The filmmakers (Henry Gayden wrote the script, David F. Sandberg directed) adhere to the heroic template, which means there’s a regulation villain (the reliably watchable Mark Strong) with schemes.
shazam movie shaq – ‘Shazam’
The Zac Levi that’s on the big screen as DC superhero Shazam looks nothing like the actor who played nerd-turned-spy in the NBC hit show Chuck twelve years ago. Although Shazam won’t be facing off against his arch-nemesis Black Adam (more on him later) in the movie, he will have a pretty terrifying opponent in Mark Strong’s Dr. Thaddeus Sivana, described as “an evil sorcerer who regenerates from death with world domination on his mind,” which should prove quite the test for our newly created hero.
In the first of the film’s two post-credits scenes ( which we’ve discussed in more depth here ) we see that an imprisoned Sivana has been recruited by classic comic-book villain Mr Mind, an alien slug of vast intelligence who promises to grant Sivana vast power if he’ll aid him in his schemes.
Die or Fly : Although Shazam is invulnerable, it’s played straight after Sivana drops him from high above the city. Shazam panics, unaware he’d survive the impact, and tries desperately to figure out the trick to flying, culminating with him shouting “I DON’T WANNA DIE!!!” seconds before impact. After a Smash to Black , he finds himself floating a few inches above the pavement, realizing he somehow finally figured it out. Then, ironically, is smashed into by a truck as he hovers above the ground.
When Sivana returns to the Rock of Eternity, he rightfully calls out the Wizard Shazam for putting him through his test of character while he was a child and then saying he would never be worthy when he failed. This drove him to spend years seeking a way to return to the Rock of Eternity where he immediately takes the Eye of Sin and releases the seven sins.
At long last, Shazam! star Zachary Levi admits his costume had some padding in it after all. That turns out to be a wise choice, as that comic is the most modern take on Billy Batson. After all, there are only so many times you can get away with saying holy moley” — although Shazam!” makes that work, too.
Detective Comics (later known as National Comics Publications, National Periodical Publications, and today known as DC Comics ) sued both Fawcett Comics and Republic Pictures for copyright infringement in 1941, alleging that Captain Marvel was based on their character Superman. 26 After seven years of litigation, the National Comics Publications v. Fawcett Publications case went to trial in 1948. Although the presiding judge decided that Captain Marvel was an infringement, DC was found to be negligent in copyrighting several of their Superman daily newspaper strips , and it was decided that National had abandoned the Superman copyright. 27 As a result, the initial verdict, delivered in 1951, went in Fawcett’s favor.
Played with. The movie has the Running Gag where Freddy keeps giving Billy a number of truly terrible code-names to use (such as “Thundercrack” and “Captain Sparklefingers”), none of which stick. He is also never addressed directly as “Shazam” or “Captain Marvel”, but in the final act when he gives his foster family powers, he tells them to “say my name” to invoke the transformation, which indicates, albeit indirectly, that he has accepted “Shazam” as his hero name. Also, the end credits refer to Billy’s adult form as “Shazam”.
Shazam! is rated PG-13 , which is the standard rating for every superhero movie under the sun. It’s become such a popular and well used rating that at this point it can cover quite a lot of ground. There’s a lot of violence or language that might be too much for the PG rating but not technically bad enough to justify the R. This means that parents might find some PG-13 movies acceptable for younger kids, and others not so much.
While dark superhero movies are understandably very popular, there’s also something to be said for a superhero film that you can safely watch with the whole family. Shazam! seems primed to toe the line between a kids’ flick and an adult movie, providing something that people of all ages can enjoy. The movie’s lighthearted tone also seems to emulate DC’s most critically successful film to date, Wonder Woman, which hopefully bodes well for Shazam!.
Plot-Mandated Friendship Failure : Billy and Freddy’s friendship is strained after Billy doesn’t show up as Shazam at the school cafeteria and Freddy gets ridiculed and bullied by his schoolmates, and Freddy calls out Billy for being a showoff and taking his Shazam powers for granted, which Billy doesn’t really care to refute. It’s only when Shazam is faced with an actual dangerous villain who tries to kill him and Freddy gets kidnapped along with his foster siblings by the said villain that Billy finally mans up and become a true hero to save the day.
This would have been interesting, but the way the movie character is written doesn’t do the idea justice. Just like Billy’s mother, he doesn’t have enough screen time to become fully fleshed out, and he just becomes the clichés he’s meant to poke fun at.
Shazam not only has the strength, powers and fortitude of mythological Greek gods, he also has to deal with powerful enemies as well as struggle with his own youthful lack of judgment and experience. I haven’t had this much, well, fun, in a superhero movie since Sam Raimi’s first Spider-Man.” And while we’ll certainly see three hours of gravitas soon with Endgame,” I’m also down for more fun, please.
