Geek Film Review Vol. 2 No. 1: Just Say The Magic Word, Shazam!

Director: David F. Sandberg
Cast: Zachary Levi, Asher Angel, Jack Dylan Grazer
Production: DC Films

Geek Rate: Sun god worthy (4 out of 5 stars)

As a kid, and even later on as I grew up, if I was asked about who’s my favorite superhero, I would always say it’s Shazam, drawing a blank face from everyone who’s asking, expecting Iron Man or Captain America or any other known superheroes. But Shazam is my superhero, and he arrives on the big screen!

The movie is about a boy named Billy Batson, who was summoned to the Rock of Eternity and was chosen to be a new champion who will fight the Seven Deadly Sins. By speaking the magic word “Shazam!” he turns into this awesome superhero.

Seeing people excited about a movie despite not reading a single comic book about it, it’s phony. When I was a kid, I didn’t get a chance to read that much Marvel comics (except Spiderman later in college). But I did read (borrowing comics from classmates because those were damn expensive) plenty of comics about Batman and Superman sure, but a lot about The Flash, and none about Aquaman (*sniggers*).

While everyone was waiting for End Game, or whatever it is called, to be shown late this month, I, on the other hand, together with the DC fans, are ecstatic about our own superhero movie: Shazam!

Shazam! is everything I read about him, funny and silly and with awesome powers, but none of this dark mood Batman is very known for. In short, as a kid, I just want to have something fun to read, and Shazam is just that.

Shazam demonstrates the powers of different mythological characters, the wisdom of Solomon, the strength of Hercules, the stamina of Atlas, the power of Zeus, the great courage of Achilles and the speed of Mercury. While these are depicted in the movie, how the writers show Shazam’s wisdom, being just Billy who is a kid in high school, is what makes the movie remarkable.

Unlike other superheroes, what I like about Shazam the most as a kid is you get to be him, that it’s possible to be a superhero like him. The movie shows that. The scenes where they were testing Billy’s superpowers, to the goofing around and even the part of poking fun of cliché battle scenes like the one where Shazam can’t hear the villain speech near the end of the movie.

And would you believe it? The actor chosen to portray the role was none other than my favorite TV series actor of all time, Zachary Levi (He played the lead character in “Chuck“). Levi’s performance was like magic itself, and he’s a wizard. It also helped that the movie really introduced his character Billy, who he really is, his motivations, his story. Something that waslacking from other superhero films.

There’s a family dynamics here that I like, and who will not love the elements of Greek mythology in the story? Shazam is a fun tale, without the dragging dark stuff. It will take some time for people to know him, but when they do, we’ll be waiting for them to say the magic word.

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