Swanner: Billy Batson (Asher Angel) is a kid who has been passed around the system from one group home to another. Now, at 14, he may have found a real home, but things change once Billy is given superpowers by a wizard. Now, when Billy says “Shazam!”, he becomes an Adult Superhero. Unknown to Billy, his superpowers have attracted a Super Villain, who wants the powers Billy possesses. Billy and his new found family have to fight off the evil that’s coming for them.
Director David F. Sandberg and writer Henry Gayden bring us into this world that any 14 year old boy would love to be in. Where regular kids can beat the bad guy, and save the world. Zachary Levi plays Shazam!, the adult version of young Billy. Levi has a lot of fun with the character, bringing back fond memories of Tom Hanks in Big. The scenes with Levi and his group home brother, Freddie (Jack Dylan Grazer), where they are trying to figure out his superpowers, are some of the most fun in the film.
The cast is terrific, with great performances from the young actors. Mark Strong is delightfully evil playing Dr. Thaddeus Sivana, the bad guy who is willing to destroy the world to get the power he desires. Shazam! is different from most of the other superhero films because it’s seen through the eyes of a teenager, the teenage that still lives in all of us. You’re not going to have more fun and laughs with any other Superhero movie this year.
Swanner 3 ½ stars