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Recap / SHAZAM! (2019)

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This is a plot summary for the DC Extended Universe film SHAZAM!.

Plot Synopsis

In 1974, a young boy named Thaddeus Sivana is in the car with his uncaring, cold-hearted father and cruel brother Sid who both openly express disdain towards him. Sid picks on Thad for believing in the luck of a Magic 8 Ball. Suddenly, Sivana while in the car is suddenly alone and the car is moving at a hyper speed to the point Sivana is terrified and has no idea where he’s headed for. When the car stops, he exits to find himself in a dark underground cave setting and is approached by an elderly bearded man, who happens to be a powerful wizard, sitting on a throne who asks if he is worthy to become his new successor. The elderly wizard is being burdened by the Seven Deadly Sins, who reside right next to his throne and that he must find someone worthy who can ward of all sins to become his successor. Thad gives in to the Sins' temptations that he take the Eye of Sin instead of the staff, and because he chooses the Eye he is disqualified, making the wizard launch him back into the car with his father and brother. There, Thad screams over being rejected wishing to return and his father is distracted, causing them to collide with another car and his father is left paralyzed as a result. Sid blames Thad for the incident. Thad angrily denies his father’s accident is his fault. Thad then finds his 8 Ball telling him to "Find Us", coming from the Seven Sins.

Fast forward to present-day 2019 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, a young boy (Billy Batson) tricks two police officers into walking into a store before locking them up so he can access their police cruiser’s database writing down information on “Rachel Batson”. Billy has a flashback to the last day he was with his mother: he was begging his mother Rachel to win him a stuffed tiger for a balloon dart game booth at a carnival, but instead only wins a compass. After losing the compass, he is separated from his mother and can’t find her at all, forcing him to summon the police. The police cannot find his mother, and send him to an orphanage. We then see that Billy did not find the correct “Rachel Batson” and is caught by the same police he deceived. Billy is running from every orphanage he is sent to, with his record going up to 23 now. He is brought to an orphanage run by the Vasquezs who are parenting the orphans Eugene Choi, Mary Bromfield, Darla Dudley and Pedro Pena and Freddie Freeman. Freddie becomes the most interactive with Billy, showing him around the school that the foster siblings attend.

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A now grown-up Thaddeus Sivana, exacting revenge on the Wizard and his father and brother, draws up equations that allow him to return to the Rock of Eternity (The cave lair that the Wizard was in), where he steals the Eye of Sin (allowing him to gain command of the Seven Deadly Sins so he may unleash them upon humanity). Gaining the Eye allows Thad to collect magic powers of destruction (and as a minor bonus, it even cures him of his impaired vision that required him to wear glasses) As retribution for rejecting him to collect all 6 of his powers, Thaddeus shocks the Wizard with his own lightning ignoring the Wizard’s pleas not to spread the Sins to humanity. Thad retorts that when it comes to finding a successor for the Wizard who is pure-of-heart, “No one’s worthy.”

At school, Billy and Freddie are attacked by the Breyer Brothers, two aggressive bullies who hit Freddie with their car and assault him. They give chase to Billy who escapes through a subway. There in the subway, Billy goes through the same experience Thad did and is met by the Wizard, who is now dying from the injuries he sustained from Thad. The Wizard asks Billy to absorb all his powers and laments he has nobody else to turn to, fiercely pressuring Billy Batson to succeed him by absorbing his powers through the staff and saying “Shazam”. Billy does so being intimidated to follow his orders, and is transformed into an adult man wearing a strong red suit with a cape that has a lightning bolt insignia on his chest. The wizard offers him his staff then crumbles to dust in front of him. Billy throws off the staff (not knowing what the wizard gave it to him for) and returns to the orphanage to tell Freddie about his transformation.

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Billy discovers newfound powers such as lightning bolts, super strength, immunity to bullets, durability and speed as while Billy believes he can fly but for now can only leap very great heights and that he can switch between his teenage self and superhero adult self by saying the word “Shazam!”. Billy tries using his powers to stop crime, but being unprofessional about it he doesn’t handle it very well rushing to the aid of a woman who didn’t need his help warding off a mugger after her purse and then shattering the window of a convenience store that was robbed by 2 masked men armed with guns who threatened the cashier.

Thaddeus arrives at his father’s workplace, an economically thriving conglomerate company called SIVANA INDUSTRIES to exact his revenge on his new billionaire yet elderly father for blaming him for the accident and neglecting him as a son as well as giving special treatment to his brother Sid. As Thad starts chiding his father, Sid threatens to kick him out physically. Thad with his newly gained powers throws his brother Sid out the window then unleashes the Seven Deadly Sins upon the Sivana Industries board of directors to devour and mutilate them. They save Thad’s father for last, who starts wailing for help. Unable to flee, Thad’s father starts bribing him with money and total control of the company in exchange for not killing him. Thad dismisses the bribe, chiding his father that money is what corrupted him in the first place and allows Greed to tear his father to shreds. Thad goes to hunt down the champion selected by the Wizard to inherit his powers.

