Shazam! ★★★½

The real Captain Marvel makes his debut - it's just a shame that DC surrendered use of the name when the character and his family have so much history behind them. Kudos to the filmmakers, though, for avoiding what I feared most: calling Captain Marvel "Shazam." Sure, it leaves the hero without a proper sobriquet, but that in itself becomes a fun little comedic thread through the film.

Minutiae aside, is this a good movie? Well, it's funny and family-friendly (in the sense that it honours the best family values, like caring, understanding, respect, and tenderness). It's well-acted across the board, and while the screenplay isn't brilliant, it does the job - though I found the pacing a bit rushed. It would have been nice to dedicate a little more time to Billy's arc. It works, but it would have been more plausible had the creators spent more time on character development and shortened the initial fight a bit.

That being said, these are minor complaints. As with Aquaman, I'm grateful that DC's characters are being treated with a little more playfulness and less grand import. Save the dark stuff for the Batman family (but maybe lighten them up just a little too, huh, Warner Brothers? Just don't go camp. No one will ever do a better camp Batman than the 60s TV series, so don't go there.)