scene was filmed; meaning, you never know if what you're about to see is going to be good or bad.
Let's focus on the good for a second. This movie is funny. There are so many jokes that land, and some land hard. If you thought Deadpool was funny, this takes the cake in a lot of ways. The best thing about the comedy is that it doesn't need to stoop to meta jokes or breaking the fourth wall; all the funny bits were contextual to the story and were pretty well delivered by the actors. There were a few on the nose references that were tasteful but the rest were truly well constructed.
Another thing that really worked about the movie was Zachary Levi as Shazam. He did a great job carrying the film with Jack Dylan Grazer, who played his friend Freddy. Their chemistry was spot on and perfectly replicated the relationship of Josh and Billy from Big. The rest of the cast was fine, but the other standout was Mark Strong who plays the villain. He is a really great working actor who tends to steal scenes from the movies he's been in and this is no exception. The characterizations that each actor embodies were pitch perfect and I didn't really have a complaint with the child actors.
But as I said before, there is a lot holding this movie back. Not only the low-budget locations but especially towards the start, I feel like I'm watching an ugly indie. This problem works in tandem with another problem that bookends the film. The ending, more specifically the weak second act break and entire third act, do this picture a real disservice. Up until this point, I could describe Shazam! as a rough around the edges, good time at the movies. With the ending included, it feels like it just committed suicide, it's that bad. I could forgive the drawn out and boring action scenes at first, but when that's the only thing you see for 10 minutes, it really got on my nerves.
Other than some weird music transition choices and cheap camera tricks to sell superpowers, the movie is fine. While the lows of Shazam! really hurt, it honestly does a great job at making you have fun. Unlike other mediocre movies, this one has highs, mountains that loom over the low points unlike contemporary Captain Marvel which is content being middling throughout. Its overall low quality is a sore point though as I wish some of the budget wasted on the ending was put back into making it a more well-rounded movie.
I feel like I was overly harsh on this movie in some aspects. Its funny, hands down. It makes you laugh, it has those touching family moments, and it doesn't overreach with its special effects. I think the shock of the scale of the movie really got to me, but once you accept that fact, there is a lot to enjoy. Its third act still sucks hard and has a sprinkling of problems throughout but I wanted to reconcile that this movie rises above.
Wasn't Big enough and fell apart by the end