'Shazam! Fury of the Gods' Review: Zachary Levi steals the show in this underwhelming and overstuffed sequel
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA: When ‘Shazam!’ arrived in 2019, it felt like a fresh breath of air for the fans of the superhero genre and took the DCEU in a whole new direction. The DCEU has always been darker and grittier, but ‘Shazam!’ was exactly the opposite. However, the movie turned out to be a gigantic hit for the DCEU, and viewers were really impressed with the way how goofy it was. The first film was all about Billy Baston trying to find his biological parents, and trying to figure out the powers that he has been given by an ancient wizard. The sequel, ‘Shazam! Fury of the Gods’ is an attempt to expand the story and take our superheroes on another adventure where they fight bad people and have a lot of fun. The stakes are higher this time around because the daughters of Atlas have come to earth to wreak havoc and that means our team of superheroes would need to stand up again and save the city and the world from their wrath.
As soon as the movie begins, we realize that a lot has happened between the first film and the sequel and some of the children are even thinking of moving out of their foster homes. Meanwhile, their alter-egos continue to fight criminals and outside threats with ease. They have been given a new name for what they have done in the past and are now known as ‘The Philadelphia Fiascos’. There’s a lot happening in the movie and when we thought that it couldn’t get any worse for them, the main antagonists arrive and pose a challenge. This time, the challenge is really hard because they are meeting the Gods themselves. Hespera (Helen Mirren), Kalypso (Lucy Liu), and Anthea (Rachel Zegler) have reached the planet Earth and now want to take over it. They want to take back their powers by any means and start to annihilate cities as they reach Earth.
Here's how much 'Shazam! Fury of the Gods' needs to earn at box office to break-even amid DC shake-up
'Superman: Legacy' to 'Lanterns', every DC movie and show announced from James Gunn's DC Studios
Starts off well, but then...
Superheroes movies are loaded with action and this movie is no different. As soon as the movie starts, you get to see unwavering action sequences that are breathtakingly amazing. The film is shot really well and visually stunning, but the problem lies in the writing. ‘Shazam! 2’ starts off really well, but it doesn’t manage to captivate us as much as viewers would have wanted it to. There are scenes that will frustrate the audience because of how underwhelming they are. The acting sequences will keep you on the edge of your seats and the humor will surely keep the ball rolling, but as the movie progress, you know that the movie is just an inch away from being an “average superhero movie”.
As far as acting is concerned, Levi has once again proved that he can undoubtedly carry an entire movie on his shoulders and give a performance that is mature and way different than what he has done in the past. Dame Helen Mirren and Lucy Liu are brilliant in their respective roles, but their characters are a bit gimmicky. That creates a slight problem because they don’t look like ferocious villains in some sequences and their costumes could have been better to make them look like villains who pose a real threat to humanity.
Rachel Zegler is the MVP here and gives a stunning performance as Anthea. She continues to enthrall us with her impeccable acting and stands shoulder by shoulder to her counterparts. It’s not easy to outclass Mirren and Liu, and she has definitely done that.
Is 'Shazam! Fury of the Gods' worth watching?
Despite strong performances and stunning visuals, the movie falls short of reaching the level that it should have. Thank god for the bombastic third act that did everything to make us forget all our shortcomings. The makers didn’t take enough risks here and did very little to push the franchise further. They could have done a lot of things to turn this franchise into one of their tentpoles, but sadly, nothing is too extraordinary here.
All in all, ‘Shazam! Fury of the Gods’ is a good addition to the DCEU line-up and it has delivered on a certain level. However, people might feel a bit underwhelmed when they come out of the theatres because they wanted to see more. We won’t be seeing these characters for a while now because Shazam, as of now, doesn’t seem to be a part of the newly-revamped DC Universe and it might take years before we see the group of superheroes once again on the screen.
Let’s hope for the best.
*** stars for ‘Shazam! Fury of the Gods’.
‘Shazam! Fury of the Gods’ is currently playing in theatres.