The DC Extended Universe has been very hit or miss so far. Wonder Woman was easily the best entry for me and Aquaman was decent. That’s a very bad track record when a franchise that has Batman and Superman can’t even make for the best film. I was able to attend an early screening for Shazam! tonight. From the trailer it looked like light hearted fun which was all that was needed (especially with the dark tone of the DCEU). I was genuinely surprised with how much I liked this. Definitely, one of the best films in this universe and much more fun than expected.
The film is about a teenage boy who inherits superheros from an old wizard named Shazam. These powers when activated turn him into an older man with the ability of flight, being bulletproof, super strength, speed, and much more. The only issue is he has a super-villain attempting to take him out, and this villain summons the powers of the seven deadly sins to wreck havoc in Philadelphia. Billy Batson (the boy) must learn how to use his powers and protect the ones he grows to love. David F. Sandberg the director of Lights Out and Annabelle: Creation gets to get out of the comfort zone with a comedic superhero film.
It’s super weird that Shazam is actually named Captain Marvel and both DC and Marvel have a hero by that name? Well anyways, this film is a lot of fun. Its funny, the humor hits almost every time it is delivered. I’d say its funnier than a few of the lighter toned MCU films like Ant-Man and Spider-Man, which says a lot for how much I enjoyed this. There is good action and the film makes use of its longer running time to develop its heroes and its villains. The film treads the old familiar good vs evil route but its entertaining every step of the way.
Its impressive that Sandberg was able to do something very different and deliver one of the best entries in a thus far disappointing universe. The film just had a natural flow and none of the awkward humor or editing that plagued the likes of the other DC films, namely Justice League. Overall, I’m just pleased that I liked this as much as I did. That’s the beauty of film, there are always pleasant surprises and this was a perfect example. Not sure where the DCEU is headed but at least it wasn’t a total failure.