Film and Plot Synopsis
Shazam! takes place in Philadelphia where Billy Batson lives his meager life as an abandoned child. He’s a complete nuisance to Child Services with his search for his lost mother, and jumps from foster home to foster home. However, at his latest one, Billy makes a new friend named Freddy, and he soon finds Wizard Shazam wants him to be his new champion.
Now, when he speaks the wizard’s name, it gives him adult superhero powers, and Billy happily explores them with Freddy. However, Billy soon learns that he has a deadly enemy named Dr. Thaddeus Sivana. The wizard previously rejected him which led him to accepted the power of the Seven Deadly Sins instead. Now, as Sivana pursues Billy for his powers, Billy must face his calling while learning the power of a special magic with his true family that Sivana can never truly understand.
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‘Shazam!’ Movie Summary
Once there, Sivana meets with the ancient wizard Shazam (Djimon Hounsou), last of the Council of Wizards. Shazam is looking for a new champion who is pure of heart to take over the mantle of Shazam. The previous champion failed at his duty and released the Seven Deadly Sins upon the world after he became obsessed with revenge. He tests Thaddeus to see if he is pure of heart and finds him lacking when he can’t resist touching the Eye of Sin. Touching the Eye of Sin will release the Sins from their entrapment in their statutes.
After he fails, Shazam sends him back to his father’s car. Once there, Thaddeus makes a scene in the car in his confusion which causes his father’s car to crash, crippling his father. Thaddeus’ brother Sid blames him for the accident. Meanwhile, back at the Rock of Eternity, Shazam continues his search for another worthy person by casting a Seeking Spell.
We head to the present day
The film then jumps to present-day Philadelphia where foster child Billy Batson (Asher Angel) is in trouble with the cops again after searching for his birth mother. Billy’s mother disappeared while they were at a carnival when he was very young. Billy has been in various foster placements ever since but always runs away.
His newest placement is at a group home run by Victor and Rosa Vasquez (Cooper Andrews and Marta Milans) who also take care of five other foster children: Mary Bromfield (Grace Fulton), Pedro Pena (Jovan Armand), Eugene Choi (Ian Chen), Darla Dudley (Faithe Herman), and Freddy Freeman (Jack Dylan Grazer). Freddy is a huge fan of superheroes which helps him deal with his personal handycap. Despite the family’s warm welcome, Billy keeps his distance from the other foster kids.
Meanwhile, an adult Sivana (Mark Strong) has spent his life looking for a way to return to the Rock of Eternity. Ultimately, he finds a way back and steals the Eye of Sin becoming the Sins’ vessel and besting the ancient Shazam wizard. Sivana returns to Earth and kills his father, his brother, and Sivana Industries’ board of directors.
On Billy’s first day of school, he saves Freddy from a group of bullies. They chase him down into the subway before something suddenly transports him to the Rock of Eternity. Shazam has summoned Billy to the Rock to be the new champion. Billy calls out Shazam’s name, and it transforms him into a new adult version of himself (Zachary Levi). The ancient wizard turns to dust after thanking Billy. Now Billy finds himself alone in the ancient temple with the wizard’s staff.
Billy, in the form of the adult Shazam, heads back to the group home where he tells Freddy what is going on. Freddy works with Billy to test his abilities, and they find out he has the abilities to manipulate electricity, near-invulnerability, super-strength, speed, and flight. Freddy begins making videos of Shazam and posting them on YouTube. The videos go viral and Billy begins skipping school to use his powers for money and fame.
The viral videos aren’t a help
However, the videos also draw the attention of Sivana, who comes to challenge the new Shazam and successfully defeats him. Sivana demands that Shazam surrender his powers, but Shazam transforms back into Billy and escapes into the crowd. After he watches the news highlights, Sivana deduces Shazam’s secret identity and kidnaps Freddy in order to find Billy.
Back at the foster home, the other children tell Billy that they found his mother, who lives in a nearby neighborhood. Billy goes to find his long lost mother, but when he discovers that his mother purposly abandoned him years before, the news devastates him. Billy tells her that he needs to return to his real family. Sivana calls Billy and tells him that he has his foster siblings held hostage and that he will exchange them for Shazam’s powers.
Billy, once again as Shazam, agrees, and he and Sivana travel to Rock of Eternity where Sivana takes the wizard’s staff. There, Billy’s foster siblings follow him to the Rock and attack Sivana. During the attack, Shazam realizes that Sivana loses his powers when all seven Sins leave his body.
Back in Philadelphia
Shazam and the siblings travel back to Philadelphia and try to hide in a winter carnival. Sivana arrives at the carnival and unleashes all the Sins who ultimately capture the foster siblings. Once again, Sivana demands that Shazam surrender his powers. Shazam is able to reacquire the staff and stuns Sivana.
Remembering some of the wizard’s words from the beginning of the film, Shazam shares his powers with his foster siblings, transforming them all into adult superheroes like him. He breaks the staff and battles Sivana while his siblings battle the other Sins. Shazam is able to get the last Sin, Envy, out of Sivana’s body, leaving Sivana without his powers.
With Sivana powerless, Shazam takes back the Eye of Sin which returns the Sins to their prisons. After their victory, the new team realizes that they can use the Rock of Eternity as their new lair while fighting crime.
The next day, Billy arrives at school as Shazam to have lunch with Freddy. Shazam reveals that he has brought a guest, his new friend Superman, who sits down and joins them for lunch. In a mid-credits scene, a talking caterpillar named Mr. Mind approaches an imprisoned Sivana, and proposes they join forces. In a post-credits scene, Freddy tests if Shazam can telepathically communicate with fish, which Shazam dismisses as not that cool.
Additional Film Information
- Shazam! official website
- Peruse IMDb’s article on Shazam!
- Learn more Shazam! information at Wikipedia
- Get Shazam! numbers at Box Office Mojo
- Find out what people think about Shazam! at Metacritic
- Read Shazam! reviews from the folks at Rotten Tomatoes