Friday, 31 January 2020

Movie review: Shazam! dir David F Sandberg (2019)

This is an interesting family film that exploits common superhero tropes but the standout performances for me were by Faith Herman as a little girl named Darla and Jack Dylan Grazer as a 14-year-old boy named Freddy.

The backstory is a bit tiresome but once all the standard superhero stuff has been discounted as superstructure what remains to communicate messages is a good script that values diversity and underscores the importance of close personal relationships. I liked the snappy dialogue, much of which is tuned to a frequency that teenagers will grok. Even though the superhero Shazam (Zachary Levi) is powerful and tall, he thinks like a 14-year-old and so you get plenty of goofball jokes and humorous references to such mysteries of adulthood as intoxication and sex.

This movie, which I saw on Netflix, is the film for the YouTube generation. It starts slowly and in the early stages there is a good deal of material that has to be gotten through in order to set up the predictable conflict. In fact the charm of this movie is in the conversations.

I liked the way that this movie plays with such ideas as adulthood and responsibility, and I liked how it doesn’t flatter people. In fact, it’s starkly realistic. Good work.

No comments: