Shazam: Fury of the Gods (Review)

⭐⭐⭐ (Good)

Director: David F. Sandberg
Starring: Zachary Levi, Asher Angel, Jack Dylan Grazer, Rachel Zegler, Adam Brody, Ross Butler, D. J. Cotrona, Grace Caroline Currey, Meagan Good, Lucy Liu, Djimon Hounsou, Helen Mirren
Certificate: 12A
Run Time: 130 mins

Shazam: Fury of the Gods is the sequel to the thoroughly entertaining Shazam! and the latest entry in the DC Extended Universe. The original really worked with its well-judged humour and heart-warming exploration of the theme of family. Although the DC Extended Universe as we know it is coming to a close with James Gunn’s soft reboot soon upon us, it’s a shame this film feels somewhat dead on arrival. 

Lights Out and Annabelle: Creation director David F. Sandberg returns to the helm and this film picks up two years after the first. Billy Batson (Zachary Levi and Asher Angel) and his family of foster siblings are shown to put their superhero skills to good use as they prevent casualties on the Benjamin Franklin Bridge early in the film. However, their personal interests see them drift apart as they grow up. However, the daughters of Atlas, Hespera (Helen Mirren) and Kalypso (Lucy Liu) are soon reason enough for the siblings to unite together as they unveil carnage on the planet. 

Shazam: Fury of the Gods isn’t as fresh as its predecessor but aside from a rocky start, it’s another entertaining ride. It’s considerably of a higher production value than Shazam spin-off Black Adam that released last year. This sequel mostly retains its warm portrayal of family and all of the characters receive meaningful character development. The script penned by Henry Gayden and Chris Morgan is sharply written and there’s a few laughs peppered throughout. 

Once again, Sandberg’s horror fingerprints can be felt all over the film, particularly in the climactic battle sequence and there’s even a cameo by the Annabelle doll that you’ll need to keep an eye out for. Other than the opening action sequence, there’s some fun set pieces here and even the final climactic battle remains consistently fun to watch, often the undoing of many a comic book film. The film is well shot by Gyula Pados but the score by Christophe Beck is disappointing and unmemorable.

The performances are really fun once again. Zachary Levi injects lots of energy and charisma into the lead role and a natural fit for the material. Djimon Hounsou proves he’s a criminally underrated supporting actor in an expanded role as the titular wizard and both Helen Mirren and Lucy Liu are reliably slimy as the villains. Rachel Zegler also makes a good impression as Anne, a new girl at school who Freddy (Jack Dylan Grazer and Adam Brody) has a crush on at school . 

It’s a shame DC aren’t pushing Shazam: Fury of the Gods, treating the film as if it’s dead weight before the newly revamped DC arrives. Although it’s highly unlikely we’ll see a third chapter, Sandberg has crafted a highly likeable sequel, even if it’s not quite as fresh-on-arrival as its predecessor. 

⭐⭐⭐ (Good)


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