Shazam! (2019)

Well this is fun. Genuinely one of the most fun superhero films I’ve seen in a long time. It’s pure cinematic joy. So yeah, I liked it. It melted even my cold cynical heart, eventually. I mean, it took f*cking forever to get going. That’s always the issue with the first film in a superhero series though, particularly with one that not many people now. You have to not only have a film within itself, you need to introduce everything; the universe (Batman Begins wouldn’t have been as effective, for example, without first setting up that Gotham was kind of a shithole), the main characters backstory, and the villains backstory. That’s a lot to do in a short period of time, and it’s REALLY hard. That’s why it’s shared universes are great for this kind of thing, you can set up the characters in someone elses film. Spider-Man: Homecoming for example didn’t need to spend much time setting up the character, as he was already introduced in Civil War (also, EVERYONE knows Spider-man). If you cut out the origin story then the biggest issue with this film would be fixed immediately as it will be a lot pacier and flow better. To be honest, this character would have been perfect in Justice League, taking most of the comedic dialogue away from The Flash. You’d have to restructure parts of this though so there is a chance that might break it. This film is pretty much about family, it contains genuine emotion, like, tears slightly welling up level of emotion. The cast is also great. Zachary Levi easily makes you forget you’re actually watching an adult, not a large child.

I mean, it’s not perfect. As I’ve mentioned the pacing is glacial at the start. And whilst there’s nothing wrong with the way it looks, per se, it just isn’t visually very interesting which is a shame. It looks just like a normal film, nothing really wows you. I also think they missed a golden opportunity. This bit contains plot spoilers btw. There’s a moment where all his adopted siblings also become adult superheroes. I feel this would have been a great chance to have some cameos, you know, have some fun with the casting in some way. Oh, and the villain is missing from long periods of the film. Holy crap this film had a lot of flaws now I look at it. But I don’t care. I wasn’t thinking about the flaws when I left the cinema, I was smiling like an idiot because the film was fun enough to make me not think about them. And really isn’t that all you want from a film a lot of the time? For it to entertain you? Although I’m still not sure if it’s Faithe Herman who’s adorable and lovely, or just the character. Let’s just say it’s both for sake of argument.

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