Shazam! A bang to the DCU


Shazam! (Image obtained from Warner Bros.)

Charley Roth-Douquet, Reporter

Warner Bros offered Shazam in an attempt to transform DC Films from a gloomy and dark tone into a more fun, light-hearted Marvel-like tone. To their credit, Shazam is a fun and light film that did well breaking up the dull over-dramatic monotony that DC films have been proficient at fostering. That however, doesn’t make it good.

Shazam begins with an introduction to the film’s antagonist. Thaddeus Sivana is presented as a whiny child with a dark past. Suddenly he is transported to the Wizard of Shazam, he’s brought there to see whether he’s worthy of the power of Shazam. Sivana is then told he isn’t “good enough” to be Shazam. He’s both cursed with a not-pure soul and an Oedipal complex. Dr. Sivana all grown up manages to both obtain magical powers through unsavory means, and be a completely flat character who doesn’t develop in any sense throughout the movie. Boring.

The movie gets interesting with the introduction of the protagonist Billy Batson. The audiences first impression of Billy is him fooling police officers in an attempt to look up his birth mother in the Cop Database. Needless to say. Batson is an orphan. It is then revealed Billy has spent the majority of his life running away from foster homes and often getting in trouble with the police. The foster home he’s moved to seems to be no exception, shortly after meeting the family of two former orphans and the five orphan children they’ve adopted, he runs away. The Hero’s Journey of Batson is of: him being alone and his only want to be his birth family, then growing closer to his family, until he faces an ultimatum–give up the powers of Shazam or his foster family, which he begins considering his real family, is threatened.

Shazam is a classic coming of age story of a boy finding his family. The movie is unoriginal, its writing is sloppy and the acting is uninspiring. However, where it lacks it makes up in being fun, lighthearted and wholesome. It’s a refreshing addition to the DC cinematic universe.