Remember the kind of fun something like Deadpool offered through its irreverent humor? Shazam from DC has that in it and that too in a refreshing way. Even the irreverent comedy has become slightly formulaic and to be honest Shazam wasn’t really having that feeling. With humor in abundance along with humanizing characters, Shazam was the most fun DC film I saw in recent times.

The movie revolves around this young boy from Philadelphia named Billy Batson. Batson was always chasing his long lost mom and in that journey, he has lived in almost 20+ foster homes. During his stay in the new foster home where he gets a friend/brother named Freddy, some unusual events happen with him and he eventually meets this wizard named Shazam who offers him incredible superpowers which he will get when he says the name Shazam. The changes in Billy’s life after that and the troubles that came along with it is what Shazam all about. (80% of this was there in the trailers, so please don’t yell at me)

The spoofing of the superhero genre that happens frequently in the movie is perhaps the key factor here. At one point when a character realizes about the Shazam aspect of Billy, the character is asked to keep quiet about it by referencing the superhero movie cliché of villains hurting the loved ones. It is like DC realized their past mistakes and willingly spoofed their own strategies.  In a Man of Steel-like climactic fight, the villain Thaddeus starts to give his revenge speech and what Billy/ Shazam does in response is outrageously funny. While watching Baahubali, if the thought of how Shivagami and others can clearly see what the characters are doing in a dust fuming area that has thousands of soldiers ever crossed your mind, I would say this movie is definitely for you. They have smartly spoofed the genre by using logic to create practical humor.

Zachary Levi was the real star here portraying the excitement of the 15-year-old in a much bigger body. The animated tone of the character never went into that caricature zone and it was a hilarious portrayal. Asher Angel as Billy Batson has minimal space here and his portions are majorly on the very emotional side. The other impressive performer here after Levi was Jack Dylan Grazer as the vivacious Freddy. The guy was super smooth as the nerdy Freddie and the combination scenes of him and Levi where both are exploring the possibilities of the superpower was really fun to watch. Mark Strong had that toughness in his portrayal to be Thaddeus who I believe was a very typical yet extremely ruthless villain.

David F Sandberg gets the pulse of the viewers here. Henry Gayden and Darren Lemke have made the story and the screenplay and it is filled with spoofing of practical situations that are possible. Billy is trying to make money by showing off his sparkle fingers. They are uploading videos of their deeds and these are pretty much stuff a teenager might do these days if he or she gets any superpower. And the movie is constantly in a very energetic zone not giving us a moment to take our eyes away. The most humanizing moment in the movie was when Billy realizes about his mother and that subplot also gets explored in a way that is slightly atypical. The Deadpool kind of fun in the movie gets that additional emotional layer through that small yet important subplot. The visuals are pretty good and unlike some of the other films in the DCEU, the extent of destruction you get to see in Shazam is pretty low and that itself was a big relief.

Shazam promised fun in its trailer and the movie has the same in abundance. They haven’t overused any of the tricks they used and that gave the movie a fresh feel. The stage is now set for a bigger and grander Shazam film and I hope they won’t compromise on the fun factor.

Rating: 4/5

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Final Thoughts

Shazam promised fun in its trailer and the movie has the same in abundance. They haven’t overused any of the tricks they used and that gave the movie a fresh feel.


Green: Recommended Content

Orange: The In-Between Ones

Red: Not Recommended


By Aswin Bharadwaj

Founder and editor of Lensmen Reviews.