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REVIEW: SHAZAM sheds new light on the superhero genre

Billy Batson (Angel) is a foster kid who has spent his childhood being shunted between foster homes. With the kind of naïve self-belief only 15-year-old kids possess, Billy thinks he is ready to be on his own and, after having run away from his last home, he finds himself with a new family who just might save him.

Oh and did I also mention that, after reluctantly taking on the powers of a dying wizard (Hounsou), Billy has also just become a superhero?

Who must save the world from super villain Dr Sivana (Strong) and his demonic henchmen, the seven deadly sins?

Yeah, well there is that too.

Should I watch it?

Unlike its DC, or for that matter Marvel, contemporaries, Shazam, for all its drama and urgent drive to save the world, is devoid of the usual darkness that most movies in this genre depict.

Don’t get me wrong, Dr Sivana and his demons are nasty creatures. The demons, with their long narrow tongues, salivating mouths and rows of teeth are particularly vile to look at but, there is an underlying restraint in their depictions. Kind of like their full horror is yet to be unleashed.

(And with the announcement just today that a sequel is officially in the works, perhaps this was deliberate… )

The ability for 15-year-old Billy and Shazam (Levi) to morph into the other at will allows for a level of fun and silliness that other superheros cannot be afforded. Superhero alter egos are nothing new, but this movie allows its teenage leads, and the infectiously effervescent Levi, have a great deal of fun with their characters.

Some of the movie’s best moments are when the adult bodied Shazam and the teenage Freddy (Grazer) are testing out Shazam’s new superhero powers, trying to define who he is and what cool things he can do. There is just such joy in the scenes, you cannot help but smile at their schoolboy antics.

I went along thinking this would be a silly movie with nothing to offer. But not only is it a superhero movie, it’s a movie about belonging and finding your true family.

This one will keep your superhero loving kids well and truly occupied during the school holidays.

3 stars

Running Time : 132 minutes

Release Date :  In cinemas now

Who is in it : Zachary Levi, Mark Strong, Asher Angel, Jack Dylan Grazer, Djimon Hounsou


I’m Sue-Ellen and I’m a writer and copywriter based in Port Stephens. My aim is to help small to medium sized businesses find their voice in the white noise of the internet, connecting in a meaningful way with their customers. So, if you like the idea of connecting with your audience and watching your business dreams come true, we should talk.

Click here to visit Sue-Ellen’s website

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Written by Sue Ellen

Copywriter. Writer. Reviewer. Coffee addict. Handbag tragic. Conspiracy tin hatter. Drama Queen.

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