It’s messy, uneven, and gleefully silly. If you like your comic-book adventures this way, you will enjoy Shazam! Fury of the Gods.
Shazam! Fury of the Gods Synopsis
Empowered but woefully inexperienced, Billy and gang are royally rejected by the city of Philadelphia, which adds to Billy’s many insecurities about himself. Meanwhile, the wizard Shazam is revealed to be alive, imprisoned by the daughters of Atlas who are hell-bent on restoring Shazam’s staff. (Which Billy snapped in the first movie) As it turns out, the Council of Wizards had previously used the staff to steal the power of the Greek gods, before trapping the gods in their own realm.
I watched Shazam! Fury of the Gods hours ago and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Thoroughly enjoyed it despite the story struggling to hold together, with Billy, as in the teen version, also entirely forgotten for most parts of the show.
It’s silly but earnest, you see, just like a classic comic book adventure. The cast makes it clear that they know they are in a fun movie by never pretending otherwise. For most parts, everybody revels in the nonsense too. Yes, even her majesty Helen Mirren, who at the choicest moment, ever so casually adjusts her godly crown.
And then there’s Jack Dylan Grazer’s Freddy. So zany, so chatty, so hyper and lovable that he’s the absolute life of the show, more so than even the magical combats. Might sound like an exaggeration to say but I think Grazer’s ebullient enthusiasm helps disguise one of the weakest aspects of the show too, which is how the story struggles to shine even limelight on all the ingredients thrown into the pot.
You never do get a true grasp of the complex relationship between Hespera and Kalypso. Heck, even their true intentions are muddled—are they for revenge, domination, or restoration?
The Shazam family’s struggles with identity, method, and normal life are also sidelined. Mentioned only when there’s nothing funny to dish out.
But good ol’ super nice guy Freddy distracts you from these cracks. Not always successfully, of course, but he at least makes you more inclined to forgive.
As for Zachary Levi, I think he somewhat overcooks the silliness this time; it’s hard to believe a (near) 18-year-old Billy Batson would still talk or act this way. With teenage Billy barely appearing for most of the run, Fury of the Gods feels like a “Captain Marvel” fight rather than a story too, if you know what I mean.
The latter, I suspect, is one major reason why a lot of publications are at the moment, dissing this sequel. On those negative reviews, I admit that a certain emotional depth is missing together with Billy. Or perhaps a more appropriate word is heart.
That said, this is still a fun movie, so what’s wrong even if it’s frivolous? Like its “teenage” protagonists, I think having a kickass time is paramount. I certainly enjoyed my afternoon with it at the cinema.
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