Shazam! (2019)

  • Gist: A teen in the Philadelphia foster system has great power thrust upon him at the same time he has to deal with life stuff.
  • Bright, optimistic tone?: Check!
  • Shamelessly fake muscle padding?: Check!
  • Believably bad DC baddy?: Check!
  • Product placement?: Check, check…lots of checks written.
  • Positive portrayal of multiethnic fabulous foster family?: Check!
  • Existential angst?: Nope.
  • Superman?: No, not really.
  • Batman??: Not really, no.
  • Wonder Woman???: Other than the delightful animated outro, no, but that counts for me.
  • Moral compass?: Check–no one is purely good, but anyone can choose courage and self-sacrifice, just as anyone can choose selfishness and cruelty, no matter how much your background pushes you one way or the other. You know, DC stuff.
  • Socially conscious?: I mean, it’s up to about 2012, so that’s ok for a movie based on the epitome of young-white-male-power fantasy, isn’t it? Isn’t it?

Conclusion: Avoids the pitfalls of DC movies and stays with a PG-13 parallel to Deadpool. See it unless comic-book clowning is inherently catastrophic to you.