Review: & # 39; Shazam & # 39; – Thunder and lightness, just a little sharpness: NPR

Let there be light … ness: Freddy Freeman (Jack Dylan Grazer) and … well, he has many names, a long story (Zachary Levi) forgets his problems, come and start. Shazam!

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Let there be light … ness: Freddy Freeman (Jack Dylan Grazer) and … well, he has many names, a long story (Zachary Levi) forgets his problems, come and start. Shazam!

Photos of Warner Bros.

The cultural narrative that is built around movies starring DC Comics superheroes over the course of the last decade or so reads like this: DC movies are too dark and the company should follow the example of Marvel, whose films always leave space for fun and fun. Capricious elements so crucial for the genre of superheroes.

It's a great simplification, but you can not deny the truth of Kryptonite: years ago, Warner / DC executives observed the uncontrolled success of Christopher Nolan's darkness. The dark knight Trilogy, and concluded that they had deciphered how to approach the genre of superheroes, once and for all.

But they had combined the "once" with the "for all". Because, of course, what they had broken in their place was how to approach a particular superhero, a dark and severe one. It was a perception error similar to confusing an enormous forest, replete with a green and varied biodiversity for a lone willow tree, particularly spooky and Gothic.

The different heroes are not only installed at the factory with different sets of powers and blockers of colors, but with different perspectives, motivations, objectives and fears. For the films about them to work, these characters must be addressed in the particular narrative mode and the tonal valence that best resonates with them. Spider-Man is not Thor, Thor is not Iron Man. Knowing this, truly knowing this makes it an effective characterization, and an effective characterization means that these characters can come into conflict with each other, delineating the contours of their hard edges by hitting them against each other, again and again, as in movies like Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Captain America: Civil War and especially, Thor: Ragnarok, a film that worked best when he cheerfully and repeatedly defeated the gravitating asgardian pomposity by which his audience has grown to know and love his hero.

Goodbye to an unlikely hero: Why & # 39; Chuck & # 39; packed such a powerful blow?

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But for DC / Warners, the layers of superheroes were one-size-fits-all: they followed the dark Knight Films with the same somber tone, brown Iron Man Y Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice, a film that tried to draw its two main characters in a conflict that had no meaning, because you could find very little natural light between their respective characterizations. Wonder Woman It represented a welcome and decided step forward, League of Justice a jump backwards from Olympic level, and Suicide squad … It was also a movie that was somehow made and released.

It would be easy to say that DC's latest superhero output, ShazamRepresents DC / Warner who finally learned to pivot, how to get to a certain hero in the way that suits them best. It is true that the film is full of witty jokes and winks, and that the good guy resident of the film (his name is "Shazam!" In the credits, but in the reality of the film, it is more a kind of open deal he is a square-jawed galoot in a red tomato outfit played by Zachary Levi, but he also often stops short to diligently attend to the most well-known and direct gender businesses.

Fun bits, for example, how it transforms the generally short sequence of "superhero training montage" into an extended and rewarding career gag, are so fun, fresh and invigorating, they can not avoid launching the most boring pbadages dictated by the genre of history for a clearer relief. Shazam! begins with an extended flashback that turns out to be the story of the origin of our villain (Mark Strong) who, yes, make Dress it up with a key characteristic detail that will be worth it in the third act (the movie gets better and more cheerful as you go, which is unusually enough). But there is so much From that background story you will feel every last minute of the movie's two-hour and twelve-minute execution time.

(Compare with last year Aquaman, a DC superhero movie even longer than also came with a lot of happy goony elements like a percussionist octopus and a kraken with the meliflua voice of Mary Freaking Poppins, but that The film was able to affirm its genre rhythms (hero's motivation, love story) so quickly, lightly and perfumed that it was completely soluble in water.

Like the young Billy Batson, who is imbued with the ability to become a long-lasting super crimson champion, Asher Angel is simple and naturalistic. As Billy's fickle best friend, Freddy Freeman, Jack Dylan Grazer becomes an outstanding, eccentric and well-calibrated performer, one who stands on tiptoe on the verge of annoyance and constantly threatens to fall into the acting school known as Live -Action-Disney -Channel-Weird-Kid, never doing it.

Levi is a charming actor, and he throws himself into the main role and muscular suit that accompanies him. He is playing the super-swole-adult Billy with a broad-eyed, bulging taste that does not really agree with Angel's performance in any way you can point out, but it's not particularly important, because it's nonsense. presence of the game

Shazam! It's not enough to destroy the narrative of "DC's dark movies, Marvel movies are fun" by itself, especially with another Suicide squad upcoming film, not to mention a dark D-Joaquin Phoenix Joker He went to theaters this fall. (And keep in mind that in Marvel, the remaining Avengers are currently going through Kubler-Ross's mourning stages on a cosmic scale, which requires a thorough badysis of our current collective criteria of "fun").

But what is this movie? make is to build, in a constant way, until you reach a happy and colorful conclusion: a battle of superheroes against supervillains that is convincing, easy to follow, often funny and, above all, satisfying.

It is an ending that has its heart in the sleeve, and that makes the subtext of the story is fulfilled – desire, which is the subtext of all the stories of superheroes – text so emphatic and explicit. A lonely child finds a Magical word That transforms him into a champion, and also, not for nothing, he finds a family. The imaginative pure and simple. power of that.

It is the superhero refined to its thematic essence: so clean, so clear and, happily! In a bombastic tone! shamelessly so goofy.

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