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Reviews Film / Shazam 2019

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04/18/2019 06:38:17 •••

A movie with a bit of an identity crisis

I liked this movie. I think. It's a little hard to say, because I certainly didn't enjoy going to see it. And I definitely don't like it's marketing. Which seems like a cop out, so let's explain what I mean.

If you read the tropes pages for this film, you'll see it's consistently described as lighter and fluffier than the other DC films. And the commercials make it seems light and goofy romp of a movie. Having seen the film, it has it's goofy moments. But lighter and fluffier is not the same as light and fluffy. Grey is lighter than black, but that doesn't make it white. You get a pretty good illustration of this when a guy gets thrown out of a window. Light and fluffy that moment was not.

However, thanks to a marketing campaign that made this film seem like the old Batman series, there was a kid sitting in front of me who was around five. A kid who was upset by the movie and whose parents apparently were unwilling to eat the cost of the movie tickets, because they handed him a cell phone and threw a coat over his head so no one would notice. We noticed.

It's hard to figure out how you feel about a movie when you spend most of it annoyed at the people in front of you. But it's also hard to figure out how to feel about a movie that can't seem to decide what it wants to be. Shazam! felt like two different movies. It is perhaps best summed up by the seen of the villain monologuing a serious and sinister threat suited to the overall tone of the DC movies, while Billy,too far away to hear, treats the audience to a joke.

04/17/2019 00:00:00

If the kid was five and upset, that\'s on the parents, not the film. It\'s rated at PG -13 and the violence is pretty much at exactly that level - we see a man thrown, we don\'t see him land. The head removal results in no blood whatsoever. The film knows exactly what it is and who it aims for, butter kid\'s parents apparently did not.

04/17/2019 00:00:00

I don\'t think it\'s fair to judge a film by the audience rather than the context.

04/17/2019 00:00:00

I agree that it\'s unfortunate that the kid\'s parents weren\'t willing to walk away once it was clear that their child couldn\'t handle the movie. When I went to Shazam, the movie was unusually loud, and I ended up leaving not long after Billy gets his powers (it doesn\'t help that I wasn\'t exactly impressed with the movie thus far).

04/18/2019 00:00:00

Wow, lots of people missing my overall point by ignoring the three-fourths of the review. Or maybe I was too subtle in my point. Movies are a holistic experience. This is why some people are really picky about what theaters they go to, even though it\'s the same film at every one. Part of that experience is the expectations set by marketing. The marketing for Shazam! created a a poor experience, and not just because someone brought a little kid to it, but because there was a mismatch between expectations and the actual film, of which the kid was the most glaring example.

04/18/2019 00:00:00

Speaking personally there was no mismatch whatsoever. I was expecting a primarily comedic film, given the tone of many comic adaptations I presumed there would still be some more serious aspects... And that was exactly what I got.

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