REVIEW – “Shazam! Fury of the Gods”

Shazam! Fury of the Gods is directed by David F. Sandberg and written by Henry Gayden and Chris Morgan, and stars Zachary Levi, Asher Angel, Jack Dylan Grazer, Rachel Zegler, Adam Brody, Ross Butler, Meagan Good, Lucy Liu, Djimon Hounsou and Helen Mirren. It tells the story of Billy Batson and his fellow foster kids, still learning how to juggle teenage life with their adult superhero alter egos. When a vengeful trio of ancient gods arrives on Earth in search of the magic stolen from them long ago, Shazam and his allies get thrust into a battle for their superpowers, their lives, and the fate of the world. While Shazam! Fury of the Gods is a nice change of pace after the recent onslaught of middling Superhero tentpoles, it still rings empty. Strong performances and a fun sense of humor can’t save this sequel from feeling a bit unnecessary and aimless.

David F. Sandberg proves to be a big budget filmmaker with a lot of personality. While I do have many issues with the film, Sandberg’s direction remains a highlight. Shazam! Is in a lot of ways a breath of fresh air for the superhero gerne, especially after following the abysmal output from a rival company that will not be named. Shazam! Is light and fun. It doesn’t take itself too seriously and doesn’t just exist to set up a franchise or sequel. That being said, Sandberg does struggle to really keep this together. It’s clear Sandberg is much more interested in spending time with these characters, rather than building another “end of the world” super hero narrative. The weakest parts of Shazam are related to the villains and the third act.

The cast all does a fine job in this and Zachary Levi continues to be a great leading man. Unfortunately, they are not utilized to their fullest this time around. The “super-family” is rarely used throughout this film and even Levi feels underused. By the end of the film you feel as if nothing has happened. As I write this review, I struggle to even remember what happened. Rachel Zegler is great here, but I really hope she decided to take more interesting and challenging projects. She’s such a talented actress and I shutter to think her next film will be the live action “Snow White”. This ensemble tries their best, but by the end no one really leaves any impact.

In short, while Shazam! Fury of the Gods features a few inspired moments and funny sequences, it can’t help but get lost in the oatmeal that is super-hero movies these days. Late-stage cinematic universes are proving to be a slog.

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