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YMMV / SHAZAM! (2019)

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  • Author's Saving Throw: Since the first trailer dropped, it's clear that they're using the New 52 origin story as a basis for the film, which caused some to worry about Billy Batson's portrayal. In the Post-Crisis continuity, he was a Cheerful Child Nice Guy, whereas the New 52 divisively made him jaded, cynical, and arrogant (albeit only initially). The casting of Asher Angel, known for playing Totally Radical Perpetual Smilers, was taken as an encouraging sign that Billy Batson won't be his New 52 self. The director took to Twitter and removed any lingering doubts when he said "He's not a huge dickhead" about his version of Billy.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
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    • What was Pedro's exact reason claiming the strip club is "not [his] thing"? Is he gay, asexual, acknowledging a "ladies night", Not Distracted by the Sexy, discussing his own musical tastes compared with those of the strip club considering the previous line was Darla praising the music, or just plain doesn't like the atmosphere?
    • Billy's reaction to realizing his mother intentionally abandoned him. Is he truly accepting of the reality of the situation, or is he being passive-aggressive in leaving her with what is heavily implied to be another unhappy marriage as a way of getting back at her? In leaving, he does say he has to get back to his "real family." Or is he trying to give her closure, while covering his own pain, assuring her that he's well adjusted and she doesn't need to feel guilty about leaving him?
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    • Did Billy's mother actually not realize what the compass was and truly believe foster care was good for him? Or did she realize that she was still a wreck and thus do all she could to crush his hopes so he would move on, knowing that no matter how bad his life was, being with her would be worse?
    • Also, was Marilyn’s distant attitude towards Billy a Kick the Dog moment, or is she just so stressed out from her difficult life that she wasn’t in any mood for visitors?
  • And You Thought It Would Fail: Because this movie is sandwiched between the MCU juggernauts of Captain Marvel and Avengers: Endgame, coupled with its smaller scale, many thought it would not find an audience. However, it already earned more than its total budget (relatively modest at less than $100 million for production costs plus not more than S40 million for marketing; today's superhero movies tend to have twice that budget or more) by its opening weekend and is performing solidly over projected numbers in the US and other countries in general, with WB reportedly "proud and thrilled" at the results. Director David F. Sandberg and writer Henry Gayden are already expected to return for a sequel.
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  • Angst? What Angst?: Given how long he's been searching, Billy is able put on a brave face when he learns that his mother deliberately abandoned him at the fair, and that his attempts to find her all these years were All for Nothing because she does not want to be part of his life. He leaves the meeting on neutral terms, but it's clear as he walks away that he's on the verge of tears but he's then immediately pulled into battle with Sivana and the Seven Deadly Sins. While the fight appears to provide Billy with some cathartic release and does teach him the lesson that you can make your own family, by the end of the movie, it seems that Billy has come to accept rather quickly his foster family as his own and never brings up the meeting with his mother again.
  • Crosses the Line Twice: Freddy skateboards over the line in his very first scene. It's funny when he trolls Billy by telling him that he was thrown out the window and that his siblings fight a lot, only to admit he made it up to see Billy's reaction, but quickly turns extremely dark when he tells Billy that he has terminal cancer. Then he admits that he made that up as well, and it's back to funny again.
  • Crossover Ship: Despite the Fandom Rivalry, or maybe because of the rivalry, shipping the two Captain Marvels has been discussed. Oddly, they resort to shipping adult Shazam with Captain Marvel, even though it's still 14-year-old Billy inside.
  • Evil Is Cool: Doctor Sivana is incredibly popular among fans despite his relative obscurity in comics. His cunningness and magic-enhanced superpowers make him a worthy adversary, and Mark Strong's performance adds a certain gravitas.
  • Fandom Rivalry:
    • In a carryover from the comics side of fandom, many fans are bitter that Carol Danvers in Captain Marvel is using what they consider to be the Big Red Cheese's rightful name, and often bitter towards DC Comics as well for officially renaming him (along with the Wizard Shazam) with the 2011 New 52 universe reboot, which this film is drawing upon.note  DC/WB are even legally barred from calling this movie "Captain Marvel" because Marvel Comics holds the copyright.note  Some fans have gone so far as to claim Captain Marvel was an Ashcan Copy to keep the name away from Shazam!. There is a lot of petty sniping from both the camps, with DCEU fans feeling put-upon due to the MCU's better popularity, with some even fearing that Carol will be cemented as "the" Captain Marvel in the popular mind regardless of Billy's much longer history with the name,note  and MCU fans being smug about their past and presumably assured future successes, and/or accusing DCEU fans of misogyny, ignoring that none of the criticism has anything to do with Carol's gender, and actually include Mar-Vell, who is usually a man in the comics.
