#NativeNerd Movie Review: ‘Shazam’ is everything a superhero movie should be
I don’t remember much about watching Shazam in the 1970s, it blends in a bit for me within the realm of the original Wonder Woman with Lynda Carter, Electra Woman and Dyna Girl, Wonderbug, the Boogaloos and more. But while those memories have faded over the last 40-ish years, the newest DC movie Shazam has created some spectacular new ones.
In short, the 2019 Shazam movie directed by David Sandberg, truly is everything a superhero movie should be. It truly is one of DC’s best movies to date.
There is always a winning formula that exists in the world of superheroes. At least it is a formula that exists for me. This formula starts with a completely clueless and scrawny kid who is bullied, ridiculed and ignored. He stumbles onto some sort of methodology that imbues him or her with superhuman powers, allowing them to rise above and save kids just like him. It is the story of the underdog, that rises to save the world due to his true heart and true ability to choose good instead of evil.
This is one of those stories. I was mesmerized the entire time. It was pure joy, total fun, exciting and downright satisfying.
For those that don’t know the history of Shazam, it starts when a young teenage boy by the name of Billy Batson is given superpowers to fight the powers of evil. All he needs to do to access these powers is to utter the word ‘Shazam” which would transform him into a massive and muscular superhero, who could fly, shoot lightning, run at supersonic speeds and much more.
This movie dives into the world of Billy Batson, a kid in a foster home who seeks to be rebellious, yet withdrawn. He is given the powers it seems — as a bit of a last resort by an ancient wizard — thus Billy gains the ability to transform into Shazam at will.
The movie was brilliant in allowing the audience to follow along as a completely clueless Billy discovers his powers bit by bit. The actors do a brilliant job in carrying this discovery to fruition. The movie and the actors are all downright hilarious.
I didn’t think I was going to like this movie when I first saw the trailers, but it was simply beautiful. I had a huge grin the entire time, and not once waited for some action to happen.
I relished in the hilarious “karma is a b-word” moments, laughed at a 14-year-old Billy stumbling in an extremely clumsy way with his new-found powers, and cherished the relationships between Billy and his increasingly important to the movie, foster family.
Without revealing much in the way of spoilers, Billy Batson, as Shazam, has to fight the evil Thaddeus Sivana, the ‘one demon-eyed’ villain with the newly come to life evil demons representing the seven sins of envy, lust, pride, greed, gluttony, wrath, and sloth.
As far as the actors
Zachary Levi plays a lighthearted, happy and completely buyable Shazam / Captain Marvel. Asher Angel does a great job as Billy Batson and Mark Strong plays a flawlessly evil Doctor Sivana. (The little kid sister played by Faithe Herman steals a lot of the movie.)
All the actors together give credibility to the sense of embracing a strong ensemble for a successful movie. They all get into trouble, fight the same fight and ultimately, they all somehow get a frantic Santa Claus involved in the mix for a cumulative and wildly fun-filled movie experience.
This is a MUST-SEE superhero flick by DC and the whole family will love it.
This is the first official movie I will rate 5 out of 5 Native Nerd emojis.
That's my highest score possible. 🤓🤓🤓🤓🤓
Follow fellow Native Nerd, Vincent Schilling associate editor for Indian Country Today at @VinceSchilling - Make sure to use the Hashtag #NativeNerd