Detour Alert: Shazam! (2019)

Billy Batson is a foster kid in search of his bio family. He’s a loner who has run away from nearly every foster family he’s ever had. That is, until he lands in the middle of the Vasquez family and meets a guy named Shazam.

Where: The Theater
Rating: PG-13
Release Type: Theatrical

+10 for Zachary Levi. To be honest, if he hadn’t been the one starring in this I don’t know that I would have pushed myself to actually go. I really wasn’t impressed with the trailers I had seen (mainly I was not looking forward to the 14 year old in a grown man’s body plot) but I am so glad I went because Levi didn’t play it as over the top as I feared he would.
+5 for Jack Dylan Grazer. He plays Billy’s foster brother Freddy. He was perfectly cast as the kid who looks like he’s always up to something mischievous.
+5 for Faithe Herman as little Darla. She’s as darling as her name.
+10 for the rest of the cast. Some of what I want to say would be spoilers and I’ll address some of it down below but the majority of the supporting cast was well cast and did an excellent job.

Score: 30

Production (Writing/Directing/Soundtrack, etc…)
+5 for a jamming soundtrack.
+5 for the art design, including the representation of the 7 Deadly Sins as demons. It was interesting seeing how the artist(s) involved depicted them and figuring out who was who and why (for example, gluttony had a huge mouth and greed had multiple grabby hands).
+15 for excellent direction, pacing, and humor. I laughed at a pretty good clip, but I cringed a lot too…..
-5 for the 14 year old in a grown man’s body plot (and yes, I understand that this is true to the comics but that doesn’t mean that the plot device doesn’t annoy me…. but to be fair a lot of it is because I am an HSP who feels empathy deeply so when something embarrassing happens on screen I actually feel it through my whole body. I had to literally cover my ears and breathe loudly though several scenes where Levi was (understandably) acting like a 14 year old. )

Score: 20

+5 for watching again…. which surprises me. Despite all of the cringe-worthy moments, the ending made me so happy that I could see myself going and buying the movie to watch again.
+5 for that ending. Ok, so maybe this should have gone under Production; but do yourself a favor and, if you haven’t seen it yet, don’t look at the IMDB credits. You will get spoiled about a plot point (well, comics fans may already be aware of said plot point) but I was happy I *didn’t* know how the movie would end.
+10 for diversity. The foster parents are Hispanic; the kids are several different ethnicities. Its a pretty diverse cast.
+2 for family friendliness. Some of the movie has quite a bit of violence (was freaking me out – but again – an HSP who just isn’t doing so well right now). The blood and gore are kept to a minimum, but I know quite a few kids who’d have issues with the beginning of the movie. The basis of power for both the villain and Billy is magic (but for those for whom this will make sense – this didn’t bother me for some reason like say, Doctor Strange would). And finally Billy is a 14 year old boy suddenly in a man’s body – so of course he goes to check out the local strip club *rme*. The audience does not see anything inappropriate but I know some families would not be comfortable with it. But, I will say this; the movie *is* about family. That’s the main crux of the story.
+3 for the quote: “Are you for real?”
+2 for the quote: “Superpowers? Dude, I don’t even know how to pee in this thing!”
+2 for all of the super hero tests (many of which were funny, some of which were cringe-worthy)
+5 for the quote: “His name is Captain Sparklefingers.”
+5 for the nod to Big. I laughed. No else did, but then, I’m not sure if they got it.

Score: 39

Score: 89

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