    • Naturally, this has spilled over to the people involved in the films. David Sandberg was blasted by some Marvel fans after he joked about Apple's unrelated Shazam app being called "Captain Marvel" in-universe, and Zachary Levi said there is no need for MCU and DCEU fans to fight over their movies and people are free to like both, either, or neither as they see fit.
    • There's a significant rivalry with fans of the DCEU incarnation of Superman. Not only has this movie received superior critical reviews than the movies starring Superman, but many fans and critics consider Captain Marvel/Shazam to be a better version of Superman since he comes across much more convincingly as an all-loving idealistic hero even with Billy Batson's increased angst and selfishness or his superhero form's goofiness. The other side often finds the movie too childish and lacking in stakes, gravitas and epicness compared to the first two Superman movies. Hilariously, Superman ends up making a cameo at the end of the film.
  • Friendly Fandoms: Fortunately there are fans of both Captains Marvel who are tired of the antagonism on display and eagerly look forward to both films. The cast and crew of the DC movie themselves openly support the MCU movie, assuring fans that there is no need for fans to fight each other. The Captain Marvel cast and crew also support Shazam!, and Brie Larson and Zachary Levi have been especially supportive and poking fun at each other via Twitter and Snapchat.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • Fans have gotten a kick out of how, despite the torrent of insider reports and anonymous claims treated as absolute fact for most other DCEU films, the news about Djimon Hounsou taking over for Ron Cephas-Jones went completely unnoticed until months after shooting had wrapped. This also meant that there are two different "Captain Marvel" superhero movies coming out within barely a month of one another and both feature Djimon Hounsou in the supporting cast.
    • After the Fandom Rivalry about the Captain Marvel name, the film just sidesteps the issue, calling Billy a number of names or titles but neither Captain Marvel nor Shazam (who is, in keeping with tradition, the Wizard), and he is only called Shazam in outside material like promos and merchandise. When he shares the Power of Shazam with the extended Marvel/Shazam Family, the issue of their names is similarly glossed over.
  • Just Here for Godzilla:
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • The first official picture of Captain Marvel/Shazam, showing him casually enjoying a soft drink, has gone memetic. Countless montages insert it in the background of screencaps from other movies for humorous effect, especially Darker and Edgier ones like Batman v. Superman or Man of Steel. Even Brie Larson got in on this, posting an image of herself drinking a soft drink in a nearly identical pose.
    • Dr. Sivana's appearance in this movie (with one glowing blue eye) and unexpected fighting skills has led to a lot of jokes about him actually being a pre-skeletal Sans, or that the whole movie is just a setup to an "unexpected Sans" joke.
    • Jokes about the Shazam Family as the new Power Rangers.
    • "Shazam is the real/better X" has become a common phrase mostly done as a Take That! at another property. Variations include "Shazam is the real Captain Marvel"note  or "Shazam is the better Superman"note .
    • Some less informed audiences mix-up Shazam with Shazzan or Kazaam just because the titles sound so similar. Even Zachary Levi joined in on this.
    • "A superhero who can't save his family isn't much of a hero." Cut to a member of the Justice League looking forlorn.
  • Moe: Darla Dudley and Eugene Choi are absolutely adorable, especially with their glasses. Darla is introduced hugging her new big brother and welcoming him.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • While Sivana's father and brother are a horrible representation of family, they don't do anything that indicated they deserve the horrendous deaths Sivana gives them. Not only that, but Sivana also lets the Sins murder everyone else in the room.
    • The Breyers are seen as just typical bullies at first glance, but they certainly cross the line when they attempt to run over Freddy with their car.
  • Narm: Here.
  • Narm Charm: The movie has been called "corny," "silly," and "goofy" in plenty of reviews. However, it should be noted that these are actually noted positives and plenty have gone as far as to compare it favorably to the equally narmtastic but charming Spider-Man Trilogy.
  • No Yay: The scene where Shazam rescues Mary from a collision culminates in a shot of him holding her at an angle with their faces close together, as if they're about to kiss. In the comics, Mary is Billy's biological sister and all four actors look like they could be related.
  • One-Scene Wonder: Mr. Mind's brief appearance in The Stinger.
