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Monday
Apr082019

SHAZAM! (CAPTAIN MARVEL) MOVIE REVIEW

 

 

After seeing this film I REALLY want to talk about the spoilers but I figure just in case no one has seen it yet but plans too I’ll be non spoiler(y) as I can(at first anyway).  For those people that wanted Warner Bros to make Marvel Studio type films and “Aquaman” didn’t satisfy you then this film should.

 

STORY:

 

The film follow orphan Billy Batson trying to figure out his way in the world.  Should he try find his old family or try to make connections to his new one?  Also with the world at stake will he be able to use the new powers that the wizard shazam has given him responsibly?

 

 

PROS:

 

The main cast was impressive.  I think the the younger cast acted well and the writing for them was good as well

 

The film had a good sense of humor.  It was light and heartfelt at the right times.  

 

The overall tone was great for the characters.  There are some characters that work best with a dark tone and some with a lighter one.  Character like Spider-Man, Superman, The Flash and the Good Captain here can dabble in both but need to mostly have a more fun optimistic feel to their stories. (yeah I know that’s weird coming from the guy that really liked(and still do) “Man of Steel”)

 

The depiction of Billy was good as well.  We see him doing some illegal things at the start of the film but for an understandable(if selfish reason).  Except thinking it over I realized that no one actually got hurt because of this.  Well one cop was hungrier but hey tough it out copper!

 

I liked the depiction of the Dudley’s.  They were understanding and compassionate of the kids because of their own background but could be stern when they had too.  I’m just glad we get this version of Uncle Dudley and not the one from the 1981 cartoon that came off as a cross between W.C. Fields and Snagglepuss!  

 

 

CONS:

The cgi isn’t always the best.  I know that this is comparatively a cheaper blockbuster(how is 90-100 million is cheap I’ll never know!) and that they were doing more with less.  However, some of the effects weren’t all that impressive.  The seven deadly sins are the most obvious example.  The daylight flying was another.  The night time flying scenes were good but that’s because cgi looks better at night.

 

The villain Doctor Sivana it’s pretty obvious that he was stand in for “Black Adam” after re-reading the comic story that this movie is based on.  Which is interesting because in the comics the doctor is more of a mad scientist schemer.  Doctor Sivana wasn’t as strong a villain as I had hoped.  At the start of the film I think that the filmmakers did well building up his character but once we jumped to the present any character development was gone.  Thinking back on it what was the doctors overall plan after he got all the power?  I don’t think her ever stated that.

 

STUFF:

(RANT) At no point during the film is Billy Batson’s alter ego ever referred to as “SHAZAM”.  Levi is credited as Shazam(as is Djom Hansu) but never in the film.  Jokes are made about what to call him but nothing sticks.  Gee could it be that Warner Bros figured while making the film that having the hero named after the name he has to say to transform is stupid?  While I know they would never do it they could technically call him Captain Marvel(he just can’t be called that in titles)or how how about this Captain Thunder or just Marvel?  The way it’s used in the film makes it tough to go forward because at some point he’s going to have introduce himself with his name.

 

Now on with the nonsense!

 

What’s Mr. Mind doing at just chilling at the Rock of Eternity.  In the 3rd act we get the Marvel Family line-up.  Or should it be the Shazam Family?  So when Darla grows up she’ll become Megan Good?  I find it interesting that the filmmakers decided to have the good captain keep the mind of Billy when he’s transformed.  Depending on who writes him sometimes Captain Marvel has his own mind and personality.

 

I see that Geoff Johns run with the character really influenced this film.  I’m not sure how I feel about that.  It seems when it comes to live action tv and films there seems to be an over reliance on his work than the work of everyone else who’ve significantly worked on these characters in the past.

 

I really liked that during the credits writer/artist Jerry Ordway was listed(along with artist Gary Frank)because it was during his run that I became a fan of the character.  Maybe I missed it but I don’t remember seeing Captain Marvel’s original creators C.C. Beck and William Parker in the credits.  I hope I’m wrong but if that’s the case then that’s really disrespectful.  Billy displayed all of the powers except for Solomons Wisdom(unless we count his AH-HA moment at the end as it but I’m not sure…).

 

Why did the film take place in a real city (Philadelphia) instead of the fictional “FAWCETT”?  This film does take place in the DC Universe so Smallville, Metropolis and Gotham City exist.  But adding Fawcett is a problem?

 

Dear AMC Theaters: Where’s my free comic book?!  I got one for Justice League.  There was one for VENOM but not here?  Why advertise it(there was even a big poster when you come into the theater) and then not deliver?

 

RECOMMEND:  YES.

 

Despite some visual hiccups and a lackluster villain personality wise this was a really good and fun film.  The second half of the film just blew by.  If you you are a Marvel Studios fan they you’ll like this film because it get’s right what they do.  If you don’t like DC-Warner Bros films or Marvel Studio films then you won’t like this.  But if you’ve like the DC-Warner Bros films Wonder Woman & Aquaman then you’ll like this to.  All 3 have a feeling of optimism an enjoyment.  We get to also see the character realistically evolve from beginning to end.  In all 3 films the ending feels earned since we see that at the start of the film there is a good person there.  They just need a little time to mature.

 

After seeing the film I’m even more jazzed for the future.  With the introduction of Mister Mind could this mean that the antagonists for the sequel will be the “MONSTER SOCIETY OF EVIL”?  If so that’s good because 1. Their awesome and 2.  This delays Black Adam.  There is no reason to bring him in any faster than needs to be(I’m also a bit worried how he will be depicted in his own film(for whats been said it’ll be more as a hero and not villain or anti-hero)).

 

Initially I had a problem with Billy and his past family storyline.  It’s WAY to different than the source material.  After thinking about it I’m okay with it.  It works for the purpose for this movie.

 

While I’ve only seen a few films this year I would put this near the top.

 

1.  DRAGON BALL SUPER BROLY

2.  SHAZAM!

3.  ALITA: BATTLE ANGEL

4.  CAPTAIN MARVEL

 

Here’s hoping this film performs well enough to justify a sequel. 

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