Sunday, April 7, 2019

Shazam! Review and Box Office Weekend

As Sunday closes down, the early box office numbers have Shazam coming in around the projection a month ago with about $55 million and a total closer to $60 million from the early preview weekend they did a few weeks ago.

I was fortunate enough to catch the preview and we did a spoiler review on the Marvel Hacks Podcast and you can find that link here   Marvel Hacks Shazam Review

At the time tho, my fellow Hacks had not seen the movie so it was a one-sided review and having had some time to reflect on the movie, I still feel the same way as I did when I left the cineplex.  The movie is a lot of fun and is in line with what a Shazam movie should be: Lighthearted, family centered, and fun! Lots of fun!  I found tho, in my watching and reflecting, that even tho its one of the best DCEU movies, I am 100% sure that movie was not made for me.  Now this is not a "Comic Book Guy" rant coming. Not at all.  Its more of a, " I am getting older and some of these comic book movies are not made with older viewers in mind".  And that is fine and something more I have to rectify with myself; not with DCEU.  I saw the movie with my daughter and she loved it.  She is also 12 and I feel is the real target audience of a movie like Shazam.  It plays to kids and younger audiences.  The jokes, the plot, and the character of Billy Bastion plays towards a certain demographic and I am clearly not in that demo anymore.  As a reviewer, its up to me to put that aside and review the movie for what its worth.

Our story starts off with a cold opening and a young man who is arguing with his older brother and his dad in a car ride in the 80's.  In a moment, the young man is swept away and taken to a magical place where he meets a wizard, who judges him based on his heart to see if he is worthy of being Shazam! He is not and is cast out and over the years, after being so close to that level of power, little  Thaddeus  grows into our villain in the movie, Dr. Sivana!

In present day, Billy Bastion is an orphan in search of his real mother.  He has bounced around from foster home to foster home and after an incident with the law is placed with the Vasquez family and even though he has no intention of staying there, circumstances place him in a position to not only stay, but grow, especially to his younger foster brother, Freddy Freeman. While there relationship is initially contentious , Freddy grounds the movie purely in comic book mode as he is a living encyclopedia of the DCEU universe ( the movie is set in a world where Man of Steel and Batman  V Superman have already happened)

Billy winds up getting the power of Shazam and all the early shenanigans of learning about his powers are cute and the jokes really play well with the teenagers.  Of course, this is a super hero movie and once Dr. Sivana finds out that Shazam exists, he is out to steal his powers which he feels are rightfully his.

The CGI in this movie, especially with the demon villains that follow  DR Sivana around are kind awful.  The movie culminates with a big battle in and around Philadelphia.  Again, Shazam is about family and we do get the big Marvel Family reveal at the end of the movie and again, its fun and will play well to younger audiences.

For me, I liked the movie but I hear people over praising a bit in my opinion.  Its not the dark, drek that Snyder imposed upon DC comic and movie fans and I thank them for that.  But also, in attempting to not be drek at all, it may have been a little too light on drama and the villain is kinda awful.  That will always be an issue for Shazam as his rogue gallery is pretty weak outside of Black Adam.

Overall, fun movie!  Definitely not great like people are praising it to be.  If you are a younger fan( under 30), you will probably love it!! It was truly made for you!!

The Producer

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