Brightburn took a great concept and turned it into a run-of-the-mill horror film.
Billy Batson is a young boy who has been given the ability to turn into a superhero by saying the magic word, “Shazam!” Shazam! is a fun, light-hearted, humorous, but ultimately forgettable installment into the DC Cinematic Universe. It is a superhero movie made for kids. Those that will enjoy Shazam! will add that additional disclaimer; It is good… “for a kids movie.” Unlike last year’s animated movie Spider-man: Into the Spider-verse which is just a great movie and needs no caveat.
All of the young actors did a wonderful job in Shazam! Most notably Jack Dylan Grazer and Asher Angel. These two have bright futures ahead of them and I am looking forward to their next performances. Zachary Levi was a good choice to play the title hero. He has the look and personality to pull off a grown man-child. The villain always makes or breaks the movie. Mark Strong is a good choice when looking for a sinister adversary, however, the script and tone of the movie does not let him become anything more than your stereotypical underwhelming super-villain.
With the sheer volume of comic book movies that have been released recently, Shazam! will fall into the abyss as one of the least memorable movies in the past decade. There are no cool takeaways or scenes to look forward to on a second viewing. But if you are bored on a Sunday afternoon, it is an entertaining watch… for a kids movie.
I have held off writing my review of Aquaman until I could fully grasp how I felt about the movie. The best that I could come up with is that it was “Good?”. I love comic book movies. I love Jason Momoa. I really want DC to turn things around and make can’t-miss movies like Marvel does. I keep hearing all the hype and praise around this movie and it makes me conflicted. On one side, it makes me happy that comic book movies are still being so well received so they will continue to make more. On the other side, it makes me upset that people are satisfied with what Aquaman gave us and that future movies will be made similarly.
Jason Momoa is awesome. The guy is a bad ass. He makes Aquaman cool. He carries this movie on his massive shoulders. They should have kept the orange costume off the posters and revealed it in the movie. That could have been an epic scene. Dolph was cast perfectly as King Nereus, although they did not give him much to work with. The effects looked good for what they were. They weren’t perfect, however, it is very hard to make a guy riding a seahorse underwater look real. It absolutely superseded the Justice League effects which is definitely a low bar, but moving in the right direction is a plus.
My main issue with Aquaman is the lazy, stale, unoriginal, 100% predictable, standard plotline. It feels like director James Wan spent his time on the action scenes and the effects and never cared about the dull screenplay he was given. Had Aquaman come out in 2002 side-by-side with Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man, it would have been legendary. But releasing in 2018 along side of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, you can’t hope that your action scenes will cover up your boring story. Comic book movie fans expect and deserve better.