Much of the youthful energy of Shazam!” comes courtesy of real youth. Sixteen-year-old Asher Angel plays angsty Billy Batson, an orphaned teen whose life changes big-time when a wizard (Djimon Hounsou) in search of a champion summons him to a magic cave and gives him the ability to morph into a full-grown hero (played by Levi). All Billy’s gotta do is say Shazam,” and he becomes a mega-powerful adult charged with protecting the world against the Seven Deadly Sins — here envisioned as the gargoyles from Ghostbusters.” The film toggles back and forth between its two younger and older stars.
The very first scene in which Billy appears, where he calls the cops, tricks them, locks them in a shop and consequently breaks into their car to find out information about a woman he thinks might be his mother… and steal one of the officers’ lunches. This scene effectively does three things: after Thaddeus’ exposition scene, it offers comic relief; it plays with your expectations, and it’s an excellent introduction to Billy’s character. In other words, it started the movie out right.
As Shazam, the hero appears as a playable fighter in Injustice: Gods Among Us , voiced by Joey Naber. The video game’s story depicts Superman becoming a tyrant, with his own Regime of heroes against an Insurgency led by Batman Shazam is shown as a member of Superman’s Regime, but ultimately is murdered by Superman when he questions the Man of Steel’s plan to destroy Metropolis and Gotham to ‘prove’ to the world that his authority is needed. His death prompts the Flash to defect to the Insurgency, which gives the opposing heroes the information they need to stop the Regime. 199 He is mentioned, but does not appear in, the sequel, Injustice 2 on the PC and the console versions, but the movie version of Shazam is playable in the mobile version.
Freddy isn’t afraid to be straight with his new brother, thankfully! And the scenes at the beginning where they’re testing out Billy’s powers are some of the best in the movie. An effortlessly entertaining blend of humor and heart, Shazam! is a superhero movie that never forgets the genre’s real power: joyous wish fulfillment.
In fact, the movie’s length might have gone unnoticed had the action taken less time to get started. There’s a bit too much time, if you ask me, between our first encounter with the wizard (when he tests Thaddeus) and Billy’s meeting with him.
Composite Character : In movie adaptation, Sivana is a blend of himself and elements of Black Adam from the New 52 comic. His Start of Darkness is caused by being a rejected champion and the Seven Deadly Sins give him Shazam-like superpowers.
Chuck Bartowski may not have had many fighting skills as first, but that gave him a chance to use his charm and smarts to pull himself out of dangerous situations. When the character got an upgrade that gave him combat skills at the end of the second season, Levi showed that he was easily up for the task of kicking butt, giving him lots of prep to play a superhero.
Much has been made of Warner Bros.’ difficult foray into superhero smashers post- Christopher Nolan The studio can make movies that can make a lot of money, but it hasn’t found consistent footing when it comes to critical praise.
Although Shazam won’t be facing off against his arch-nemesis Black Adam (more on him later) in the movie, he will have a pretty terrifying opponent in Mark Strong’s Dr. Thaddeus Sivana, described as “an evil sorcerer who regenerates from death with world domination on his mind,” which should prove quite the test for our newly created hero.
Billy’s transformation into Shazam (and thus Angel’s transformation into Levi) is the movie’s central and hypervisual gag: a boy walking around in the body of a superpowered man. Shazam has the unmitigated power of Zeus himself but maintains the spirit of a kid. It’s a riff on the body-swapping we know from Freaky Friday or Big. Sandberg ably uses the premise to imbue the movie with humor, as Billy can use his newfound ability to buy beer for the first time or skip school — or, as any teen would with the gift of superpowers, turn his superpowered alter ego into an influencer on YouTube and Instagram.
While Billy’s foster siblings were, on the whole, pretty cool characters, his foster parents felt a bit like cookie cutter parents. Yes, they’re great, but as characters, they could have had more depth. Rosa and Victor Vasquez do exactly two things in the movie: they worry about their children, and they’re loving parents. Yet, we know that they both were in foster care as children, and we’re given hints of a past… but nothing concrete enough to flesh out the characters.
We all have a superhero inside us, it just takes a bit of magic to bring it out. In Billy Batson’s (Angel) case, by shouting out one word—SHAZAM!—this streetwise 14-year-old foster kid can turn into the adult Super Hero Shazam (Levi), courtesy of an ancient wizard. Still a kid at heart—inside a ripped, godlike body—Shazam revels in this adult version of himself by doing what any teen would do with superpowers: have fun with them! Can he fly? Does he have X-ray vision? Can he shoot lightning out of his hands? Can he skip his social studies test? Shazam sets out to test the limits of his abilities with the joyful recklessness of a child. But he’ll need to master these powers quickly in order to fight the deadly forces of evil controlled by Dr. Thaddeus Sivana (Strong).