Shazam! a shocking redemption for DC


Picture Source: IMDB

Ethan Clark, Staff Reporter

DC Comics has been having a hard time with their movies as of late, like the panned Justice League and Suicide Squad. Critics have complained of unfinished plot lines, underdeveloped characters, and a general blandness in dialogue. For a while it seemed that the DC cinematic universe had nothing going for it and people waited to see it crash and burn. However, their newest movie “Shazam!” shows that there is still some hope for fans. With a unique premise, well-written dialogue, and actual character development, “Shazam!” is what a DC movie should strive to be.

“Shazam!” takes place in the city of Philadelphia following a teenage foster boy named Billy Batson. After an evil bald guy steals a magic artifact, Billy is pulled into another realm and given superpowers to stop him and save the world. Writing it out, the story sounds so unbelievably generic, but that actually works for the movie rather than against it. Because the story seemingly takes many beats from other superhero movies, it makes the movie all the more unique when it completely shatters these expectations. For example, when Billy first turns into “Shazam!” you would expect him to do something heroic or adapting to his powers but one of the first things he does is take his friend to buy beer because his superhero form looks like a muscular Zachary Levi. Then after the store gets mugged instead of trying to help he has the robbers shoot him to test his powers. Without spoiling too much, the movie does subvert expectations despite sounding so generic, and it is definitely worth watching to see how much the writers enjoyed themselves with getting creative.

“Shazam!” stands apart from all the other DC movies, besides being good, the movie has many differences in quality that previous movies did not have. “Wonder Woman”, while having a semi-serious take on the titular character fighting through WWI, the movie had pacing issues and no real super-villain until the end, in which he is just thrown in half haphazardly. “Shazam!” takes breaks to show the villain Doctor Silvia, played by the amazing Mark Strong, progressing in power as “Shazam!” does. “Suicide Squad”, despite being about a group of misfits thrown into a hostile situation, seems more interested in showing off the special effects with terrible one-liners. “Shazam!” gives all of the characters real personality and character development, the best example being the two small characters of Billy’s foster parents, who we learn their backstory about being foster kids that had known each other since childhood and dedicated themselves to help other foster kids. That seems pretty basic but these are pretty minor characters who would normally get no development at all in other DC films.

A Powerful Comedy “Shazam!” is an atypical superhero. Moviegoers were pleased with the unique characteristics in the titular character. “It was a refreshing take on the superhero genre,” stated junior Zachary Scott. “The jokes actually worked.” Source: Warner Bros.

“Shazam!” is a wonderful action-comedy film, and the first DC film that is truly a good movie by itself. Go out and see “Shazam!”, it truly will come as a shock with how good it is.