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Billy and Freddie both easily enjoy the new powers that were granted to Billy, using the powers to engage in adult-entertainment clubs, hacking ATMs for cash (buying luxuries such as televisions, strip clubs, buffalo wings and video games with the money), emptying out soda vending machines, doing people favors by charging their phones and overall keeping the city safe and free of crime. Billy and Freddie are now considering moving out of the orphanage to start their own lives in a new house. Then, when Freddie returns to school again being confronted by the Breyers, Billy does not come to school, and so Freddie is forced to fend for himself getting a “suitcase wedgie” from the bullies.

Freddie gets weary of Billy’s newfound arrogance with his powers and that Billy is now much more concerned about busking money from civilians he puts on a show for so as to preserve his newfound and luxurious lifestyle. Billy accidentally triggers a lightning bolt that strikes a bus’s wheels, forcing him to catch the bus with his own hands and bring it down onto the ground, with the bus passengers too traumatized to thank him for it. Freddie decides he’s better off without Billy and walks off, and as Billy tries calling him to return, he is approached by Thaddeus, who assaults him with punches. Billy does fight back, but Thaddeus proves to have the upper hand. Thaddeus grabs him and launches into the sky, chiding Billy for groveling like a child making Billy plead that he actually is a boy inside a man's body. Thad drops him and as Billy falls he develops the ability to fly but is tackled by Thaddeus repeatedly before they crash into a shopping mall where Freddie has gone off to. The shopping mall attendants flee and Billy turns off his Shazam-mode to blend in with the fleeing crowd so as to avoid Thad. Thad then notices Billy and Freddie communicating on a TV news station, and spots Freddie deducing that the two are friends. Thad takes Freddie hostage, and forces him to give up Billy’s location (the orphanage), where he takes the rest of the foster kids hostages to use them as bait for Billy.

Billy then arrives at the subsidized housing building where his mother lives, and he tries reuniting with her before she rejects taking him in asserting that she deliberately left Billy back at the carnival because she felt she couldn’t parent him with all of her own problems. Billy walks away to return to the orphanage, but not before getting a phone call from Thad (through Freddie’s number) that he’s taken the orphanage kids hostage and that he must continue their brawl to save his foster siblings. Billy arrives and sees that Thaddeus is using the Seven Deadly Sins (in demon manifestation) to take the kids hostage. Thad forces Billy to return to the Rock of Eternity and pass on the Wizard’s powers down to him. Just as Billy is about to do so, Freddie tosses the Batarang at Thad’s head and Billy stabs Thad in the back with it, allowing him and the foster kids to escape after opening some wrong doors and find a door that leads them to the same strip club that Billy attended earlier for the hot wings, running into a carnival.

Thad gives chase to Billy who has run off to a carnival and because Billy won’t show himself in SHAZAM! form, Thad mercilessly attacks the carnival attendants to force Billy to come out of hiding as he figures Billy will fight for the innocent people. Thad sprays the carnival with lightning bolts, setting people ablaze on fire and electrocuting the same Ferris wheel that the Breyer brothers happen to be on, forcing them to hang on for dear life. Thad and the Demons once again catch the foster kids and hold them hostage but before Billy is forced to give up his powers this time, he instead swipes the staff out of Thad’s hands and swats him away with it, allowing him to transfer the powers into the foster siblings who are able to battle off the Demons and rescue the carnival attendants while Billy fights off Thad. Freddie also saves the Breyer bullies in time by giving them suitcase wedgies. Billy manages to goad Envy into leaving Thad, and expunges Envy with lightning and then saves Thad before he falls to death. As the foster siblings cannot defeat the Demons, Billy extracts the Eye from Thad and absorbs the Demons back in. The people all cheer for and salute the SHAZAM! family for saving the day. The SHAZAM! Family then return to the Rock of Eternity to return the Demons to their rightful places, and Billy goes back to attending school instead of playing hooky anymore.

In the cafeteria joining Shazam and Freddy for lunch is none other than Superman, just as Shazam promised to everybody’s awe. The ending credits animated sequence depicts the SHAZAM! family joining the Justice League, all the meanwhile besting and overpowering the Justice League in friendly contests such as arm-wrestling, racing and helming the Batmobile before Batman can.

While incarcerated, Thad tries writing out the formula on his cell walls that will restore his magical powers to help him escape his captivity. His black chalk snaps from overuse and he screams in anguish. But then he hears laughter. It’s coming from the green caterpillar-like creature wearing an audio speaker Mr. Mind, who asks Thad to calm down assuring him there are other means to regain his magic and that together they can claim the Seven Realms.

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