This is definitely one of the more strange super hero films out there, and it benefits greatly by leaning into that. It comes across as sort of campy, but for the most part it just tries to entertain. It does that by keeping things light, shedding the darkness of that universe (if that still exists). For the most part this is funny, it shows a young hero that hasn't found their place and does so with some heart.
It acts as a coming of age film as one individual must learn their powers, and then do the right thing once they understand what needs to be done. It has some surprising elements to it, and for the most part it's just a good time. The whole setup of trying to learn powers isn't usually touched upon in a modern context, and they do so here. So many great moments that deliver, and of course some large scale action.
It's not the end of the world however, being something that's more intimate in its setting and being focused on the concept of family. This is echoed by both sides, and you get a villain that has a fully explained back story. You see their cause, and they do attempt some levels of sympathy there as well.
There could have been more timed devoted to the side characters, and that makes sense during certain moments. I had a hard time matching certain characters towards the end, and this could have been fixed with a few more minutes on this family. I'm vague on purpose, as the setup is quite interesting when it comes around and into play.
There's a villain with a focus, and the powerful abilities on either side were fun to discover. There were some solid jokes in regards to the typical hero film, and it's something lighter. This is what that universe needs and it makes such a strange character work. I mean, this hero just comes across as silly and the movie is sort of campy at times.
Still, it works and that's largely due to the great work of Zachary Levi as Shazam. The kids were also generally great in their roles, but some shine whereas others were just there. That's mostly due to there being so many characters present in this film. This is a fun, cool super hero and I'd love to see him get mixed in with some more whimsical DC heroes as he could shine.
Shazam! is an enjoyable film that provides one awesome new super hero that also acts as a coming of age story. It's something colorful, bright and yet still dark in terms of the main mission for the lead. It plays into the modern setting well, giving a realistic look as to what a kid with new powers might do. The whole setup of learning abilities was largely hilarious, and seeing just some weird situations were fantastic. It was a tad too silly at times, towards the end I wasn't too thrilled where things were going.
It wrapped up the origin story well and pulled off what I'd consider to be a really strange character. For the most part this looked great, but some of the CGI was iffy at times. Never bad, but sometimes it bordered on that edge of being believable. I liked how this was a more intimate tale, instead of being the end of the world. It had the stakes, but kept things calm and focused on the characters. At the end of the day, that's what matters in movies. Another step in a better direction for DC, but I won't fall into the claim it's better just in comparison to what we've seen in the past.
Shazam! Review at Theater with Standard Viewing Screening Provided by Warner Brothers