  • Signature Scene: While the scene of Billy transforming in the middle of an Unflinching Walk got a lot of notice in the first trailer, in the film, the truly momentous scene is when Billy jumps off the roof while shouting "SHAZAM", invoking the transformation in mid-air and then zooming away.
  • Spiritual Adaptation: The scenes where they test Billy's Flying Brick powers in his new adult body are similar to Mark Millar's Superior.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
    • The Seven Deadly Sins are nothing but generic monsters, who beyond their basic appearance and with few exceptions do very little to embody the sins they supposedly represent. Even Billy expects at least Lust to look different from the rest.
    • Some fans expressed disappointment that Superman's appearance was a mere cameo at the very end of the film, and one done with a Fake Shemp at that. Alternatively, many fans wished that a different hero like Wonder Woman or Aquaman could've appeared instead.
    • Mary's superhero form at the end practically amounts to a cameo, having the least to do out of all the siblings, while Eugene, Pedro, and Darla all get at least a moment to shine, despite her being more prominent in the comics. The actress who played her superhero form revealed she did have a scene to showoff but it was trimmed down for time.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: Mary's dilemma over leaving her family in order to pursue the studies she's worked hard to maintain is only ever addressed in her intro and the scene where she is accepted. Since the themes behind it complemented Billy's arc perfectly, the dropped plot could have been used to drive the point home further.
  • Unexpected Character:
    • As a whole, few were seriously expecting a Shazam movie in the DCEU, as he tends to be sidelined in the grand scale in general with his similarities to Superman.
    • Although it was foreshadowed, the appearance of Mr. Mind in the stinger was likely confusing to a general audience unfamiliar with the Captain Marvel/Shazam mythos.
    • For those who weren't Spoiled by the Merchandise or at least before they heard about it, people were surprised to see Billy's foster siblings' Shazam forms because they assumed they would make their debut in the sequel, as most origin stories tend to focus on the main hero before introducing more heroes to tag along with them.
  • Unintentionally Sympathetic: Dr. Sivana, due to the traumatic way he's taken to the Rock of Eternity and sent packing when he's found not worthy. It's understandable that someone in those circumstances would be traumatized and have a Freak Out. It is compounded when we are shown that Sivana grew up in an abusive household, with his older brother constantly belittling him, while his father openly considered him to be a loser. The mistreatment only intensified after the accident, as they both blamed him for something he literally had no control over.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: Freddy. He rightfully calls out Billy for neglecting his foster family and abusing his powers as a showoff instead of being a real hero. However, he loses the moral high ground when he tries to berate Billy for "not being there for him" because his request was selfishly focused on boosting his status at school. In addition, Freddy has been actively been encouraging Billy's standoffish behavior by making YouTube videos of him showing off, instead of encouraging him to seek out people to save or help. His idea of helping Billy figure out his superpowers includes encouraging a pair of thugs to shoot him in the face to test whether he's bulletproof and lighting him on fire (without even warning him) to see if he's fireproof; if Billy were a little less invulnerable, it would have been a much shorter movie. Finally, it's mostly due to Freddy's actions that Billy's identity is revealed to his siblings and to the villain himself. Considering how much worse things could have gotten from there, Freddy and the siblings are mercifully lucky that the end result was them gaining Billy's superpowers so they could all defeat the villain.
  • Unnecessary Makeover: Some have preferred that Mary's superpowered form should have been played by Grace Fulton, the actress for her teenage form, instead of Michelle Borth. Fulton already looks like a grown woman despite the Dawson Casting and, in the comics, Mary did not transform into an adult superhero form.
  • WTH, Casting Agency?: Some fans were confused about Mark Strong playing Doctor Sivana given how the villain is typically portrayed in the comics as short, bald, skinny and ugly. Mark Strong is bald but he's 6'2", has a muscular build and is quite handsome in a rugged way. However, as the movie is being adapted from Geoff Johns' New 52 "Shazam" reboot which features a rugged, handsome Dr. Sivana, it turns out that Mark Strong is actually a good casting choice, especially since the general consensus is that he put in a great performance.
  • WTH, Costuming Department?: While the general design of the Captain Marvel/Shazam's costume has been well received, there are fans who believe that the outfit proper looks cheap, much like a Halloween costume. When the first trailer dropped, the biggest criticism is that the lightning bolt looked too much like an LED light on some shots and didn't give off the mystical vibe that the character is known for. It is also shaped more like a big triangle than a lightning bolt, with the jagged edges barely noticeable without close inspection.

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