Summary: SHAZAM! is great entertainment for children – with a message! It gives them top quality political indoctrination. Good news: he rescues no girls in this film (they can take care of themselves)! Here is my review, with a few spoilers.
Review of SHAZAM!
“We all have a superhero inside us, it just takes a bit of magic to bring it out.”
Boomers were raised on fun instructional films such as Donald Duck In Mathmagic Land and Infinite Acres (intro calculus). Modern America has more important concerns than teaching reading, math, and morals. Children must be woke. SHAZAM! shows that Hollywood has risen to the challenge.
The bottom line to Shazam!: kids will love it. But first we saw a commercial (or an instructional video for boys?) about a blind date from Hell. The woman was ugly, focused on her phone, and rude. The man just sat there and took her abuse, smiling (see it here). Then came the trailers. They began with My Spy about a skilled CIA agent – a big, strong guy (Dave Bautista) – who partners with a 9-year-old girl. Of course, she is the smarter and more capable of the pair. The second trailer, for Long Shot, showed a Secretary of State (Charlize Theron) dating a beta (Seth Rogen). Hilarious and romantic!
Eventually the main act began: SHAZAM! The acting and cinematography were top-notch. The 3-D was great. In ten more years, 2-D films will seem like cartoons. Even so, the messages were the most interesting part of the film. It gives our children’s minds another push to the Left.
Teaching the hierarchy of superiority in America.
SHAZAM! teaches children many lessons. Most obviously, it teaches that life is about race and color – in a strict hierarchy.
The film opens with a white family. The father verbally abuses the younger son, as does the older brother. Then we see another white family. The dad is a crook. The mother abandons her young son at a carnival. Eventually the boy meets a wise caring social worker – a black woman. She places him with a wonderful family (a real family, unlike his biological one), with parents of color.
In SHAZAM!, children learn about America by watching the adventures of 14-year-old Billy Batson. His foster family teaches him the hierarchy. On top are the women and girls: slender, pretty, smart, and caring (Grace Fulton, playing the oldest girl, is going into STEM at Caltech). Next come the men of color – obese, and not as bright as the women. Except for the 12-year old Asian boy (Ian Chin) – who is in good shape, nerdish, and brilliant with computers (no stereotypes here!).
The two white boys provide the film’s theme: the usual combo comedy and wish-fulfillment power fantasy. Billy is a dufus. He slowly, with many fumbles, learns to use his powers (but recklessly, almost killing people). His first attempt at being a hero is rescue of a girl being mugged. But the screams are by the mugger, whom she has maced (modern girls do not need to be rescued).
Billy and his handicapped foster brother (Jack Dylan Grazer) use Shazam’s great power to steal. Eventually Billy meets the big bad guy: a rich middle-aged white guy (of course) with evil superpowers. Billy shows cowardliness. The film’s character arc shows both boys growing to become heroes by the end of the film.
Big spoiler: the girls and boys of color receive power later in the film. They instantly become competent – and heroes. Victory!
Since Hollywood produces so few films for young children, this will be a big hit. Justly so. The kids will love it. It combines a light humorous tone, constant action, and fun fight scenes. There is one scene of gratuitous mass violent murder, oddly out of synch with the rest of the film.
The big lesson from SHAZAM!
SHAZAM! is all about family. Not real families, with biological bonds. A government-issued families. At the film’s climax, Billy accepts his new family.
This has been a message sold by Hollywood two generations. In their products, the big event for real families is often their dissolution through death, abandonment, or divorce. The people at work are your family. Random collections of people randomly join together and become a family. How desperate must Americans have become for this fare to satisfy their natural urge for deep connections to other people?
There is no mystery about the reason for this anti-family propaganda. Revolutionaries hate the family. First they break the family, then they restructure society. As Jesus, one of the first and biggest insurgents in recorded history, said in Luke 14:26: If you come to me but will not leave your family, you cannot be my follower.
In America both Left and Right cooperate to destroy the family. This has atomized the Republic’s citizens, making them isolated and malleable. Allan Bloom described this problem 30 years ago in Closing of the American Mind.
“The important lesson that the family taught was the existence of the only unbreakable bond, for better or for worse, between human beings. The decomposition of this bond is surely America’s most urgent social problem. But nobody even tries to do anything about it. The tide seems to be irresistible. Among the many items on the agenda of those promoting America’s moral regeneration, I never find marriage and divorce. …
“A true political or social order requires the soul to be like a Gothic cathedral, with selfish stresses and strains helping to hold it up. Abstract moralism condemns certain keystones, removes them, and then blames both the nature of the stones and the structure when it collapses.”
Stories about superheroes have become the largest entertainment genre for children. This is a new development. I do not know why. I doubt a steady diet of these stories helps them become better citizens or better people. It is junk food for the mind and soul. SHAZAM! is high quality junk food for the young.
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Trailer for SHAZAM!