Movie Review: “Shazam!”

This movie came very close to being a fun, entertaining, reasonably silly, reasonably meaningful movie but just didn’t quite make it.

As any comic book fan will know, Billy Batson is a teenage boy chosen for his pure heart by an ancient wizard to be the recipient of magic powers to fight evil.

The problem is, to me the movie basically resembled a donut. The outer rim is about a young Billy Batson who has suffered tremendous loss as a child, and who, as a teenager turns his back on anyone who tries to offer any love or help or understanding. Pretty standard teen angst. This is the Billy Batson who is chosen by the Ancient Wizard to receive power.

But then, in the middle of the movie, the hole of the donut if you will, you have a different Billy Batson. I don’t mean that the Billy Batson of the outer part of the donut became confused and overwhelmed on receiving that power, that he made mistakes and forgot people — that would have made for a good movie, actually. Instead, to me at least, we had a whole new Billy Batson, a completely different character. The first Billy was selected by the Wizard for the purity of his heart. The second Billy doesn’t have a heart. His soul is as empty as that of his nemesis, Dr. Sivana.

And then, suddenly, for no discernible reason (the movie was ending in 20 minutes), the original Billy is back, but he quickly learns how to respond to the people who want to help him, which leads him to being able to deal with his new powers, which allows him to defeat Dr. Sivana. Everyone lives happily ever after. The End.

This would have been a pretty darn good movie if they could have forged some sort of connection between the 2 Billys.

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