By Tamsin Mathias
Last week, Lel and I attended Carmarthen Vue to watch the latest superhero film based on the DC Comics, ‘Shazam!’
Knowing that it was going to be a little different to the DC films I’d previously seen, I was sceptical, thinking it might not be quite my cup of tea, but I went into it with an open mind and sat down with a ridiculous amount of snacks.
The film begins in 1974, where a young Thaddeus Sivana (Ethan Pugiotto) is in the back of the car, playing with a magic 8 ball and being mocked by his brother. His father doesn’t intervene and seems to think that it’s okay for Sivana to be practically bullied by his sibling.
We’re taken straight into the action in the first five minutes, when Sivana is transported to the Rock of Eternity, located in another dimension, where he meet and ancient wizard called Shazam.
Shazam explains that a person who is pure of heart needs to be found in order to keep the seven deadly sins at bay, for he is too old and weak to keep them cast in stone.
Sivana, who is tempted by the whispers of the sins to unleash them, is banished back to Earth when he is deemed not to be pure of heart.
The Wizard (Djimon Hounsou) named Shazam, needs to find the pure soul as soon as possible, so he can pass his powers on and keep the world safe from the seven deadly sins. He casts a spell in order to do this, ‘however long it takes’.
Fast forward to the present day and we meet Billy Batson (Asher Angel), a 14-year-old orphan who continuously runs away from his foster home in order to try to find his mum, who he became separated from at a fair and was never reunited with.
He eventually finds refuge with another foster family with five other children, Darla Dudley (Faithe Herman), Freddy Freeman (Jack Dylan Grazer), Mary Bromfield (Grace Fulton), Eugene Choi (Ian Chen) and Pedro Pena (Jovan Armand).
We’re shown the existence of Batman and Superman, with Freddy being a huge fan of superheroes and having his own small collection of memorabilia. Freddy is the one who welcomes Billy into the home and shows him around.
Meanwhile, an adult Sivana (Mark Strong) has managed to find his way back to the Rock of Eternity, and steals the Eye of Sins. Shazam now must find a champion immediately.
The next day while they’re in school, Billy sees Freddy being bullied by two older boys and decides to step in. As he is being chased by them following his intervention, Billy is summoned to the Rock of Eternity, where Shazam chooses Billy to pass his powers on to.
This is where the comedy really starts. With inuendos and total young at heart vibes, it’s really refreshing to see something different when it comes to a superhero film.
Zachary Levi as Shazam is absolutely perfect. The look is brilliant, the script is fantastic and he really makes you believe that Shazam is a young boy inside a man’s body, for example, when Billy as Shazam decides to buy alcohol for himself and Freddy now that he looks like a man!
It also takes away some of the seriousness surrounding comics, and there’s plenty of opportunities to have a giggle during this delightful film.
It was also really interesting to see Mark Strong playing a ‘bad guy’, especially when he plays such a noble character in Kingsman!
I needn’t have worried about not liking the film, it’s brilliant, has great comedy value, and a wonderful addition to the series of DC movies. Can’t wait to see Shazam appear in more movies in the future.