I Managed to See a Movie! (My Shazam Review)

A 30-second preview was all it took to convince my ten-year-old son that Shazam was a movie we absolutely, positively, had to see. It didn’t take much to convince me. I love superheroes. My other half… well let’s just say that the heroes he prefers to watch on the big screen typically prefer military fatigues to capes and tights. More importantly, I couldn’t help thinking that soon he’d rather watch movies with his friends than me.

If you aren’t familiar with the film, Shazam about a fourteen-year-old foster child, named Billy, who is given the wisdom of Solomon, the strength of Hercules, the stamina of Atlas, the power of Zeus, the courage of Achilles, and the speed of Mercury (or S.H.A.Z.A.M), as well as the body of an adult. It’s also set in the same world as Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman. As a result, the characters are less motivated to find out how to use Billy’s new powers for the greater good (because saving the world is already covered by the more experienced heroes), then how they can use them to get out of school work (and other things).

Billy has no clue about the extent of his powers, and the series of trials by fire (literally, in one case) to test his limits. This caused me to laugh out loud several times throughout the movie. However, there is also a much more serious side to the film centered around the definition of home, family, and the impact a parent can have on their child. To avoid spoilers, I won’t go into it, but be warned there are scenes where a couple of the characters learn their parents aren’t without flaws–some more severe than others.

During one of these scenes, I couldn’t help thinking that there was some cosmic irony at play, considering I’d made such the point to see this movie, of all movies, with my son. I snuck a peek at my offspring. How was he handling it? I wanted to reach for his hand and have him nestle his head on my side like he used to do whenever he was confused or afraid, but he didn’t appear to be either of those things. Guess, my son is growing up even faster than I wanted to admit.

I returned my attention to the reason my wallet was thirty dollars lighter than it had been the day before (this is also one of the reasons I don’t write very many first-run movie reviews). Superhero meets Super-villain. Cue the fighting sequences, collateral damage, monologues, and epiphanies one expects at these sort of things.

Shazam, in many ways, is a film mirroring its central character. Like the fourteen-to-fifteen-year-old kid on the screen, the movie doesn’t seem to know what it wants to be when it grows up. It’s not a comedy, but its not an action movie, or completely family-friendly fare either. There’s cursing, monsters, and more than one random death that sort of comes out of nowhere. As a result, there were more than a few times I was glad I’d left my younger son at home.

It may not have the hype of Avengers: Endgame (or the bankroll), but it still has plenty of heart and better executed than some of the other DC movies I’ve seen (*cough* Dawn of Justice *cough* Suicide Squad *cough*). Therefore, I’m glad I took the time to see it in the theater, even if the person I saw it with made it an even better experience than watching what played out on the screen alone.

33 thoughts on “I Managed to See a Movie! (My Shazam Review)

    • As long as you don’t go into thinking you are going to see a nominee for best picture, it is entertaining enough-just don’t focus in too much on the monsters, which at the beginning, resemble something out of the original Ghostbusters. I liked Captain Marvel as well, though that movie has a completely different tone, and made me feel really, really old. I will warn you that, unlike Shazam, Captain Marvel is all about serving a much more narrow audience.

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  1. I watched Shazam with my 11 year old and just like you pointed out here, I reached my hand out to him but he seemed to be lost in the movie!
    One of the aspects of the movie that I really liked was how they showed in both positive and negative light the impact family can have on children.

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    • My sons LOVED Peter Rabbit. We didn’t see it in the theater, but have watched it more than once on the small screen. That scene with the electrified door knobs… cracked us up.

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  2. It looks like a bit of fun, so we might go see it this weekend. I actually kind of like Suicide Squad–mostly because a lot of it was filmed in Toronto and I recognized most of the places, especially some very near where I live!

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    • That surprised me too when I learned about it as I’d thought it was just a magic word. I hope you like it when you see it. I found it to be very much Big meets Christopher Reeve’s Superman.

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