By: Lana K.Wilson-Combs
Zachary Levi (TV’s “Rapunzel’s Tangled Adventure” and “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”) is out to make a statement portraying the title character in the DC Comics superhero movie, “Shazam!”
Levi is a perfect choice as the superhero and brings just the right touch of oddball goofiness and swagger to the role. I mean really, the guy looks pretty cool doing the Floss Dance.
Directed by David F. Sandberg (“Annabelle Creation”), “Shazam!” is a welcome change of pace because it isn’t dark and doesn’t take itself too seriously like other superhero movies. In other words, it’s 75 minutes of fun and silliness.
In “Shazam!” 14-year-old Billy Batson (Asher Angel, TV’s “Andi Mack”) doesn’t want much, but finding a stable home and his mother would mean everything to him. That’s because when he was a little kid, his mother took him to a carnival, and he got separated from her—really, she kind of left him—and poor Billy has been shuffled in and out of foster homes ever since.
Billy may have found his best spot yet with Victor and Rosa Vasquez (Cooper Andrews, TV’s “The Walking Dead” and Marta Milans, TV’s “The Pier”). They are a sincere couple and have five other kids of various ethnicities.
Among them is the adorable Darla Dudley (Faithe Herman, TV’s “This is Us”) and Freddy (Jack Dylan Grazer, “It”) who is a skinny, geeky kid that walks with a crutch. Naturally he stands out at his school for all the wrong reasons and is often bullied.
But those kid’s days are numbered because Freddie is about to get a friend that will wield so much power, you’d be crazy to mess with him.
Billy is granted these extraordinary abilities after meeting the dying wizard Shazam (Djimon Honsou, “Captain Marvel”). By saying just one word, “Shazam!” Billy is transformed into a full, adult spandex and cape wearing superhero (Zachary Levi).
What makes “Shazam!” such a kick is that Levi truly seems to be enjoying himself. He’s a big klutz really when he discovers what all he can do.
For starters, Shazam! can shoot electricity from his hands which can take down bad guys in seconds. Bullets bounce off him too. After a bit of practice, Shazam! even discovers he can fly.
Oh, and about those kids bullying Freddie, let’s just say they get the shock of their lives when Shazam! comes around.
Shazam! must put his skills to the test in a big way when the evil Dr. Thaddeus Sivana (Mark Strong, “Miss Sloane”) arrives. This guy is still holding on to some issues involving the big wizard (Honsou) and is now determined to reclaim all the powers he feels should have initially been given to him.
The battle between Shazam! nd the crazy doctor is an epic showdown too.
“Shazam!” lives up to the hype! This movie will no doubt appeal to older audiences, but it’s target demographic of kids and teens will enjoy it even more.
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Check Out This Trailer For "SHAZAM!"
Lana K. Wilson-Combs is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics’ Association (BFCA), The Black Film Critics Circle (BFCC), The Alliance Of Women Film Journalists (AWFJ) and a Nominating Committee Voting Member for the NAACP Image Awards.