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Shazam! Fury of the Gods ★★



Director: David F. Sandberg

Cast: Zachary Levi, Lucy Liu, Helen Mirren, Rachel Zegler, Adam Brody, Jack Dylan Grazer, Asher Angel and Marta Milans

Release: March 17th, 2023 

What happened to Shazam! Fury of the Gods? The first movie is a breath of fresh air while reinvigorating the superhero genre. Once again, this proves that most sequels aren’t as good as the original. Also, it’s crazy to think this is one of the remaining instalments of the DC Extended Universe. It’s pretty much done with James Gunn and Peter Safran taking over the franchise now. David F. Sandberg returned to direct the sequel with a script by Henry Gayden and Chris Morgan. For a character known for having a wonderful sense of wish fulfilment, Fury of the Gods sadly lacks the heart and joy of the previous film.

After the events of the first Shazam, Billy Batson (Asher Angel) is trying to get the hang of becoming an adult superhero (Zachary Levi) while saving the city with his foster siblings, who can also turn into adult superheroes. We have two new villains, played by Helen Mirren and Lucy Liu, who are the daughters of Atlas wanting to take back the kids’ powers. Billy now has to step up to protect his city and, more importantly, his family. It’s pretty much your generic superhero flick with none of the heart and magic that has made the original so special and unique.

The cast does fine with what they’re given to work with. One of the biggest problems with Fury of the Gods is that they lose the coming-of-age aspect of our main protagonist. Angel is barely in this movie, so you don’t have a lot of development and growth with his character. However, you appreciate that he’s trying his best to be more like Levi’s portrayal of Billy. One of the biggest complaints about the first film is that many people have agreed Levi and Angel don’t feel like they’re playing the same person, so it’s nice they have considered fan feedback. Speaking of character development, you don’t get that with the others, especially the antagonists and the foster siblings. Mirren and Liu are just there to collect their paychecks since their roles are forgettable and uninspired. Anyone could have played them, and you have seen these bad guys a hundred times before in other comic book adaptations.

There’s nothing memorable regarding the dialogue, action sequences and special effects. The narrative is incredibly messy and unfocused. That feeling of being a kid again is nowhere to be found, as it’s just interested in becoming your dull superhero movie with a tedious third act filled with CGI. You know precisely what will happen, and stop caring as the story continues. Since you know the DC Extended Universe is non-existent at this point, you’re wondering if it’s necessary that this movie should even exist, even with its Easter eggs and references.      

Shazam! Fury of the Gods is a massive disappointment. It doesn’t know what it wants to be while lacking all the elements that have made the previous film so fun and heartfelt. Fingers crossed for The Flash, Blue Beetle and Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom. We can’t wait for James Gunn and Peter Safran to fully take over the DC Universe from now on.

Steven Lee has always been passionate about movies. He also writes for Short Ends, Montreal Rampage, That Moment In and Borrowing Tape.

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