SHAZAM! FURY OF THE GODS Review: Superhero Sequel Plays It Safe, But Delivers Where It Counts

Warner Bros. and New Line's Shazam! Fury of the Gods flies into theaters this weekend, and now that the review embargo has lifted, you can find out what we made of the superhero sequel...

Reviews Opinion

Though nobody really had any major expectations for a relatively obscure DC Comics character's first big-screen outing, 2019's Shazam! proved to be a pleasant surprise. Audiences responded to a breezy mix of humour, heart and superhero thrills, and the movie ended up turning a tidy profit for Warner Bros. and New Line, pretty much guaranteeing a sequel.

Shazam! Fury of the Gods arrives in theatres this Friday, and, for the most part, director David F. Sandberg has managed to replicate the winning formula - even if the film never quite flies as high as its predecessor.

When we pick up with Billy Batson (he still hasn't settled on a superhero name) and his adoptive family, they are continuing to lead double lives as school kids and their super-powered adult alter egos. The team does what it can to keep the city safe, but the guys haven't exactly mastered the superhero thing, and some members of the public are less than impressed (one newspaper dubs them the "Philly Fiascos").

Billy, concerned that he'll soon turn 18 and "age-out" of the foster system, notices that his brothers and sisters are starting to go off and do their own thing, and tries desperately to keep them on track and fight as a unit. When the ancient - and very powerful - Daughters of Atlas make their way to Earth in search of Sivana's magical staff, the heroes are forced to step up their game.

If that all sounds a little formulaic, well, yeah. Fury of the Gods has no designs on reinventing the wheel (or even putting a rough idea down on paper), but what it does, it does very effectively overall.

Most of the jokes land (Helen Mirren's Hespera reading Batson's magically-penned letter aloud is a highlight), and there are some exciting action set pieces (that dragon is undeniably awesome). The importance of family and acceptance are once again at the forefront, and if things do occasionally cross the fine line between heartfelt and hokey, the cast/characters are likeable enough to get away with it.

Shazam! Fury of the Gods: Rachel Zegler Reveals Childhood Crush on One of  Her Co-Stars

Of the new cast members, Mirren makes the biggest impact, while West Side Story standout Rachel Zegler makes the most of a slightly underwritten part, and Lucy Liu... rides a dragon!

After only debuting briefly at the end of the first movie, the adult versions of the Shazam Family are all given more to do here, although it can be hard to escape the feeling that their younger counterparts are a more interesting bunch to spend time with. This is certainly the case for Jack Dylan Grazer's Freddy Freeman, whose budding romance with Anthea (Zegler) and bromance with the Wizard (Djimon Hounsou) arguably prove to be more compelling than Batson's arc.

Asher Angel is, once again, very impressive in the role, but the contrast between his personality and the man-child he becomes when he says the magic word is even more glaring now that Billy is supposed to be approaching adulthood. Batson is a street-smart, mature, borderline troubled kid who has been forced to grow up a lot quicker than his peers, but Zachary Levi is still playing Shazam as a hyperactive halfwit.

Sure, there are still some laughs to be mined from the premise, but after a while it begins to grate, and, unfortunately, one of the movie's biggest detriments is how irritating its main character becomes. This is not even a knock on Levi, who throws himself into his role with aplomb and earns quite a few chuckles for his efforts. But if we do get a third movie and Billy is supposed to be pushing 20, is Shazam still going to be giddily blasting bottles with his sparkle-fingers like he's just won the lotto?

To be fair, this probably isn't something that will stand out to everyone, but it does seem a little odd when the rest of the characters behave (more or less) the same when they power-up, and Billy seems to mentally regress!

Fury of the Gods also fails to escape the third act issues that plague so many of its contemporaries, with mythical beasts invading the city in a flurry of seemingly endless CGI showdowns. Perhaps more glaringly, there is an ill-advised attempt to tug at the heartstrings that is simply never going to land with anyone who's aware of the type of movie they're watching!

Shazam! Fury of the Gods is a highly enjoyable superhero adventure that hits the right emotional beats while providing a few belly-laughs in the process. It's not without its problems, but if you were a fan of the first one, you're guaranteed a good time at the movies this weekend.

File:3 stars.svg - Wikipedia

SHAZAM! FURY OF THE GODS Ends First Week Of Release With -56% Less At Box Office Than BLACK ADAM

SHAZAM! FURY OF THE GODS Ends First Week Of Release With -56% Less At Box Office Than BLACK ADAM

SHAZAM! FURY OF THE GODS Star Zachary Levi Suggests The Rock Thwarted Planned Hawkman Cameo
Recommended For You:

SHAZAM! FURY OF THE GODS Star Zachary Levi Suggests The Rock "Thwarted" Planned Hawkman Cameo

DISCLAIMER: This post was submitted by a user who has agreed to our Terms of Service and Community Guidelines. As a user-generated content platform, Comic Book Movie and Best Little Sites LLC is protected under the DMCA... [MORE]
SHAZAM! FURY OF THE GODS Ends First Week Of Release With -56% Less At Box Office Than BLACK ADAM
Shazam! Fury of the Gods has been playing in theaters for a week, but it hasn't been a good one for the DCEU movie. In fact, it's earned considerably less than Black Adam at this same point into its run.
SHAZAM! FURY OF THE GODS Star Zachary Levi Suggests The Rock Thwarted Planned Hawkman Cameo
Shazam! Fury of the Gods star Zachary Levi has elaborated on his recent social media post, revealing which members of the Justice Society they were stopped from using in the sequel's mid-credits scene.
SHAZAM! FURY OF THE GODS Director Shares BTS Footage Of A Certain Cameo - SPOILERS
Shazam! Fury of the Gods director David F. Sandberg wasn't actually on set for a certain character's cameo, and helmed their sequence remotely from a different country. Check out some BTS footage...
SHAZAM! FURY OF THE GODS Spoilers - 10 Best Easter Eggs, Cameos, And References You Need To See
Shazam! Fury of the Gods divided critics and fans alike, but no matter how you feel about the sequel, we're sure you'll agree that the Easter Eggs were among the DCEU's best after reading this feature!
SHAZAM! FURY OF THE GODS Star Zachary Levi Has Better Things To Do Than Watch BLACK ADAM
Shots fired? During a recent interview to promote Shazam! Fury of the Gods, star Zachary Levi revealed why he hasn't watched Black Adam yet, suggesting he has more important things to do with his time.

The Best Little Sites Network (BLS)

Action Movie and TV News -
Anime News, Trailers & More -
Superhero News, Videos, Rumors & More -
Horror News -
Video Game News, Reviews, Trailers & More -
Sci-Fi and Fantasy News, Videos, Rumors & More -
Cartoon and Animated Film News, Videos, Rumors & More -
Professional Wrestling News, Videos, Rumors & More -