The Movie: 8/10
Fun. I mean, it’s fun, and that’s enough for me. Oh, you want more. Well, Shazam is fun and funny and entertaining and goofy and a spectacle and and and…is that enough?
I had no idea really about Shazam, other than my 70’s TV show experience. I don’t read comic books so my exposure to super heroes is strictly television and movies, and maybe real life but that’s top secret, never mind.
A teenager is zapped into a place that’s mystical and weird and he becomes an ancient super hero who has to defend the world from some nasty creatures, and Mark Strong. It’s a big deal. Our teenager is a drifter, foster kid who is placed with “Jerry” from the Walking dead and his wife, “Cocktail Waitress” from Shame (really not the kind of movie you would watch after Shazam with the kids, trust me on this one.) and their brood of kids who make it clear they each have their own issues, just like our young Shazam.
It’s not a complicated concept, a misfit is given great powers and responsibility, only to squander them until he must save everyone he comes to love. TADA! That’s the comic book synopsis for ya, and it’s accurate. What’s great about this movie is that simplicity and that the emotional stuff is done pretty darn well, except for some shaky stuff with the mom, but hey I can overlook that because everything else is pure entertainment.
Yes the big fights might look a little wonky sometimes, and I did have to roll my eyes occasionally. Even a hint of bad CGI can be the downfall of big action sequences, but it’s over the top enough that I didn’t really mind. It just is what it is, wham bam SHAZAM and it’s not meant to dig any deeper or impress every movie loving bone in my body. It’s a show, a feast for the eyes, not the bones.
Like I said, I don’t read or know the comics so the whole thing about having more than one Shazam seemed a bit weird, but I was going with the flow at that point so I just enjoyed it. There isn’t anything I would dig too deep to criticize about this movie, but there are a couple superficial things that bugged me. I didn’t really like Mark Strong’s performance a lot of the time. I get it, he’s bitter and angry and is possessed by these demon things, but come on, lighten up a little tiny bit. I also really did hate the way our hero gets his powers. It is the weakest part of the story for me. I guess I wanted something a bit more WOW and a lot less HMMM OK.
Overall I had a great time with Shazam and I would watch it again just for fun if it came on TV on a rainy afternoon. I would not watch Shame again. It’s an excellent movie…..but really it’s no fun at all.
- The Magical World Of Shazam (27 Minutes) – A very good making of featurette that features interviews with the whole cast and crew. It also takes a look at the many storyboards and stunts featured in the film.
- Super Fun Zac (3 Minutes) – A look at Zachary Levi’s fun onset antics.
- Deleted And Alternate Scenes (37 Minutes) – Lots of unfinished scenes with missing effects and music, enough for a die hard fan to be very pleased though.
- Gag Reel (3 Minutes) – Messing about on the set.
- Who Is Shazam (6 Minutes) – One of my favorite featurettes here that takes a look at the origins of Shazam and the original comic books he appeared in.
- Carnival Scene Study (10 Minutes) – A breakdown of the ending of the movie, warning do not watch this before the film.
- Shazamily Values (6 Minutes) – A look at the family of Shazams featured in the movie and the Foster family that keeps them alive.
- Motion Comic (4 Minutes) – A very short motion comic with all the actors in the movie reprising the roles.
- 4KUHD, Blu-ray & Digital Copy
Audio & Video: 9/10
Shazam! comes home on 4K and Blu-ray courtesy of Warner and a superb AVC transfer. Presented in the original aspect ratio of 2.39:1 the film looks incredible start to finish. Textures on suits and close up facial details are evident the entire runtime. Deep blacks and no noise or blocking makes for a terrific transfer. The 4K version is a small step up from the blu-ray but the HDR seals the deal making it the superior version.
The Dolby Atmos track used here is powerful and off the charts. During the action sequences the surround effect is stunning. LFE is unexpectedly strong when you get to the part with the Wizard in the cave. This is a great Atmos track that makes this hot summer even hotter.
Overall Score 8/10