Shazam Review: Darker than Expected… but that’s a Good Thing.

4 stars
Trailers spoil everything these days.
You need look no further than the Pet Semetary trailer to see how bad things have become, in terms of them spoiling large twists in the film.
Which is why it is such a relief when watching Shazam! because so many exciting twists and turns in the story are left for viewiers to see in the film.
The main feature the trailers focuses on is Shazam!‘s synopsis, as most trailers should do.
Directed by David F. Sandberg, the film follows a boy named Billy Batson (Asher Angel) who is given superpowers by an ancient wizard (Djimon Hounsou), which he obtains whenever he shouts the wizard’s name “Shazam!”
It also conveniently gives him the body of an adult male super hero whenever he does this, played expertly by Zachary Levi.
The switch between Asher and Levi is great, with Levi doing a fantastic job as a kid in a superhero’s body, pretending to be the adult he looks like.

Zachery Levi.jpg
Zachary Levi is magnificent as Billy’s super hero form, with him often ending up in hilarious situations by trying to act like an adult.

The other characters of the film are also great with Billy’s foster family all being likeable and well cast, especially Jack Dylan Grazer as Freddy.
Then there is the villain Thaddeus Sivana (Mark Strong) who is the best villain the DC Extended Universe has given us so far.
You perfectly understand why he is doing what he is and one particular scene he leads in is surprisingly horrifying.
Shazam! is, after all, a family film so to see something that pushes those boundaries is very surprising and, again, made me glad it had not been spoiled in the trailers.
It was undoubtedly my favourite scene of the film.

Mark Strong.jpg
A boardroom scene where Mark Strong’s interrupts is surprisingly dark for a family film so prepare your children when you go in.

Shazam! is also great with its humor, delivering many hilarious scenes.
As well as this, the movie gave us some sadly realistic messages about family with Billy’s search for his mother, which is dealt with in a mature and well thought out way that made me feel for him.
There are a few plot holes here and there but, while these are noticeable, they do not hinder the experience all that much.
Overall, Shazam! is one of the DCEU’s best films, alongside Wonder Woman.
It is funny, mature, and full of surprises.

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