Shazam Fury of the Gods Review: Fun, Flaws and Fury!
Ah, Shazam! Fury of the Gods! The eagerly anticipated sequel to the wildly successful and wildly fun superhero romp that was the first Shazam film. It’s a movie with a lot to live up to, and for the most part, it does an admirable job.
For those who may not be familiar with the Shazam franchise, it follows the story of Billy Batson, a teenager who can transform into an adult superhero by uttering the word “Shazam!” The first film saw Billy, played by Asher Angel, grappling with his newfound powers and the responsibilities that came with them, all while trying to protect his newfound family of foster siblings from the machinations of the evil Dr. Thaddeus Sivana.
Now, in Shazam! Fury of the Gods, we find Billy, played by Zachary Levi, struggling with a new set of challenges. He’s growing up and about to age out of the foster system, which means he’s faced with the prospect of leaving the only family he’s ever known. Meanwhile, his foster siblings are all dealing with their own issues, from Mary’s desire to attend college to Freddie’s desire to grow up and become a superhero in his own right.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a superhero movie without a villain, and this time around, we have the daughters of Atlas, who are intent on retrieving their stolen magic and taking over the world of humans. There are a lot of plot threads to follow in this film, and while it’s not always the most elegant storytelling, it does manage to mostly hold together.
The real highlights of the film, though, are the moments of humor and levity. Shazam! Fury of the Gods leans into its slapstick roots, and it’s a welcome change of pace from the increasingly serious tone of so many superhero movies these days. Jack Dylan Grazer, who plays Freddie, is a particular standout, bringing a manic energy and non-stop chatter that is just delightful to watch.
The supporting cast is also great, with Djimon Hounsou delivering a wonderfully understated performance as the wizard who gave Billy his powers, and Helen Mirren and Lucy Liu hamming it up as the villains. Even the CGI monsters that populate the final act of the film have a certain charm to them, even if they do look a bit muddy and hard to follow at times.
That’s not to say that the film is without its missteps. The third act does devolve into a CGI-heavy mess, which is a bit of a shame given how much fun the rest of the movie is. And while Zachary Levi is certainly game as the adult version of Billy, he doesn’t quite manage to capture the same level of charm and charisma as in the first film.
All in all, though, Shazam! Fury of the Gods is a fun and enjoyable superhero romp that will leave you with a smile on your face. It may not be the most polished or well-executed film out there, but it’s got heart and humor to spare.
RATING: 3.0 out 5.0
Shazam: Fury of the Gods is in theaters March 17th.