After years of superhero movies being as adult and mature as they can be, it is refreshing to have one about the joys and wonder of being adolescence and having fun. The best way to describe “Shazam!” is if “Big” was a superhero movie, taking every opportunity it can to use its unique premise of a kid in an adult body. The best part of the movie is Zachary Levi as the adult version of Billy Batson, who nails the excitement and whimsy of a child having this amazing gift thrust upon him, with moments of extreme excitement as he learns what his powers are, while other times he’s overcome with giddiness when he realizes he can buy beer, only for that moment to be soured when he tastes beer.
“Shazam!” never loses sight of its childish view of the world, always optimistic with its many characters looking before they leap. Yet at the same time, Asher Angel’s performance as a young Billy Batson elevates this above childhood wish fulfillment, delivering in the more emotional moments of this unique coming-of-age story, making “Shazam!” optimistically naive, without ever venturing into being juvenile. The film is light on drama, but high on playfulness, fantasy, action, and of course, fun. When you picture an servicable yet enjoyable superhero movie for people of all ages, it’ll probably be “Shazam!” that comes to mind now.
Final Grade: B+