REVIEW: As Far as DC Movies Go, ‘Shazam’ is OK But He’s No Aquaman.

I detest opening day of anything. People, children not my own, their attempts at quips and witticisms annoy me. It’s a whole thing.

So it should come as no shock my review of the movie Shazam comes so late into it’s run, there may have been five people in the theater. And the poor young teen who took my money still insisted on picking my seat for me. Thanks, I guess.

My comic book knowledge falls somewhere between “Novice” and “Not Quite a Novice”. I know the main stays like a Batman, Wonder Woman and Superman..but their general supporting cast of Justice League compadres, I’m still learning about.

I couldn’t tell you much about Shazam, other than I strongly associate him with the 70’s which brings in an automatic cheese factor. And that tiered, almost ruffled Liberce mating with fat Elvis cape is something featured in many nightmares of that era.

I remember at the premiere of Aquaman I attended on December 15th, I saw the Shazam trailer for the first time. I was shocked at what an abysmal mess this hunk of garbage looked like. I vowed I would never watch it, despite my preference for the DC Universe.

So four months later, peer pressure kicks in and I go. I expected nothing. It can only go up from there. I didn’t hate the origin because I wasn’t familiar with it. Yes, it felt rushed a tad and a bit cheap and hollow. Choosing a “Pure of heart” who had just pulled a deviant prank I would have slapped the crap out of him for, made little sense but Old Man Shazam seemed to be in a hurry to get the interview process done and literally name his successor.

I prefer my heroes darker, and Shazam is a bit of an annoying goofball. Hopefully this is just a part of the also annoying first movie of any franchise and Zachary Levi (I had to google him, I really had no clue) can portray this superhero more seriously. As I watched, I felt I was watching Weekend at Bernie’s minus the dead body. I didn’t help that all I saw was Jonathan Silverman in a red foam muscle suit. Yes, that costume is awful. I swear I saw wires through the light on that chest bolt.

The children. Ugh.

Your standard orphanage/ foster kids played and written to be the cutest things you ever did see. I wondered at times why I was so negative when obviously the little girl with the hair puffs (Darla. I had to google again.) was cute and the five people in the theater belly laughed at everything she said. It’s grating when kids are over written to be the little darling of any movie. And the endless testing of the superpowers had me checking my watch a few times. Insert a two minute montage and be done. I’m a sucker for a good montage.

The villain is fine, but again a bit hollow. I love everything Joker and Black Manta and appreciate the layered backstory they bring. I expect more over time, and of course based on the end credit scene, there will be more.

I was right in my decision to expect nothing. I didn’t think this was this year’s.. or last year’s greatest hero movie. Aquaman still holds that spot for me. But Shazam wasn’t as horrible as I expected based on that trailer. And whoever decided to release that mess should be fired and banned from entering a comic book shop for life.

Shazam gets 3 out of 5 from me.

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