Review: ‘Shazam!’ is a surprisingly heartwarming and satisfying superhero film

In Shazam!, Billy Batson (Asher Angel) sniggers when asked to say “Shazam” so that he can transform into the eponymous superhero — and why wouldn’t he? It’s such a goofy thing to say, but the film rolls with it and even embraces the entire Shazam mythos. It’s a fun, over-the-top concept for sure. But it’s no less sillier than a human-looking god-like alien from another planet or a billionaire who dresses up as a bat and uses various bat-themed gadgets to fight crime. Instead of trying to turn everything gritty, Shazam! embraces what’s best about the character and story to deliver a heartwarming and satisfying superhero film.