Review: Shazam! Fury of the Gods
The film continues the story of teenage Billy Batson who, upon reciting the magic word "SHAZAM!" is transformed into his adult Super Hero alter ego, Shazam.
Zachary Levi, Jack Dylan Grazer, Rachel Zegler, Lucy Liu, Helen Mirren, Adam Brody, Ross Butler, D.J Cotrona, Djimon Hounsou, Meagan Good, Grace Currey, Faithe Herman, Ian Chen, Jovan Armand, Cooper Andrews & Marta Milans.
Shazam! Fury of the Gods is the sequel to the delightful surprise of an origin film, ‘Shazam!’. However this time David Sandberg raises the stakes to big heights and increases the amount of action sequences. Does this work? Let’s talk about it.
Unfortunately, the film suffers from its poor marketing, possibly an all timer for bad marketing. Presenting the film to be just action, along with spoiling plot points and showing scenes far into the 3rd act of the film. However, the film doesn’t entirely help itself in that regard. What made the first film so special was the raw, authentic emotional stakes that were present throughout the entire film. This resulted in emotional moments and led to goosebump scenes involving our heroes. This is lost within this sequel, it leans more into the physical stakes more so over the emotional ones. There are very few authentic and raw moments to warrant the overall message on growing up. A highlight of the film being when the kids are in school & grounds itself to relate with the younger audience, but we get very few of those scenes and it constantly moves away from it for an action sequence or funny moment.
David definitely steps up in directing, along with his visuals which were quite fantastic at times. The action sequences are more stylised and engaging, with a great score complimenting each sequence. The performances, however, are certainly the highlight of the film. Particularly Jack Dylan Grazer who delivers are a terrific performance, both emotionally and hilariously. Zachary Levi delivers another fun performance and lovable dynamic between every actor. Along with Helen Mirren & Rachel Zegler as lovely additions to the cast. While I thought Lucy Liu was clearly having lots of fun, delivers too much of a melodramatic performance for me to take her seriously.
The stakes are far too high for a hero such as Shazam. And like a problem Marvel currently has with their stakes, it’s world ending and never entirely made sense when a hero such as Superman or Wonder Woman were absent from attempting to stop this world disaster.
The comedy mostly worked for me & felt more engaging than usual superhero films due to all actors chemistry with one another seeming to be more closer than before. Each scene between the actors were quite obviously the highlight of the film and would have loved to see that a little more.
All in all, Shazam! Fury of the Gods is a letdown. But far from being a bad one. While the action tops its predecessor, it doesn’t in its emotional stakes and raw themes. Most its actors deliver brilliant performances that do their best with the script given, but wasn’t enough to save the overall film.