Rating (3 out of 5)
Summary: “Shazam!” entertained. For DC this is a massive improvement over their previous offerings. Good action, consistent humor, and less reliance on CGI result in a movie I can recommend. The story relies too much on weepy foster family relationships and the solution is too convenient. Additionally, the difference between Shazam! and his younger self too distinct. If you are looking for a movie for the family, “Shazam!” is sure to please all.
Plot: Dr. Sivana (Mark Strong) becomes champion of the seven deadly sins and battles Shazam! (Zachary Levi/Asher Angel) a 12-year-old who is the wizards champion.
Detail: DC has finally figured out how to bring some laughs into their movies. The laughs come at you at a pretty steady state. The laughter kept the movie clipping along at a good pace. The jokes were as simple as the kid’s reaction to drinking beer for the first time. The simple jokes allow both young and old to enjoy “Shazam!”.
There are a few moments where the use of CGI is obvious. DC still has not mastered the ability to intermingle real actors with the CGI. In particular, I noticed the CGI when Shazam! and Dr. Sivana battle over downtown Philly. However, to DC’s credit, this is their best use of CGI yet.
The story overall was clear and concise. However, parts of the story are extremely convenient. For example, Shazam saves one of the other foster kids from the group home he is residing. This plays into the story later, but in a city as big as Philadelphia this nuance stretched my imagination. Added with the ending, where all the family becomes Shazam!, a cute story turned into lazy writing.