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Latest DC film lands as a hit

Shazam is the first DC Comics superhero movie released by Warner Bros. in 2019. The last DC Comics movie was Aquaman, Warner Bros.’ biggest superhero movie in recent memory. Shazam will be the 7th installment of the DC Extended Universe (DCEU).

Shazam is the latest movie of the DCEU. Released April 5, the plot is different than previous DC movies as it featured a lighthearted plot.

Shazam was first introduced in Whiz Comics #2 featuring the hero Captain Marvel. The character goes by Shazam to avoid confusion with Marvel Studios character whose name is also Captain Marvel.

Young hero Billy Batson (Asher Angel) was gifted the power of Shazam by an old wizard, and with the scream of ‘Shazam’, Billy would transform into the superhero also named Shazam (Zachary Levi). The old wizard gave Batson the power of the six immortals: Solomon, Hercules, Achilles, Zeus, Atlas, Achilles and Mercury.

In an article introducing who Shazam is, the author Tanzim Pardiwalla, explains what Shazam’s powers are.

“Shazam is an acronym that stands for the wisdom of Solomon, the strength of Hercules, the stamina of Atlas, the power of Zeus, the courage of Achilles, the speed of Mercury,” Pardiwalla said. “This enables him to switch between his human form and his superhuman alter ego which transforms into an adult-sized superhero. His powers are pretty great considering he has some of the strongest ancients backing him up.”

The film is direct by David Sandberg. Sandberg is best known for his horror short film Lights Out. This will be the first superhero movie directed by Sandberg.

The movie starts in 1974 with Thaddeus Sivana (Mark Strong) as a kid driving with his dad and brother in a car. Sivana then suddenly gets teleported to another dimension called Rock of Eternity by a wizard Shazam. It is here where the audiences learn that the wizard is getting old and is looking for a new Shazam. The wizard is looking for someone pure of heart and who will not be tempted by evil. Sivana does not pass the test and gets tempted by evil, which leads to the wizard not giving him the power.

The movie then jumps to present-day Philadelphia with 14-year-old foster child Billy Batson looking for his birth mother. He is caught by the police and gets put back into another foster home. This foster home, run by Victor and Rosa Vazquez, also has five other foster kids: Mary, Pedro, Eugene, Darla and Freddy who is the same age as Billy.

One day in school, Freddy gets picked on by two older kids and Billy steps in to help. The two older kids chase Billy until he escapes on a train. The train, however, teleports Billy to the Rock of Eternity where the wizard is growing weaker and desperately needs a new champion. Without thinking much, he gives the power of Shazam to Billy and with the yell of “Shazam!” Billy turns to a grown man who has powers.

 

Shazam’s theme of family helps make the movie a hit.

Billy, completely unsure of what happened, turned to Freddy for help, who helps Billy learn his powers. While Shazam learns how to use his powers, Doctor Savana found a way to go back to the Rock of Eternity on his own. He then takes the Eye of Sins and is granted with the power of the seven sins. Sivana is told by the sins that the only person who has the power to defeat him is Shazam. With this new information, Doctor Sivana attacks Shazam. Billy must find a way to protect his family and himself by defeating Doctor Sivana.

 

Shazam is not what most viewers expected out of a DC Comics movie. All of the previous movies have been darker without much humor. However, Shazam was completely opposite, offering a lighthearted, humored filled action movie.

The movie lacks explanation in the beginning. Audiences are not quite sure what is happening as the movie jumps in time without much context. 

The lack of explanation was not as noticeable as the theme of the movie was a home run. Both the hero and villain had family issues in their childhood. However, Billy was able to learn what the true meaning of family is as he spends time with his foster family.

Shazam is rated PG-13 due to intense sequence of action, language and suggestive material. For the most part, this is a family friendly movie with a heartwarming theme.  

For more articles: City of Clovis celebrates 81st Big Hat Days and Student of the Month: Mackenzie Beckworth.

John Monke can be reached via email and Twitter.

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