Shazam (2019) Movie Review By The Movie Couple

Shazam

Director: David F. Sandberg
Writers: Henry Gayden (screenplay by), Henry Gayden (story by)
Stars: Zachary Levi, Mark Strong, Asher Angel

Movie Couple here!  We saw Shazam! this weekend!  Remember we are just a married couple that loves movies!  We’re here to tell you if we liked it.  Film experts we are not!  Just a quick reminder of our rating system.

Mrs. Movie Couple and I, rate films on whether they are worth the cash spent on a night out.  we use a 1-6 Dollar Bill system.  1-2 Bills equal a waste of both our time and money!  3-4 Bills equal Meh to Pretty Good, money well spent!  5-6 Bills equal Wow!  Well worth the price of dinner, movie and sitter!  Please take our money again!

Shazam the latest in a strong run of comic book movies, known from this point on as CBMs, is the latest in the DCEU or DC comics line of movies.  It follows in the footsteps of Man of Steel, Batman V Superman, Wonder Woman and Aquaman (I know I left out Justice League and Suicide Squad, it wasn’t a mistake). Based on the creation of CC Beck in 1939, Shazam features the origin and adventures of Billy Batson, who with the utterance of a magic word, transforms into a super powerful adult version of himself!  Ironically, in the 30’s and for a long time in publication history Billy’s alter ego was called Captain Marvel way before a young woman named Carol was going by that name at Marvel Studios.

Much to the shagrin of many comic book fans on the internet, that is neither here nor there, just an interesting tidbit.  So much like the comic before it, but with a few modern updates, we learn of the orphan Billy, The Wizard Shazam, his foster family and of course Dr Sivanna and the Seven deadly Sins incarnate!  This film stars Zachary Levi as Shazam! (The hero not the Wizard, that can get confusing) Mark Strong as Dr Sivanna, Asher Angel as Billy, Djimon Hounsou as The Wizard and a fantastic cast of child actors as Billy’s foster family (Faithe Herman, Grace Fulton, Jack Dylan Grazer, Ian Chen, and Jovan Armand).  The family all need to be listed because they all are so good!  Directed by David S. Sandberg perhaps best known for his horror flicks.  Surprise, surprise!  So plot be damned, Kid, Magic, Superhero, Super villain, Evil incarnate!  Do I have to tell you more?  We are not here to spoil any plot.  That is all you should need to know going in!  So did we like it?  Say the word and find out!  Shazam!

So here we go!

Mr. Movie Couple:  I had a blast!   The advertisement for this film is pushing the “Big” meets “Superman” angle and there is no debating that is a big (no pun intended) part of the film, but there is so much more than that!  The superhero is the big sell, but this is first and foremost a family film at heart.  And its a great one!  The message of being selfless, and what a family truly is and the many forms it can take are deep and special in this movie.  It conveys it’s message without a sledgehammer and still provides a really good super hero movie at the same time.  The kids are all written and acted perfectly in this film, but the foster parents are also a great movie couple that need to be spoken of as well.  The foster parents are a mixed and diverse couple as are most of the children in the home.  Again, which makes for a really excellent example for all the kids that are going to see his film.  The humour is perfect and not forced, like a certain other superhero movie that will not be named right now.

Zachary Levi absolutely owns the role of the adult Billy.  His expressions and his delivery of his lines are spot on.  His earnest portrayal of Shazam sells this film.  This movie would live or die on his believability as a boy in a man’s body and boy does he hit a homerun!  He was born to play this role!   Mark Strong as Sivanna does what Mark Strong does best, he can play this type of villain in his sleep.  But what separates this character from his many other characters, is the story behind his evil rise.  No spoilers, but he had an amazing opportunity and lost it, and like many of this generation refuses to take responsibility for that loss.  This creates a very apropos bad guy for today’s audience.  The children as I’ve mentioned were perfect!  And I have to give shout outs to Grazer and Herman as Freddy and Darla they really steal the show!  Yes, I loved this film and recommend it with all the strength of Hercules and the power of Zeus!

Mrs. Movie Couple:  She was not as enthused.  At this point, my poor bride is suffering from Superhero overload.  She is starting to see all caped and non caped crusaders blending together and she finds their origin stories all to often to be cut from the same cloth.  She enjoyed the humour and laughed more than she expected to.  She found the kids adorable and loved the family friendly message and setting to be excellent.  She felt Levi was an amazing Shazam (the hero not the wizard, sorry don’t want you confused).   She couldn’t stand Sivanna, she even commented that Mark Strong seemed to be sleepwalking through this and giving his “Stock Bad Guy” performance (her words).   She even felt that Sandberg’s horror background came out a little too much in his creation of the seven deadly sins, so mothers of young children beware.  Overall, she found it fun, but too much of the same for her taste.  She didn’t hate it, but she would not rush out to see it again.

On the way home, I did most of the talking.  Praising the performances and commenting on the Shazam history from comics to the new film.  It was a mostly one sided conversation, LOL.   I give it 6 Bills, the Mrs. gives it 3 Bills, So we give Shazam 4 Bills!  I say take my money!  I can’t wait to go back!  She says Meh.  So we’ll go with an average of Pretty Good!  Money well spent.

So until the next date night, and I’m told it better not be another CBM (Nobody tell her Avengers: Endgame is only weeks away!)  We will see you next time!  Movie Coupe out!

 

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