Shazam!: Cute, Old-Fashioned, but Inherently Flawed. Student’s opinion
Comics, also known as graphics novels, have etched themselves deeply into the pop culture. For so many years, comic books and comics-based movies remain on the crest of a wave, and for a good reason. The truth is that we all need heroes and a portion of optimism. What I love most about movies based on comics is their spirit of adventurousness, the celebration of eternal human values, and the unconditional triumph of Good over Evil. Lots of my friends admit that they watch comics-based films for similar reasons. Still, sometimes, the afore listed merits are not enough to ensure a film’s success, as was the case with DC’s Shazam!
All students need to chill out from time to time. All those college assignments that pile up so quickly, busy schedule, picky professors, and constant stress… There is no more pleasant and affordable diversion than going to the movies. That’s why students are usually the first to see the most recent movies and form an opinion about them. We were so excited to find out that the new comics-based film had been released and didn’t hesitate to buy half a dozen tickets for our company… I guess I should thank Edusson support inspection, the online writing service that helps students with their urgent college assignments. Without its help, I wouldn’t be able to fit even a small diversion into my busy schedule and wouldn’t be writing this review now.
What can I say? I would definitely love the Shazam! movie some twenty years ago. The guys in goofy suits, naïve characters that still believe in miracles, and unsophisticated and easy-to-follow storyline – all this may remind us of the good old days where movie companies weren’t competing for leadership so fiercely and cared about the audience. Still, if we look closer, we’ll notice a number of unforgivable shortcomings that cannot but disappoint a true connoisseur of comics-based films.
A series of tragic flashbacks open Shazam! The film offers an insight into the future hero and his antagonist’s childhood replete with deprivations and abuse. I’m inclined to think that this stuff was supposed to add a dark gothic note and complexity to the plot. Unfortunately, Shazam! failed to cultivate this kind of psychological depth within the characters. Therefore, the opening scenes seem disconnected from the main storyline.
With Shazam being a teen in a man’s body, I couldn’t but start drawing parallels with Big, a cult 1988 fantasy comedy film starring Tom Hanks. Frankly speaking, the weird déjà vu-like feeling accompanied me throughout the entire film. Shazam’s bulging muscles and heroic deeds reminded me of Superman, the orphaned kid and overall atmosphere of solemn festivity made me recall The Chronicles of Narnia, and the Christmastime setting is a fairly straightforward allusion to Gremlins. Overall, the film seems to encompass the elements that once lent particular flavor to highly successful cinematographic pieces, but proved to be trite and completely ineffective in Shazam!
As for the actors, their performance also leaves much to be desired. Though many viewers find the exuberant performance of Zachary Levi, starring as Shazam and adult Billy, quite charming, I consider it somewhat out-of-place, especially in those scenes where the hero deploys his superpowers. Levi is definitely overacting. Still, the biggest disappointment is that Levi’s acting is totally incongruent with that of Asher Angel playing teenage Billy. While Angel’s Billy acts like a gloomy introvert prone to delinquency, Levi’s character seems way too satisfied and outgoing to be Billy.
There are a handful of high points in the film, though. The characters’ sparkling jokes, Billy’s unexpected and abrupt coming of age followed by a series of mega-fun adventures in a strip club, bars, and other adult entertainment venues, as well as the appearance of a bunch of other famous superheroes at the end of the movie, definitely deserve mentioning. But even the potential magic of these moments is dispelled by the schematic characters, poor acting, and underdeveloped plotline.