. You know, that time after a movie where you replay scenes and story in your mind, think about what you watched, and draw conclusions.
Shazam! ran against a deadly sin in the world of movies.
The villain, Dr. Sivana, is nowhere near as terrifying as those who give him his power, but those who gave him his powers don't live up to their frightening introduction.
Despite presenting the Sins as horrific, violent monsters in an early, traumatizing (in a good way) scene, they never again rise to the occasion. There comes a point where I should be worried/frightened/concerned/anxious for the heroes, but I can't.
I never felt afraid.
I never felt the stakes were high enough to really care.
I enjoyed almost every minute of Shazam!, and I highly recommend seeing it. However, I still hope that DC continues to improve and doesn't rest on their success to coast into the future.
Personally, I feel DC is in an adolescent stage, and I look forward to seeing what they do in adulthood.
Initial viewing: 4 feathers
Afterthought review: 3.5 feathers
If you love superhero movies - and especially if you're a DC fan - go see Shazam!
It's worth it.
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