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Imagine Big crossed with Superman. Orphan Billy Batson has struggled in his young life, moving from one foster home to another. His life changes when he meets an ancient wizard who chooses Billy as a champion, giving him incredible power. Saying the word “Shazam” changes the teen into a superhero with the power of mythological figures. Even when tall and muscled, however, Billy is still a kid — and Shazam is colorful and comic as the kid realizes he can do almost anything.
Asher Angel plays Billy, and Zachary Levi is his perfectly polished alter-ego Shazam. But this isn’t a trouble-free coming of age story. Dr. Thaddeus Sivana, an unstable inventor played by Mark Strong, was almost given the power of Shazam in his own youth. He was not chosen as Billy was, leaving him bitter and twisted. Sivana has found his own path to power, however, and isn’t about to let Shazam steal his thunder.
- Zachary Levi
- Mark Strong
- Asher Angel
- Jack Dylan Grazer
- Adam Brody
- Djimon Hounsou
- Faithe Herman
- Meagan Good
- Grace Fulton
- Michelle Borth
Did You Know?
- C.C. Beck, the co-creator of Captain Marvel/Shazam, based the hero's design on Fred MacMurray, who was, at the time of his genesis in 1939, the #1 male box-office star.
- After his vision the child Sivana tries to open the rear door of the car but can't because it is child-locked. After the crash though he is able to open it without issue. Many modern cars are designed to unlock their doors in a crash, so that occupants can be rescued; US Patent 9334681B2 releases the child lock, so the occupants can escape, but it wasn't filed until 2015.
- Freddy Freeman: Flight or invisibility. If you could have one superpower, flight or invisibility, what would you pick? I mean, everybody chooses flight. You know why?
- Billy Batson: So they can fly away from this conversation?
- Freddy Freeman: No, no, 'cause heroes fly. And who doesn't want people to think they're a hero, right? But invisibility, no way. That's pervy. Spying around on people who don't even know you're there. Sneaking around everywhere. It's a total villian power, right?
Atom User Reviews
So fun! This is the Captain Marvel to see.
Absolutely loved and enjoyed this movie! It was a much lighter feeling movie than the usual darkness of DC films. Enjoyed the humor in the movie!
Although it’s technically about saving the world (again), Shazam! plays out at eye level, grounded by the belief that who people love and where they feel they belong is stakes enough. If that violates the exigencies of franchise filmmaking, so be it.
Proves so determinedly ebullient you begin to think they're pumping laughing gas into the auditorium. The most kid-friendly DC movie so far, the film is thoroughly entertaining.
Fans occasionally refer to Shazam as “The Big Red Cheese” and this movie is very faithful to the spirit of that nickname. It’s warm and sentimental about blended families, and it sincerely believes in the importance of being a hero and doing the right thing. It’s got plenty of goofy kid-gets-to-play-superhero-for-real humor. And other than some friction between Levi and Asher’s performances, it all works.