Who didn't, as a child, long to have superpowers? Acquiring extraordinary strength; becoming bulletproof; taking flight-these abilities and plenty more are all wrapped up in the wish fulfillment of youthful imagination. It is, in part, due to this universal fantasy that most young and young-at-heart audiences will take to "Shazam!" Based on the DC Comics character created by Bill Parker and C. C. Beck-a character, fascinatingly enough, who originally went by the moniker Captain Marvel-this playful adventure imagines what it might be like if a young teenage boy was given the thrilling capability of transforming himself into a muscular, thirtysomething, spandex-and-cape-wearing superhero by simply uttering the title magic word. Director David F. Sandberg, who previously displayed a mastery of building set-pieces of jittery tension in 2016's "Lights Out" and 2017's "Annabelle: Creation," exhibits some of this same foreboding inspiration in between an otherwise fairly lighthearted tale of overcoming adversity while finding one's place in the world. The results are likable and aesthetics indelible even when the film's humor is neither as sharp nor laugh-aloud funny as it wants to be.
See Dustin Putman, TheFilmFile.com. for full review