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Monday, October 24, 2011

Superman/Shazam!: The Return of Black Adam


STATS:
2010
Directed by Jaoquim Dos Santos
Written by Michael Jelenic
Starring Jerry O’Connell

WHA’ HAPPENED?
Superman teams up with Captain Marvel (a kid who gets random magic powers every time he shouts "Shazam!") to fight Black Adam, a white guy named Adam. The entire movie is one long fight scene, with some exposition about how Captain Marvel gets his powers.

WHAT YOU SAY?
"Shazam," obviously.

Um... a slightly different film.

ISN’T THAT SPECIAL?
This movie is the centerpiece of a 4-part anthology film meant to introduce people to lesser-known DC heroes. I found it free on Netflix and decided to check it out. Certain sections were gleefully horrific, so I thought I could do a few write-ups for this website. I had to start with this one, which was the least horrific and bloody, because it was the first (and longest) installment in the set.

SHIRTS AND SKINS:
As expected, this film is chock-full of superpowered, animated beefcake. In this installment, we get Superman, Captain Marvel, AND Black Adam, three rippling heroes. Theyre fully clothed, but tights barely count as clothing, right? The animators leave absolutely no bulges to the imagination. I strongly believe that some people are just born gay, but superheroes like these make a good argument that some pop culture can "turn" kids. If so, bring on the super men!

Like I said: bulges.

BLOOD AND GUTS:
For one giant fight scene, this film has precious little blood. Also, the city is weirdly underpopulated, so there aren’t a lot of deaths amidst the wreckage. This could be due to budgetary reasons (lots of extras are hard to draw) and moral reasons (protect the children!), but comparing this film to the others in this grisly series makes me think it has more to do with the former than the latter.

PLOT HOLES AND CRAZINESS:
Does Captain Marvel have a big fan base? I’ve never heard of him, and his backstory is needlessly complicated. That said, there is something pretty kick-ass about a preteen who can turn into a big hulking hero just by saying a magic word.

Also, I’m surprised that a DC character is named Marvel. I’m not a huge comics fan, but I assume there was probably some drama involved back in the day.


FINAL THOUGHTS:
This movie is a fun little time waster. If you're of the "Prince Eric School of Hot Cartoons", there is a lot to like in this one. There’s not much of a story beyond a vague don’t-bully-people message, but I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this one.

But seriously, Black Adam needs a new name.
Like, Vaguely Ethnic Adam. Or The Rock.

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