'Shazam! Fury of the Gods' Review: A Fun, Underrated Sequel
Courtesy of DC and IGN
Movie March Madness has given us solid legacy sequels with Creed III and Scream VI. Next in this exciting March is Shazam! Fury of the Gods. This film was directed by David F. Sandberg and once again stars Zachary Levi as Shazam and Asher Angel as Billy Batson. In this film, Billy and his foster siblings continue to protect Philadelphia, but the family is starting to grow distant, much to Billy’s displeasure. Shazam! Fury of the Gods is also the first DCEU film released after James Gunn announced a new DC Universe that will reboot most characters. Going into this film, we have no idea if these versions of the Shazam characters will return or get rebooted.
The critic consensus for Shazam! Fury of the Gods has so far been up and down. The first film got positive reviews, so it was concerning to hear mixed thoughts. Was this film going to be like Wonder Woman: 1984? Luckily, this film is miles better than Wonder Woman: 1984 and a worthy sequel to the first film. The film did improve some things from the first film even though it's not as good.
hazam! Fury of the Gods improves on the action and special effects. Compared to some of the recent MCU films, Shazam! Fury of the Gods had great special effects. One of the reasons DC kept delaying films was so they could make the special effects look good, and they didn't disappoint. The dragon, as well as some of the creatures shown, looked well-designed. The film has a lot more action this time and is more entertaining. The film has a straightforward story that is not complex. The Shazam family must stop the Daughters of Atlas, who try to steal their powers.
The cast from Shazam! continue to be fun and likable. Both Asher Angel and Zachary Levi are once again great as Billy Batson and Shazam. We see more Shazam in this film than we see Billy Batson. Like Shazam!, Billy Batson is more serious and mature, while Shazam is more childish and immature. Jack Dylan Grazer, who plays Freddy Freeman, improved from the first film. Freddy wants to do more hero things by himself this time around.
The new antagonists are the Daughters of Atlas, played by Helen Mirren, Lucy Liu, and Rachel Zegler. The interesting thing about them was that they are original villains, not DC villains from the comics. The trailers made it seem like they were going to be corny villains. While Mark Strong as Doctor Sivana from the first film was better, the Daughters of Atlas were fine. Rachel Zegler’s character, Anthea, is the least evil of them and is Freddy's love interest. Lucy Liu playing Kalypso is the main antagonist, who wants to conquer Earth.
My main issue with Shazam! Fury of the Gods was that it lacked some of the uniqueness and heart of the first film. Shazam! was new after getting many cookie-cutter comic book films from Marvel and DC. It felt like this film embraced some cookie-cutter elements we have seen before. The film, while entertaining, sometimes lacks some of the serious moments of Shazam! It still had its moments, including a scene with Billy and his foster mom Rosa, but they seem to trade those moments for more action and humor instead of balancing all three perfectly.
Overall, Shazam! Fury of the Gods is better than what the trailers would have audiences believe. The film has solid performances from the cast. The special effects and action improved from the first film. It’s unknown if this version of Shazam will continue in James Gunn’s upcoming DC Universe. If it does, that would be awesome. If not, the film ends in a satisfying conclusion, although it would stink if they don’t continue it. The major downside is that both Shazam! and Shazam! Fury of the Gods had bad release dates.
The final grade for Shazam! Fury of the Gods is a B+. It’s a fun comic book film and I highly recommend you see it.
What did you think of Shazam! Fury of the Gods? Let us know in the comments below.