‘Shazam! Fury of the Gods review: A fun sequel but full of people having trouble finding their footing

The DC Extended Universe (DCEU) has undergone significant changes since 2019. Although it has only been four years since the release of Shazam!It feels like a decade has passed. Director David F. Sandberg’s superhero movie was a surprise hit that served as a refreshing break from the darker and grittier Snyderverse. The film’s debut marked a more family-friendly approach to the DCEU, with Billy Batson (Asher Angel), a foster child searching for his birth family, suddenly gaining the power of the gods from a wizard (Djimon Hounsou) that allowed him to turn. into an adult superhero (Zachary Levi) uttering the movie’s titular word “Shazam.”

We cheered as Billy gave his foster brothers powers of their own to defeat the evil Dr. Thaddeus Sivana (Mark Strong) and restore balance to the world. The film also opened the door for Shazam’s comic book nemesis, black adam, and caused the arrival of another villain from the comics, Mister Mind, in a future installment. Unfortunately, neither of these stories made it into the sequel.


‘Black Adam’ review: Dwayne Johnson’s star power was wasted on another confusing DCEU drama

Instead, Shazam! fury of the gods takes a different approach to a comic book blockbuster by introducing new and original antagonists. Although the film strays from the roots of the franchise, it’s still a fun ride aimed at a younger audience. The sequel, however, lacks the ensemble charm of the original, trying to cram a plethora of stories, characters, and monsters into its two-hour, 10-minute runtime.

That Shazam! The fury of the gods about?

Credit: Warner Bros.

Shazam! The fury of the gods centers on the “Shazamily” of Billy Batson (Angel/Levi) and his adoptive siblings, Pedro Peña (Jovan Armand/DJ Cotrona), Eugene Choi (Ian Chen/Ross Butler), Darla Dudley (Faithe Herman/Meagan Good), Freddy Freeman (Jack Dylan Grazer/Adam Brody) and Mary Bromfield (Grace Fulton). Together, they set out to protect Philadelphia from crime, while trying (unsuccessfully) to minimize collateral damage.

However, between their heroism and the task, the group is unaware of the Daughters of Atlas’ theft of the wizard’s magic staff from a museum. These three goddesses are Hespera (Helen Mirren), an elemental; Kalypso (Lucy Liu), who possesses hypnotic magic; and Anthea (Rachel Zegler), the youngest of the three. They have entered the realm of Earth to reclaim their father’s powers and rebuild the world of the Gods. For those unfamiliar with comic book lore, the powers Billy and his siblings inherited come from the word “SHAZAM,” which is actually a portmanteau of Solomon, Hercules, Atlas, Zeus, Achilles, and Mercury.

In order to track down Shazam, Anthea infiltrates Freddy’s high school and befriends him. Unbeknownst to her, Freddy possesses a portion of his ancestors’ powers, and unknown to Freddy, “Anne” is a 2,000-year-old goddess. As fate would have it, the two fall in love. Meanwhile, Hespera has apparently resurrected and imprisoned the Wizard and is more than a little irritated that he would grant such power to mere children. After a bit of murder, the sisters kidnap Freddy.

The race is on to rescue Freddy and save the world before the Daughters of Atlas (well, one in particular) destroy our planet.

The Shazamily is back in action.

Grace Caroline Currey, Jovan Armand, Asher Angel, Jack Dylan Grazer, Ian Chen and Faithe Herman in

Credit: Warner Bros.

the heart of the first Shazam! The movie was Billy’s search for a family and his quest to understand his newfound powers. The core of the sequel, however, is Freddy, his blossoming relationship with Anthea, and his desperate race to save himself, his siblings, and the world. Freddy and Anthea’s relationship makes up the loveliest on-screen sequences; Grazer (young Freddy) and Brody (superhero Freddy) are magnificently cast, genuinely embodying two parts of a complete character.

Good also does an incredible job of maintaining Darla’s innocence in superhero mode, as does Fulton, who, as the older brother, plays both the older and younger versions of her character, Mary Bromfield/Mary Marvel.

There is a stark difference between how Angel and Levi play the main character in the sequel. In Shazam! The fury of the gods, Billy has grown up, making him seem more mature than his alter ego when taking care of his younger siblings. In the first movie, Levi’s portrayal of Billy captured the wonder of gaining new powers. However, in the sequel, he appears jaded and exaggerates with wild facial expressions, which his younger counterpart rarely displays.

The Daughters of Atlas fly on the big screen.

Zachary Levi and Helen Mirren in

Credit: Warner Bros.

The true power of Shazam! The fury of the gods lies with the Daughters of Atlas. Helen Mirren’s portrayal of older sister Hespera is robust, with her almost Shakespearean portrayal of a Greek goddess playing Levi’s silly, often awkward comedy well. Zegler’s performance as Anthea is impressive, even when she’s an undercover student. Meanwhile, Lucy Liu’s Kalypso has very few scenes in the first two acts, but dominates the last as the true extent of her villainy remains somewhat veiled, while Anthea and Hespera wish to claim what is theirs, Kalypso just wants to see. burn the world

One of the highlights of the film is the battle sequence between Kalypso and Shazam in the final act. drawing inspiration from The art of Alex Ross in the DC Comic black revenge,(Opens in a new tab) The epic fight is both climactic and epic, bolstered by electrifying effects and mesmerizing sound design. It just takes a long time to get there.

Gods and monsters take a bite out of the DCEU.

In addition to the Daughters of Atlas, the members of Shazamily and their parents (it’s about time they knew what the kids have been up to), Shazam! The fury of the gods it is full of creatures, gods and monsters.

We’re talking about a Harry Potter-style floating library set in the Rock of Eternity, the Wizard’s lair, about six harpies, five unicorns, four minotaurs, three cyclops, two manticores, and a sentient feather named Steve. Not to mention an appearance by Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman that DC curiously screwed up on purpose(Opens in a new tab) in a recent teaser. Like the appearance of Henry Cavill in black adam, Wonder Woman’s cameo is brief. Still, unlike Kal-El’s scene, Diana’s presence is central to the story and hints at things to come in James Gunn and Peter Safran’s upcoming DCEU reboot.

Before I could even consider the possibility of a Billy and Diana collaboration, the post-credits scenes sent me in another direction.

Shazam! fury of the gods It’s funny and fun, and yet…

Shazam! fury of the gods it works best when based on its physical comedy, for example, when Hounsou’s wizard gets locked in a cell arguing with Freddy or when Levi’s Shazam flies into a wall. This kind of physical humor is perfect for kids, however, not so great for comic book fans who won’t be able to get past the Black Adam-shaped hole in the story.

Similar to Marvel’s Ant-Man: Quantumania, Shazam! fury of the gods is a sequel to the film aimed at a younger audience. At its core, it’s a nice standalone movie in a franchise that’s going through some changes. Mirren and Liu wisely play their roles correctly, the latter being a truly formidable supervillain. And while there are plenty of satisfying comedic moments and some strong fight scenes, this sophomore attempt is missing some of the triumphant glee of the original.

Shazam! fury of the gods is now in theaters.

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James D. Brown
James D. Brown
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