“Sazam! Fury of the Gods review: A fun but crowded sequel that struggles to find its footing

The DC Extended Universe (DCEU) has undergone major changes since 2019. Although it’s only been four years since its launch Shazam!, it feels like a decade has passed. Director David F. Sandberg’s superhero flick was a surprise hit that served as a refreshing break from the darker, grittier Snyderverse. The film’s debut marked a more family-friendly approach to the DCEU, with Billy Batson (Asher Angel), a foster child searching for his biological family, suddenly granted the power of the Gods by a Wizard (Djimon Hounsou) who allowed him to transform. to an adult superhero (Zachary Levi) uttering the film’s title word “Shazam”.

We cheered as Billy gave his step-siblings their own powers to defeat the evil Dr. Thaddeus Sivana (Mark Strong) and restore balance to the world. The film also opened the door for Shazam’s comic book nemesis, Black Adam, and teased the arrival of another comic book villain, Mister Mind, in a future installment. Unfortunately, none of these stories made it to the sequel.


‘Black Adam’ Review: Dwayne Johnson’s Star Power Wasted in Another Confused DCEU Drama

Instead, Shazam! Fury of the Gods takes a different approach to a comic book blockbuster by introducing new, original antagonists. While the film deviates from the franchise’s roots, it’s still a fun ride aimed at a younger audience. The sequel, however, lacks the charm of the original as it tries to fit a huge amount of story, characters and monsters into its two hour, 10 minute running time.

What is Shazam! The Fury of the Gods about?

Created by: Warner Bros.

Shazam! The Fury of the Gods centers around the “Shazamily” of Billy Batson (Angel/Levi) and his step-siblings, Pedro Peña (Jovan Armand/DJ Cotrona), Eugene Choi (Ian Chen/Ross Butler), Darla Dudley (Faithe Herman/Meagan Good) , Freddy Freeman (Jack Dylan Grazer/Adam Brody) and Mary Bromfield (Grace Fulton). Together, they set out to protect Philadelphia from crime while (unsuccessfully) trying to minimize collateral damage.

However, in between their heroism and work, the group is unaware of the theft of the Wizard’s magical staff from a museum by the Daughters of Atlas. These three goddesses are Hespera (Helen Mirren), an elemental. Calypso (Lucy Liu), who possesses hypnotic magic. and Anthea (Rachel Zegler), the youngest of the three. They have entered the Earth realm to regain their father’s powers and rebuild the world of the Gods. For those unfamiliar with the comics, the powers inherited by Billy and his siblings come from the word “SHAZAM,” which is actually an acronym for Solomon, Hercules, Atlas, Zeus, Achilles, and Mercury.

To track down Shazam, Anthea infiltrates Freddy’s high school and befriends him. Unbeknownst to her, Freddy himself possesses a piece of her ancestors’ powers, and unbeknownst to Freddy, “Ann” is a 2,000-year-old goddess. As fate would have it, the two fall in love with each other. Meanwhile, Hespera has apparently resurrected and imprisoned the Wizard and is more than a little annoyed that he would give such power to mere children. After some killing, the sisters kidnap Freddy.

The race is on to save Freddy and save the world before the Daughters of Atlas (well, one in particular) destroy our planet.

Shazamily is back in action.

Grace Caroline Currey, Jovan Armand, Asher Angel, Jack Dylan Grazer, Ian Chen and Faithe Herman at

Created by: Warner Bros.

The heart of the former Shazam! The film was Billy’s search for family and his quest to understand his new powers. At the core of the sequel, however, is Freddy, his tumultuous relationship with Anthea, and his desperate race to save himself, his siblings, and the world. Freddy and Anthea’s relationship is one of the most charming sequences on screen. Grazer (young Freddy) and Brody (superhero Freddy) give excellent performances as they truly embody two parts of a whole character.

Good also does an incredible job of maintaining Darla’s innocence in superhero mode, as does Fulton, who, as the older sibling, plays both the older and younger version of her character, Mary Bromfield/Mary Marvel.

There is a noticeable difference between how Angel and Levi portray the title character in the sequel. In Shazam! The Fury of the Gods, Billy has grown up, making him seem more mature than his alter ego when he takes care of his younger siblings. In the first film, Levi’s portrayal of Billy captured the wonder of gaining new powers. However, afterwards, he looks tired and overacts with wild facial expressions, which his younger counterpart rarely shows.

Daughters of Atlas is soaring on the big screen.

Zachary Levi and Helen Mirren enter

Created by: Warner Bros.

Its true power Shazam! The Fury of the Gods she is with the Daughters of Atlas. Dame Helen Mirren’s performance as older sister Hespera is strong, her almost Shakespearean portrayal of a Greek goddess playing well with Levi’s silly, often awkward comedy. Zegler’s performance as Anthea is impressive, even when undercover as a coed. Meanwhile, Lucy Liu’s Kalypso has very few scenes in the first two acts, but dominates the last as the true extent of her villainy remains somewhat veiled – while Anthea and Hespera want to reclaim what’s theirs, Kalypso wants just to watch the world burn.

One of the real highlights of the film is the fight sequence between Kalypso and Shazam in the final act. Drawing inspiration from Art by Alex Ross at DC Comic Black Revenge,(Opens in a new tab) the epic fight is as atmospheric as it is epic, enhanced by electrical effects and immersive sound design. It just takes a long time to get there.

Gods and Monsters give the DCEU bite.

In addition to the Daughters of Atlas, members of Shazamily and their parents (time to find out what the kids have been up to), Shazam! The Fury of the Gods it is filled with creatures, gods and monsters.

We’re talking about a Harry Potter-esque floating library nestled in the Rock of Eternity, the Wizard’s lair, about six harpies, five unicorns, four minotaurs, three Cyclops, two Manticores, and a pen named Steve. Not to mention an appearance by Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman that DC curiously botched on purpose(Opens in a new tab) in a recent teaser. Like Henry Cavill’s appearance in Black Adam, Wonder Woman’s cameo is brief. However, unlike Kal-El’s scene, Diana’s presence is crucial to the story and hints at things to come in James Gunn and Peter Safran’s upcoming DCEU reboot.

Before I could even consider the possibility of a Billy/Diana team-up, the post-credits scenes sent me in another direction.

Shazam! Fury of the Gods it’s fun and funny, and yet…

Shazam! Fury of the Gods it works best when it relies on its natural comedy — for example, when the Wizard of Hunshu gets locked in a cell arguing with Freddy, or whenever Levi’s Shazam flies into a wall. This type of physical humor is perfect for kids, however, not so great for comic book fans who won’t be able to get past the Black Adam-shaped hole in the story.

Similar to Marvel Ant-Man: Quantumania, Shazam! Fury of the Gods is a sequel film aimed at a younger audience. It’s essentially an enjoyable standalone film in a franchise that’s going through some changes. Mirren and Liu wisely play their roles straight, with the latter making a truly formidable supervillain. And while there are plenty of satisfying comedic moments and some strong fight scenes, this sophomore effort lacks some of the triumphant joy of the original.

Shazam! Fury of the Gods is now in theaters.

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