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  • Writer's pictureBrian Flinchbaugh

Shazam!: Trailer Review

Written by: Coty J. Spalding

It’s that special season when every jackass on a blog or a YouTube Channel feels the need to tell the word what they felt about that one particular superhero trailer, and this particular jackass feels compelled to discuss “Shazam!” because boy oh boy does “Shazam!” look great!

First off, I like that our Billy Batson’s initial character boils down to the classic “I don’t need anyone” trope. He’s been without a family for years, and he’s tired of having to be taken in by people who will pretend to give two shits about him, but he meets up with Freddy and his new foster family and right away he’s starting to warm up to everyone. He sees some bullies treating his new “brother” badly and his first instinct is to just walk away but then one of them calls Billy his “fake family” and that’s when Billy decides, “You know what? I’m gonna hit you in the head with a crutch.” And of course, the bullies don’t take kindly to that so they chase him down into the subway. Billy manages to give them the slip but his actions bring the attention of an immortal wizard named Shazam.

Shazam then gives Billy the ability to transform himself from a middle school aged kid to a tall, muscular adult superhero. Billy then runs off to his foster home and tells Freddy what happened to him. Freddy being an enormous lover of superheroes decides to help Billy test his new powers discovering

that he can fly, control electricity, and has superhuman strength. We see him stopping some bad guys and just using his powers in goofy ways like charging people’s phones while in the mall.

I loved this trailer. I loved it so freaking much. I love Asher Angel as Billy Batson. I love Zachary Levi as his hero persona. I love Jack Dylan Grazer as Freddy Freeman. I love the casting of Djimon Honsou as the wizard. Mark Strong is gonna be the villain of the film, so you can automatically tell these

filmmakers are smart. It has really good comedy. And the movie just plain has that coming of age movie feel that I’ve always been a complete sucker for. I also like that they’ve actually given Billy a balanced personality.

I’ve never read any Shazam comics unfortunately (feel free to recommend something if you feel so inclined) but I like that there’s a balance between him being a good kid and him being someone with a hard heart. In the Justice League cartoon from Bruce Timm and Alan Burnett, you can tell Billy is sort of

your typical 1950s child character, while in the recent animated films based on the New 52 he’s kind of a little jerk. Here though Asher strikes the right balance. He’s not mean because he’s just a mean kid, he’s mean because he’s bitter and lonely. He’s an orphan, he’s allowed to be a little rude. But at the same

time, he clearly has a kind soul. If he sees someone being hurt, he can’t let it slide even if he’d like to. And while you get part of that from just what his character is made to do, I think a lot of that does come

from Asher’s performance. His face doesn’t read as anger, it reads as skeptical. Almost cynical. He knows in his heart people will always let him down, so you may as well leave before they get the chance. They say ‘tis better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all? Well, Billy boy isn’t buying it.

But that’s where Freddy comes in. Here’s a kid who arguably has it worse than him, but he’s still smiling. He still believes that there’s a reason to get up in the morning even you know today won’t work out. And I think that’s why he likes superheroes, they’re out there making sure tomorrow is gonna be better than today.

Nothing else left to say, 2019 can’t get here soon enough. Excellent marketing material. I’m hyped, Warner Bro’s!


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