Why SHAZAM! Is the Tonic Superhero Fans Need Right Now

Such a sweet film…

Usually after I see a big superhero movie release, I’ll post 13 QUICK THOUGHTS about it.

With Shazam!, I don’t really see a need to do that because there’s not much to analyze. It’s a very straightforward movie with a fairly simplistic plot. Sure, there are plenty of Easter eggs for longtime fans — like all the tiger references and the allusion to Black Adam — but really the movie is a straight-up adaptation of Geoff Johns and Gary Franks’ modern take on the classic character.

And I’m totally cool with that because I really only have ONE QUICK THOUGHT — which is that Shazam! is a movie with tremendous heart that finally achieves what Warner Bros. wanted: a complete reset in tone for the DC film slate.

Zachary Levy’s “champion” is the embodiment of every child’s heroic fantasies: charismatic, brave, kind and still very much a kid inside the man. He — along with Asher Angel’s Billy Batson — bring to life what should have been a can’t-miss elevator pitch decades ago: Big with superpowers — hence the sly wink during our hero’s battle with Dr. Sivana in the mall toy store. (Jack Dylan Grazer also helps hold the movie together with his funny Freddy Freeman.)

13th Dimension reader Ken Holtzhouser — who defended Batman & Robin on the site just last week (click here) — put it best on Twitter:

The erstwhile Captain Marvel is comics’ most star-crossed superhero — DC buried him in the ’50s because he’d become more popular than Superman and the publisher has struggled to make him a proper star since taking the reins in the ’70s.

But now the great irony is that Warner Bros. has in recent years struggled to capture on the big screen what makes Superman so great while nailing Shazam! in the first try.

Why? Because Man of Steel and its related films paid only lip service to what’s at the core of this movie, which made me smile as I watched throughout:



— SHAZAM! 13 Things to Love About the Original CAPTAIN MARVEL. Click here.

— 13 SHAZAM! COVERS to Make You Feel Good. Click here.

Author: Dan Greenfield

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  1. It was a wonderful movie. Silly without being ridiculous and plenty of heart. The big red cheese was awesome and the best Captain Marvel movie ever…Two words….Shazam Family!

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  2. Agreed on all points Dan. My whole family loved it, and the audience did too. Everyone was laughing and just having a great time.

    I will fully admit that I enjoyed this film more than Captain Marvel, which I also liked, don’t get me wrong. But this was way more fun.

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