Just whistle and he will appear. Review of the film ”Shazam!” (Topic)

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Just whistle and he will appear. Review of the film ”Shazam!”

Image The seventh chapter of the expanded DC MCU, which received a bright and memorable title "Shazam!", Is getting closer to the territory of classic fantasy. The magic begins as soon as Zachary Levi appears on the screen, the effect of which is like a magic word that turns a standard and unremarkable Hollywood blockbuster into a first-class entertainment movie. Let the same fair of banal entertainment scenes and special effects, the natural charm and inhuman charisma of Livaya, be enough to electrify the film so much that every scene with his participation makes the hairs on his arms stand on end.

The first appearance of the hero in comics took place in 1939. Then, created by the mind of Bill Parker and the pencil of Charles Clarence Beck, he received the name Captain Marvel (yes, during these two months there were films about two Captains Marvel from different studios). In the mid-40s, the story of a boy whom the wizard Shazam endowed with his strength, as soon as he uttered his name, gained such popularity that even Superman was forced to step aside. However, later, in the 50s, the hero demanded by children began to have problems: Fawcett Comics, which originally published Captain Marvel, received charges of plagiarism from the Man of Steel from DC Comics. Twenty years later, our hero will fall under their wing, however, already known as Shazam, because during all this turmoil with the rights of Marvel, they rushed in advance and licensed their Captain Marvel aka Carol Danvers.

"Shazam!" does not stray too far from the comic book canon: at the center of the story is still a kid named Billy Batson (Asher Angel). However, if in earlier versions he appeared as a 12-year-old dreamy young man working on the radio, then the prototype of a new comic book line, which has been released since 2011, is used in the film. Here Billy is a 14-year-old from Philadelphia, arrogant, problematic, and unaffected by authority. As a child, he lost his mother, literally letting go of her hand in the impenetrable thick of people at some fair, and since then he has not seen her. Now he has changed many foster families, running away from each in the hope of finding a real mother. In pursuit of this goal, Billy periodically has to commit minor offenses, one of which once again brings him to the office of a social teacher. And now Billy has nothing left how to go to a new family. The benevolent and loving Vasqueses (Martha Milans and Cooper Andrews) are happy to host another child - the sixth in their endlessly hospitable home.


However, neither a new family, nor new acquaintances Billy is particularly worried about - he continues to distance himself from everyone. Everything changes when magic breaks into his life. Being in a completely ordinary metro train, our hero is miraculously transported to a cave, where he is met by a gray-haired, barely able to stand on his feet, an old sorcerer named Shazam (Djimon Khonsu). The magician is in despair: at all costs, he needs to transfer his power to a new guardian who could prevent the impending apocalypse, which is planned by the evil Doctor Sivana (Mark Strong), who has mastered the power of the seven deadly sins. Saying the name of the sorcerer, 14-year-old Billy is struck by lightning into an adult Shazam (Zachary Levi), endowed with the power of six mythological heroes: Solomon, Hercules, Atlas, Zeus, Achilles and Mercury (hence the acronym SHAZAM). But, despite his enormous strength and muscular body, Shazam is still the same teenage Billy who has not heard of responsibility and needs a family.


On the one hand, "Shazam!" is a painfully familiar superhero about a typical chosen one who turns from an outcast into a favorite of millions, finding himself and his loved ones along the way. Shown here is a typical "difficult" teenage life, with typical school bullies in a typical American town and a typical supervillain, which, unfortunately, turned out to be very cardboard. Everything is filmed according to a template that has been used by Marvel Studios for more than a decade. Indeed, it is not the "Justice League" with the "Suicide Squad" to take as an example. David F. Sandberg, director of "Shazam!", Does not hesitate to copy even the script composition from the Marvel films: acquaintance with the character in the first act, acquaintance of the character with his abilities in the second and a large-scale final battle with the villain in the third.


On the other hand, it seems, "Shazam!" and doesn't pretend to be anything. This is a comedy that captivates with its simplicity and action on the verge of cartoonishness. The film is fooling around like a teenager who has just bought a new set-top box with a set of cool video games: in this one I will fly, here I will shoot lightning in different directions, and in the third I will try to save the girl in the park from the robber. It is especially fun to do this with Billy / Shazam's partner, which becomes Freddie (Jack Dylan Grazer) - another adopted child from the Vasquez family, a passionate comic book fan and a big fan of Batman and Superman. Together they learn to be superheroes, or rather, they try to discover new abilities of Shazam, make him a universal star and break away to the maximum.

The film's humor is all right, for which, again, we need to thank Levi with his facial expressions and bright comedic talent, which we witnessed back in the second season of The Amazing Mrs. Maisel. He has great chemistry with Graser, and overall thanks to Zachary "Shazam!" takes on a comedic flair and a charm that no other DC movie has had, with the exception of Wonder Woman starring Gal Gadot. True, sometimes all this splendor collides head-on with the directorial background of Sandberg, the author of the horror films And The Lights Go Out ... and the sequel to The Curse of Annabelle, clearly demonstrating that screamers in entertainment films are pure horror.


An old-school story aimed primarily at a younger audience, Shazam! interesting in terms of the message that sets David Sandberg's work apart from other DC comics, such as the epic Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and the recent Aquaman. The film emphasizes the importance of family in the life of any person, shows that the love and support of loved ones is the best superpower that one can only dream of. For this thought to the hapless "Shazam!" everything can be forgiven.

The Topic of Article: Just whistle and he will appear. Review of the film ”Shazam!”.
Author: Jake Pinkman