Interest Level: Intermediate, Young Adult
Main Performers: Zachary Levi, Asher Angel, Jack Dylan Grazer
Director: David F. Sandberg
Studio: New Line Cinema
Run Time: 130 minutes
MPAA Rating: PG 13
Troublemaker Billy Batson is determined to find his lost mother. His search is delayed, however, when he is selected by the Wizard Shazam to be the champion over evil. By speaking the wizard’s name, Billy instantly changes into an adult superhero with superhuman strength, speed, flight, and other powers he has yet to discover. But while he is still exploring his new powers, Billy learns of a deadly enemy: Dr. Sivana, a bitter man who was rejected by the wizard and has accepted the power of the Seven Deadly Sins instead. In the face of evil, Billy must confront his past, accept the responsibilities of his new calling, and learn the meaning of true family.
This movie is full of wit and lighthearted humor, which is why it is so jarring when several dark scenes occur. These scenes do not fit with the rest of the movie, which results in a film that feels stilted and forced. However, the portrayal of a loving foster home with a delightful mesh of winning personalities is heartwarming to see, especially since foster homes in movies are often depicted in a harsh light. Zachary Levi plays a convincing teenager-in-a-man’s-body, and Asher Angel delivers a great performance. The script balances lighthearted humor and drama. Overall, there are some weaknesses, but it is an entertaining superhero movie nonetheless.
*Contains moderate violence, mild language, and mild sexual content.