Shazam is unlike any DC Extended Universe movie you have seen. Heck, it is unlike any superhero film ever. Forget the grim-faced superheroes who take their superpowers as a curse, Billy Batson/Shazam is one superhero who actually enjoys being a superhero.
He is like Spider-Man in this way, only goofier. Zachary Levi says, “Shazam is one of the very few characters that is genuinely stoked to be a superhero. More often than not, you’ve got a character who is begrudgingly pulled into this, and everybody needs them, and they’re like, ‘Ohh, I have to save the world again!'”
The trailers do promise a movie with exactly that feel. One scene has Shazam shooting blasts of electric energy into the sky as people watch mesmerised.
He adds, “I just get to show up on the set and be like, “I get to do this?! I get to fly around and fight bad guys?”
Shazam is basically a kid (played by Asher Angel) who is bestowed with superpowers by an ancient wizard. The wizard, also called Shazam, gives him the powers of five immortal elders — Solomon, Hercules, Atlas, Zeus, Achilles and Mercury. So he gets the wisdom of Solomon, the strength of Hercules, stamina of Atlas, power of Zeus, courage of Achilles, and the speed of Mercury.
When Billy Batson says the words, “SHAZAM!” he transforms into this muscular adult superhero (played by Levi).
But deep inside, he is still a kid, and this is what creates comedy in Shazam’s stories. He and his friend Freddy (Jack Dylan Grazer) try out his new superpowers, and they, like the kids in this day and age do, record it. They also do adult stuff that kids dream of — like drinking alcohol, although that does not turn out well (it tastes like vomit to them).
That is not to say, it is all comedy. Billy Batson is an orphan, who has been unable to fit in any foster home. In the latest one, where he meets and befriends Freddy, is just the latest one. His new friend, Freddy, gets picked on by bullies due to his disability. There is still the classic ‘dark’ stuff that DC likes. However, the film has ample room of humour if the trailers and clips are any indication.
Also starring Mark Strong as the villainous Thaddeus Sivana, who was also chosen by the wizard as Shazam but was not found to be pure of heart. Shazam releases on April 5.