DC premieres their new movie, SHAZAM!. I watched it at the Temecula 15 & IMAX theatre; located in Temecula, CA. Right across the Promenade Mall. As I was entering the theatre, I did not expect how much I would smile while watching the movie. Nor did I expect how much of an impact this movie made me think about how it addresses the topics of Family, Children and the influence to make certain decisions in life. As a person who loves DC Superheroes and is excited for the JOKER movie in October, SHAZAM! is a movie that DC fans can’t miss. You may even be surprised at how the movie itself brings much laughter, as well to encourage people to have conversations about what defines a family. Although some may say that this message is forced, as a person who is Fil-Am (Filipino-American), and lives under the influence of a collectivist culture, I can understand how the movie presents the ideology; that, family is important and you should look out for them. The types of families in this movie show different situations. Further showing how children deal with their family members and even become influenced by their situations to make decisions for their lives. Will you be consumed evil or good? Villain or Superhero?
The movie first introduces Dr. Thaddeus Sivana (Mark Strong) in 1974. We learn that his family, his father and older brother, belittles him. He was one of the children that were picked to become the next Shazam. Only one with a pure heart may carry out the legacy. However, he was tempted and failed, tested by the Seven Deadly Sins: Sloth, Lust, Greed, Pride, Wrath, Gluttony and Envy. Ever since his experience with The Wizard Shazam (Djimon Hounsou), Dr. Thaddeus Sivana made it his life’s goal to go back to the wizard’s ‘lair’. He spent his whole life researching and it turns out that other people have also had the same encounter with the wizard. Dr. Thaddeus Sivana was then able to return to the lair and use the powers from the Seven Deadly Sins to seek revenge on his family; while, he searches for Billy Batson (Asher Angel & Zachary Levi) to gain even more powers that The Wizard Shazam has handed over to him.
Billy Batson is then introduced as a 14-year-old kid who has been running away from various foster families. He has a goal to find his real mother. He then ends up in a home with 5 new siblings, Freddy Freeman (Jack Dylan Grazer & Adam Brody), Mary Bombfield (Grace Fulton & Michelle Borth), Eugene Choi (Ian Chen/Ross Butler), Pedro Peña (Jovan Armand & D.J. Cotrona), & Darla Dudley (Faithe Herman & Meagan Good). As he tries to adjust to his new lifestyle, Freddy gets bullied one day at school. Billy was able to fight them and escape on a subway train. That’s when he gets chosen by the wizard. As Billy holds onto the staff and says SHAZAM! he’s transformed into his own Superhero. He then learns about being a Superhero and tests his powers with Freddy’s help. Billy’s attitude at first is that, because he’s a Superhero, he can do whatever he wants. However, once he gets acquainted with Dr. Thaddeus Sivana, he learns the responsibility he has, while he discovers the type of person he is and should be.
Billy does end up finding his mother with the help of his new siblings before the huge fight with Dr. Thaddeus Sivana. However, he realizes that what he was looking for, reveals her truth. His mother told him that she was a young girl who had the responsibility to take care of a child she wasn’t ready to take care of at 17. His father wasn’t even around either. When she saw him with the police after he ran away to look for his key-chain that she won him, she decided that it was best for him to be left with the police. This shows that his early family life and relationship with his mother isn’t perfect as she made a sacrifice to allow him to have a ‘better life’. Or, others can criticize that she abandoned him. After he meets his mother, he gets a call from Freddy’s phone and found out that Dr. Thaddeus is threatening to hurt him and his other siblings if he didn’t give up his powers. With the help of his new family, they beat him and the Seven Deadly Sins, with the help of Billy transferring some of his power to them the same way the wizard did for him. Grab the staff, and just say the word….SHAZAM!
This movie honestly put a smile to my face. I felt that this movie is fun, funny, and it gave me a good feeling throughout the whole thing. I was enjoying it so much that I laughed more than twice and made other reactions because I was so engaged in the film. I laughed when Eugene (Ross Bulter) said ‘Hadoken’. Darla (Faithe Herman) is a good sister who I enjoy watching. She made me smile a lot with her caring personality. I was even clapping when the Shazam Family got their powers. As mentioned earlier, the topics I noticed revolve around Family, Children and life decisions. I appreciated that the movie showed that, anyone can be called family. Those who aren’t necessarily related to you, can become your family. People also make decisions because they think it’s the right one even if it hurts. There are also family where they aren’t seen as loving people. Even though Billy and Dr. Thaddeus Sivana didn’t have early positive family memories, they made decisions when it comes to good or evil.
Seeing the character of Dr. Thaddeus Sivana made me feel sorry for him. I feel bad that because of his relationship with his father and older brother, it led him to make bad decisions. He was mistreated, consumed by hate/hurt, that it led him to kill his family members through the Seven Deadly Sins. He also wanted more power. Billy didn’t have a perfect life either; however, he fortunately chose to stick around his new family and appreciate what he has in his current life. Billy is an example that even though one’s life may be perceived as negative; one can still do good. That there also other people that care and want to help others who need a guidance, a friend, love, understanding and communication. Since this movie does highlight the importance of family, it’s a movie for families to enjoy. After watching this movie, I am excited to see Shazam’s other opponent, Black Adam, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. I’m looking forward for that and for more DC movies.
Release Date: April 5, 2019
Starring: Asher Angel, Zachary Levi, Djimon Hounsou, Mark Strong, Jack Dylan Grazer, Marta Milans, Cooper Andrews
Director: David F. Sandberg
Distributor: Warner Bros.
Genre: Action / Comedy / Adventure / Fantasy
Runtime: 132 minutes
Official Website: www.shazammovie.com/
Official Social Media Pages:
IMDB Page: @ShazamMovie
Wiki Link: @Shazamfilm
Danielle Bawit | Writing Contributor
B.A. | Media Studies | Cal State Univ – San Marcos
Hello! My name is Danielle Bawit. I attended MSJC- Mt. San Jacinto’s Community College and received two Associate’s for Communication and Liberal Arts. I am currently in my last semester at CSUSM-California State University San Marcos, and I will be receiving my Bachelor’s degree in Media Studies. I grew up with watching DC heroes on the screen, wrestling with my family, Disney movies and listening to Kpop. I have been always involved with my education by joining choir’s and becoming part of MSJC’s communications club as a Historian. I have promoted events for the club at my previous school, and I have promoted and volunteered for Khip-hop concerts. I aspire to one day work in the entertainment world while promoting artists and music. Additionally, I also hope to share written stories to people in my career due to my love for writing.| Instagram @Charice_Danielle| View My Articles
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