Billy Batson is back in Shazam! Fury of the Gods, a sequel to the 2019 superhero film Shazam. This new movie in the DC Universe follows the foster family of superheroes who can turn from children to superpowered adults with the shout of one word. After the fun success of the original film, director David F. Sandberg returns to give us another adventure. This superhero action-comedy is a solid sequel to the original, offering a consistently entertaining tone with a few rougher edges than its predecessor.
After defeating Dr. Sivana and becoming superheroes in the first film, the Shazamily has had a polarizing reaction in Philadelphia, with many calling them out for their incompetence. The screenplay offers a funny idea from the get-go, showing how the kids could be better at being superheroes. They’re all a little older than they were in the first film, but they still have a lot to learn, which is shown by an early action sequence on a bridge where the heroes save many lives but fail to stop the bridge from collapsing. The strength is the uniqueness of a family of foster kids working together to fight crime.
With a new film comes a new set of baddies, as the movie introduces Hespera (Helen Mirren) and Kalypso (Lucy Liu), the daughters of Atlas who are after the family’s powers. This dynamic demented duo is formidable, offering star power and threatening performances as powerful sisters who pose a grave threat to our heroes. They possess the powers of mind control and taking away superpowers, making the need to stop them even more significant, as they are not only after the family, but they also pose a threat to the world.
This sequel coasts off the lighthearted, humorous tone of the first film, with the cast giving excellent performances. Zachary Levi‘s comedic timing as Shazam is fantastic. While he doesn’t always fully embody an older Asher Angel, the bridge works better in this movie than in the original film. He gets some of the funniest moments in the movie while also bringing some emotional weight to the character. Jack Dylan Grazer is also hilarious in this movie, getting many moments to shine as a standout character. In addition, he receives a romance subplot with Anne (Rachel Zegler), which is well-performed, but, unfortunately, feels like an inorganic romance straight out of a Disney Channel movie.
Shazam! Fury of the Gods takes many of the ideas set up in the original film and brings it up a notch, raising the stakes and giving us more of the action and comedy you expect from this film. The movie is very fast-paced, always giving you something fun to look at. Yet, this may also be the film’s fundamental flaw, as there is a hint of drama surrounding Billy’s fear of growing out of the foster system and being on his own. This idea needed to be explored more for the profound moments to have the emotional weight they could.
Furthermore, the film doesn’t go in the direction you expect, as most of the Shazamily does not participate in the final act. Instead, it’s mainly Shazam alone for the final action set piece. While the other characters play another role in the last act, their sequence feels so much smaller than what was set up that it’s easy to forget it existed within the film.
However, Shazam! Fury of the Gods remains a breezy, entertaining superhero film with a robust set of heroes and villains. It’s not the strongest DCU outing, and it doesn’t reach the heights of its predecessor, but you’ll have an enjoyable time at the theater.
As ComingSoon’s review policy explains, a score of 8 equates to “Great.” While there are a few minor issues, this score means that the art succeeds at its goal and leaves a memorable impact.
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