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Shazam!

14-year-old orphan Billy is unhappily assigned to another foster home, and he is not happy. One day, he becomes the guy designated to become Shazam: A superhero who can go into and out of his role by proclaiming Shazam! He encounters Sivana, the older man version of the boy who first stumbled into the Wizard realm and was not deemed worthy to have Shazam’s power. The movie is sweet but too much so. Most of it is rather cliché; we have seen the story of the guy who doesn’t know how to harness his powers, the guy who overcomes personal adversity to finally unleash his potential, and the like. Billy/Shazam does take the story in a funny direction in how he begins to use his superpowers to earn money and become a celebrity. But, as my 13-year-old daughter said when we left the theater, the movie was cheesy and tried way too hard for its laughs. My verdict is that she is right on, and while the movie probably works well for really young kids, it may be taxing for those who are 12 years or older. Most of what is here has been done before in funnier ways. The movie gets a passable score for me because of its entertainment value for younger kids and the acting of the boy who plays Billy (Asher Angel) and the ripped adult who plays Shazam (Zachary Levi).

About Gary Burkholder

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