In a cinematic world where superhero movies come out seemingly every month, it can be difficult for any particular one to stand out. The films set in DC’s cinematic universe have had it particularly hard; since Christopher Nolan finished his Batman trilogy in 2012 with The Dark Knight Rises, many of DC’s movies have been met with lackluster reviews from critics and panned by audiences who criticize the overly dark tone of movies like Man of Steel and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
Shazam!, released earlier this month on April 5th, turns this trend around. This film is much lighter in tone than many of the more recent DC movies, and it contains a much more engaging and hopeful story. Shazam is the tale of Billy Batson, an orphaned teenage boy recently adopted by a kindly couple, who inherits the power to transform into an adult superhero from an ancient wizard.
The acting, both from the many child actors as well as adults, is engaging and believable, despite the extraordinary circumstances of the film. Director David F. Sandberg appears to have taken a page from Marvel Studios’ handbook and injected his film with the humor and heart that separate it from the the large pack of overly similar superhero films.
Overall, Shazam! is a funny, and many times moving, superhero movie that is well-worth the price of entry.