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Shazam Fury of the Gods

Review by Paul Bowler.

Shazam Fury of the Gods follows on from the events events of 2019’s Shazam! with great gusto and mirth as it lobs a sizeable side order of fantasy into the the DCU’s superhero movie formula. Having been bestowed with the power of the gods in the first movie, Billy Baston (Asher Angel / Zachary Levi) seems to have settled into life with his fellow foster kids and their adoptive family as they adjust to the angst of teenage life – although Billy’s super-powered alter ego seems to be struggling to catch up at times.

His foster family, who are also bestowed with powers, seem to be slowly drifting apart: Freddy (Jack Dylan Grazer/Adam Brody) likes the limelight, Mary (Grace Fulton) has set her sights on going to college, and Eugene (Ian Chen/Ross Butler), Darla (Faithe Herman/Meagan Good), and Pedro (Jovan Armand/D.J. Cotrona) each have their own trials and tribulations to deal with. Now that Billy is on the cusp of aging out the foster system he must fund a way to balance the anxiety about what the future holds while also keeping his family’s teenage superhero life on track. 

The Shazam family must set aside their troubles and strife when the villains of the piece finally emerge, three banished Greed goddesses called the Daughters of Atlas – Hespera (Helen Mirren), Kalypso (Lucy Liu), and Anthea (Rachel Zegler) – who have busted out of their their supernatural prison. Now they want to take back the power stolen from them by the ancient Wizard Shazam (Djimon Hounsou) – powers which also give the Shazam kids their incredible abilities. 

However, returning director David F Sandberg struggles to recapture the same quirky blend of humour and action that made the first film so charming, instead he attempts to shoehorn too much slapstick into an overstuffed script that is already juggling multiple plot threads, and the end result is unforntuatly a tad underwhelming. Zachary Levi seems to get an uneven share of the screen time in this body-swap  superhero retread, while Asher Angel’s teenage Billy Baston often seems almost sidelined as an afterthought. It’s great to see more of Shazam in action but it also ends up having a detrimental effect on the fun duality of the character as a result. Everyone in the Shazam family gets their moment the spotlight, but with an ensemble cast like this it was perhaps inevitable that the film’s three screenwriters would struggle to really do them all justice.

The action sequences are brisk, exciting and pretty spectacular, with our Shazam superhero team racing to save people from a collapsing bridge, the Daughters of Atlas unleashing a world-shattering scheme that see Shazam and his family step up to save the day, and an epic battle where Billy takes on Kalypso and her dragon –  there’s even a cameo by Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman and two post credit scenes to look out for as well. Right from the outset, there’s a frenetic, almost breathless pace to Shazam Fury of the Gods, and there is potential here for another sequel – if indeed James Gunn decides to bring Shazam into his new cinematic vision for the DC Universe. Even though the dorkish humour is wearing a bit thin now, Shazam Fury of the Gods is still an action packed family friendly superhero film – even if it does fall short of the first movie.

About The Author

Hi, I’m Paul Bowler, blogger and reviewer of films, TV shows, and comic books. I’m a Sci-Fi geek, a big fan of Doctor Who, Star Trek, movies, Sci-Fi, Horror, Comic Books, and all things PS4.You can follow me on Twitter @paul_bowler,or at my website, Sci-Fi Jubilee, and on YouTube and Facebook