As a hardcore Marvel fan, the early reviews of Shazam! had me excited. Would DC finally pull off a great superhero film with humor? It may be on the right track, but I still wanted more. And Shazam! may not be for the whole family. Is Shazam! kid friendly? Here are the details on language, violence, mature and sexual content in Shazam!
Is Shazam! Kid Friendly?
Shazam! is filled with all kinds of “we all have a superhero inside of us” messages, which is great. However, this superhero movie is darker than many Marvel movies my younger kids enjoy. Let’s take a look if Shazam! is appropriate for young children.
Profanity in Shazam!
There is a bunch of bad language in Shazam! including swear words and other crass references. I counted at least 5 uses of some form of sh–, like dipsh–, miserable little sh–, and sh–hole. There were at least 4 uses of a–, and one was a–bag, which I had never heard before.
I heard at least one damn, three hells, and other crude words and phrases like di–, prick, douchebags, “sucks balls,” “nuts,” and “screw it.” At the end of the movie, there are at least 5 bleeped out f-words said by a popular children’s character. There are also at least 8 references to taking the Lord’s name in vain.
Violence in Shazam!
Overall, the violence factor as far as fight scenes are less than Marvel films. However, as mentioned before, this movie is darker with an evil factor. The elements of fantasy and magic are involved, and statues with red eyes come to life. Imagine Dementors from Harry Potter combined with Jurassic Park carnivores. They are supposed to represent the 7 Deadly Sins.
Scenes with car crashes, people getting their heads bitten off, and family members being thrown out windows will be especially troubling to small children. There’s one particular scene that is very graphic and disturbing.
Also, remember when half of your favorites turned to ash in Avengers: Infinity War, well Shazam! took it one step further and one character basically burns to death, screams in horror, and then turns to ash. I’m still having nightmares about that.
Sexual and Mature Content in Shazam!
There is no romance in Shazam! However, a couple of scenes do show teens going to The Booty Trap, a Gentleman’s Club. You don’t see anything inside, but there is talk about it. There’s also another scene where a teen and older Billy go to buy beer. Since the main character is a teenager, there is some high school bullying as well as complex situations in families. Once Billy discovers his powers, he and his foster brother make dangerous choices like having someone shoot him in the face.
Is Shazam! Appropriate for Children Under 10?
Is Shazam! ok for younger kids under 10? I say no, but that’s my personal opinion. I understand why some kids would want to see Shazam! It’s a superhero movie, there are references to DC Comic Book characters like Superman and Batman, and young Billy Batson is played by Asher Angel, who stars in Disney Channel’s Andi Mack. And Shazam! is actually pretty funny.
I did appreciate the positive light on foster families and the messages on what family means.
Zachary Levi plays a goofy teen hero in a man’s body. So while there is humor and a lighthearted vibe, things can turn dark pretty quickly. The Marvel movie I would compare it to most is Ant-Man, but it’s not as good, and a lot more graphic. I would recommend Shazam! for ages 13 and up, just like the PG-13 rating suggests.
Will Adults Like Shazam!?
There’s a reason why Shazam! scores high on Rotten Tomatoes, but for me, it fell a little flat. I think comic book fans will enjoy it, those looking for an edgier superhero movie without crossing over to Deadpool, and people wanting a good laugh. I’m a fangirl of Zachary Levi and found myself laughing quite a bit, but the thing that bothered me most was that his adult Billy did not match the teen Billy.
He’s supposed to be the same character, only in a different body, and the personalities are complete opposites. I couldn’t get over it. It’s almost as if Zachary Levi tried to overcompensate. If you want a hero a little more stoic, then try The Rock’s Black Adam.
If I had to choose a DC movie that was made in the last 10 years to watch again, then Shazam! and Wonder Woman would probably be my only choices. If you’re looking to be entertained for a couple of hours, then you’ve come to the right place. But if you want a smarter movie, then look elsewhere.
I don’t think Shazam! is kid friendly, and given all the superheroes my kids can look up to, I’m not eager to point them in this direction.