Because a lot of the details of this movie have been kept secret this review isn’t going to work the same way most of my reviews work. Instead it’ll mostly focus on my perspective going into this movie so you can understand the impact it had on me. It’s like an entire review made up of the first paragraph of my other reviews.
In 2013, the same year Iron Man 3 and Thor: The Dark World came out I wanted to find a new way to draw more and so I started my first art project, a Marvel art project inspired by the Avengers movie that came out the previous year. This art project played a big part in changing me from someone who’d read a small amount of trade paperbacks and watched a few cartoons and movies of Marvel to someone with Marvel as one of their main fandoms. Over the last few years I read many of the major event comics, became a fan of characters who I’d never even heard of before.
Flash forward to this year, I’ve been doing several movie marathons over the last few years and have been enjoy figuring out my rankings for movie franchises with at least 4 movies. It’s the right time to rewatch these movies many of which I saw in a brand new context. I saw the Iron Man, Captain America and Thor trilogies as trilogies, I noticed details I missed before due to things I know about the comics now and found a new appreciation for movies I didn’t remember being as good as they are. And then I watched Endgame and the best spoiler free thing to say about it is that it’s an emotional rollercoaster and to show you exactly where it places in my MCU rankings.
Something important to note about this order is it’s not really about the quality of the films, most of these films are at the very least very good. It’s more about what I personally enjoy about movies and Marvel overall. So if your favourite is low on this list understand that it’s placement is not a criticism. As for Endgame while you may not like it as much as me I hope that if/when you see it you’ll understand why someone with my perspective would put it right at the top. And there are more specific contexts I can’t even go into in this review.
Being an animation fan of course one of the movies I’ve been looking forward to the most this year was the newest film from Laika. I saw this only one day after I saw Shazam but because I also bought Persona 5 that same day this review is a bit late.
It’s really good. It’s the first Laika film to focus on adult characters and it has a lighter tone than most of the other films, but because each of them always had comedic elements it wasn’t exactly unfamiliar territory for them. This is a very funny movie with a talented voice cast and fun characters.
Of course being a stop motion animated film the best part of the movie is the animation. So good that most of the time it doesn’t even cross your mind that it’s stop motion until you see the most elaborate animation shots and behind the scenes footage/photos that reveal just how much of the film was animated that way.
It’s a shame Laika films don’t tend to do that well in cinemas because they really deserve to. If you’re looking to see a movie this week and can only see one I recommend having this as your priority. Now for my ranking image made mostly from memory.
It’s been a while since I last watched each of these films so this ranking could change drastically after rewatching them all. I guess I’ve got about two or three years to do that since these movies understandably take a long time to animate. I’m looking forward to seeing what they’ll do next.
Unlike other films in the DCEU there hasn’t been another movie about Shazam. The closest we got was a DC Showcase short which as decent but not a full movie, in fact Wikipedia even describes DC Showcase shorts as “a series of short films focusing on DC characters who normally are unable to have a feature unto themselves”… ouch.
Well with this the DCEU has three genuinely good movies that are just as good as the stuff Marvel are releasing and the older animated DC movies. And that’s just great, I always felt bad pointing out how much better animated DC movies and the Marvel movies were than the DCEU because it felt unfair and I knew DC could do better. This, Wonder Woman and Aquaman are the live action DC movies I always knew WB had in them.
On a similar note I knew Zachary Levi was perfect casting the moment he was announced. A lot of the best scenes are of him just being a kid acting how he thinks adults are supposed to act or just being a child excited to have super powers, these are the things a Shazam movie needed to get right at they nailed it. They use his New 52 origin which longtime fans may be disappointed by but it works better as a character arc in a film than him just already being a pure hearted good guy from the start.
If you’re a fan of the character there’s a lot of great nods to familiar content from the comics that people less familiar with him outside of his appearances in animated shows like Justice League Unlimited and Young Justice will still just find entertaining. There’s also pretty funny a reference to the movie Big which really is the perfect thing for a Shazam movie to reference outside of the comics.
Looking at what DC have planned for the future there’s an interesting mix of options. We’re finally getting another animated Wonder Woman movie later this year with a second live action movie out next year. We’re also getting two stand alone non-DCEU live action films later this year and an animated Batman movie about Hush. So while this is the only DCEU movie out this year expect plenty of DC reviews throughout the year, especially since I do want to finally get around to watching and ranking all the Batman films.