“Shazam!” is the 7th film in the DC Extended Universe (DCEU), directed by David F. Sandberg and stars Zachery Levi, Asher Angel, Mark Strong, Jack Dylan Grazer & Djimon Hounsou. Warner Bros. & DC Films have been moving slowly yet surely to further extend their Cinematic Universe. The film went into pre-production in 2009 but didn’t begin production until early 2018 after going back and forth with writers, directors & actors.
The film follows a 15 year old foster kid, Billy Batson (Angel), living in Philadelphia, moving around trying to find his biological mother. After saving his adopted brother, Freddie (Grazer) from bullies, his world turned upside down. He is teleported to an old wizard in a mysterious cave. The Wizard (Hounsou) tells him that Billy has been chosen to replace him as “Champion of Eternity”. All he has to do is say The Wizard’s name and unlimited power will course through his body, turning him to a hero & protector of the Rock of Eternity. Now, as Shazam (Levi), Billy returns home and with the help of Freddie, tries to test his powers & limits. All seems fun until a mysterious foe, Dr. Sivana (Strong) threatens Philadelphia & the rest of the world with magic of his own and help of the Seven Sins. The doctor wants more power and notices a new hero in town and will stop at nothing until he has The Wizard’s magic.
After the success of “Aquaman”, DC continues its momentum with “Shazam!” & rather sticking to its dark and grim storytelling, they go in a much light hearted direction & it definitely pays off. This was great film from beginning to end. The performances were great from Levi, Angel & Grazer, who really carry the movie. While Strong’s villain is somewhat of a cliche, he does bring a solid performance to the character and really plays off of Levi’s. The rumored sequel to involve “Black Adam” who is being played by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, looked a little as long shot but now things are looking up after this movie.
Overall, this was very entertaining movie with a great lead performance. The change of tone and direction from this film compared to the rest of the DC Universe is only better. With “Aquaman” & “Shazam!” being great, the future is looking up for DC and only further builds the anticipation for upcoming sequels and other DC properties such as “The Batman” & “Wonder Woman 84” among others, maybe DC can get it together and actually create a cinematic universe of their own.