DC is continuing the trend of standalone adventures with Shazam, which could probably be termed DC's first action comedy. While previous DC films have trended darker, this film is decidedly a brightly colored comedic venture that looks to be a lot of fun. The second trailer for the upcoming release teases the film's villain, played by the always reliable Mark Strong, and the Shazam family, though we don't know if they'll be taking on their superhero forms.
The second trailer starts off with Billy Batson (played as a kid by Asher Angel and an adult by Zachary Levi) receiving his powers from the original Shazam (Djimon Hounson) and immediately using them for shenanigans with his best friend and foster brother Freddy (Jack Dylan Grazer). He buys beer! He tests his powers! And he nearly kills a bus full of people, but he saves them, so we'll probably get some more comedic mishaps throughout the film. Thank goodness Freddy calls Billy out on his behavior.
We also get a real look at Dr. Thaddeus Sivana, played by Strong. We don't get much of a glimpse into Sivana's motivations outside of being a villain, but here's the rundown from the comics: Sivana was summoned by the Wizard to be named Champion of Eternity, but wasn't chosen in the end, and as a result, he's obsessed with unlocking the secrets of magic. He doesn't sound like the world's most interesting villain on paper, but Strong is a compelling enough actor that he should be fun to watch, at least.
Plus, there's a scene where Billy chucks a giant Batman toy at him and screams, "Get him, Batman!" and honestly? That's what I would do in that situation.
The trailer also teases the rest of the Shazam family, who will probably feature in the third act. In the comics, Freddy and fellow foster siblings Mary (Grace Fulton), Eugene (Ian Chen), Pedro (Jovan Armand), and Darla (Faithe Herman) are all heroes too, part of the Shazam family who are all given powers at some point in the canon. At one point, a character who I assume is Mary says, "You're him. You're the hero," to Billy, pointing to the entire family being united at some point in the film. It would be a great third act twist to have the entire crew power up.
Overall, this is a fun film. It might not break new ground or shatter box office records, but sometimes you need a fun superhero origin story to balance out darker films. Shazam looks like it fits that bill, and given the fact that DC films have struggled to be fun and to find a voice at times, this is the highest compliment I can pay it before seeing it. The film will drop April 5, so we can have a little fun before jumping into Marvel's brutal Endgame.
(image: Warner Bros.)
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