We all have a superhero inside us, it just takes a bit of magic to bring it out. In Billy Batson's case, by shouting out one word - SHAZAM! - this streetwise fourteen-year-old foster kid can turn into the adult superhero Shazam.
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Director : David F. Sandberg
Writers : Henry Gayden (screenplay by), Henry Gayden (story by)
Stars : Zachary Levi, Djimon Hounsou, Mark Strong
Darla's last name is Dudley. In the comics Captain Marvel had an ally named Dudley H Dudley (in some versions he was an honorary uncle to the Marvel Family, and in other versions he was just a supporting character). See more »
DC’s Shazam! has a genial sloppiness that might remind you of the days (if you can remember them) when the fates of studios didn’t rest on the ability of one or two B movies with men in goofy suits to generate billions in revenue. And it evokes something even further back: a time when superhero comics seemed genuinely liberating, a relief from a culture that relegated fantasies of magical transcendence to the realm of “kids’ stuff.” That was, of course, before fantasy became the ruling aesthetic and Marvel and DC began to suck up studio resources — before this crap became oppressive.
So Shazam! feels blessedly old-fashioned, which isn’t to say it’s perfect — or even very good. It’s certainly fun when the juvenile actors are front and center, before the CGI moves in for the last half-hour and change. The conflict at the center is one of our species’ great challenges: how to cope with lousy parenting. The hero, Billy Batson (Asher Angel), had an absent father and was separated from his mother at an early age, but even as a 14-year-old delinquent he clings to the hope of a reunion. He has a pure-ish heart, which means he’s at least half qualified to inherit the powers of the aged, hoary, histrionic Wizard Shazam (Djimon Hounsou, who’s like something out of Monty Python and the Holy Grail) — the last Shazam protecting the world from an invasion of the Seven Deadly Sins. (Silly me: I thought they’d been around for eons.) In contrast, the villain, Dr. Thaddeus Sivana (Mark Strong), was belittled by his smarmy dad (John Glover) and rejected by the Wizard. He has spent his life determined to find the portal back to the Wizard’s mystical realm, not to serve Shazam but to be a vessel for those deadly sins — a supervillain.
Shazam! is held together by the idea that a healthy family is possible, here in the form of two sunny foster parents who brightly welcome Billy and support a menagerie of adorable misfits of different ages, genders, and races. The little scene-stealer is Darla (Faithe Herman), who bonds instantly with Billy in a way that might — with a twist of emphasis — have seemed creepy. But the most powerful presence is Freddy Freeman (the dark-browed Jack Dylan Grazer), a kid with a bum leg and a drawer full of Superman and Batman memorabilia. (Shazam! makes a vigorous attempt to take our minds off the fates of Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, et al. — not easy with this crowd.) Hobbled and relentlessly bullied, Freddy can’t believe that Billy isn’t over the moon to acquire superpowers and the responsibility of saving the world. Not to mention that he can kick bully ass. Frankly, I couldn’t believe it either, but mostly because Billy suddenly isn’t Billy.
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Written by Kanthariya