The very unexceptional Shazam sequel doesn’t make the most of its plot’s underlying whimsy but still remains watchable.
Starring: Zachary Levi, Asher Angel, Jack Dylan Grazer,
Rachel Zegler, Adam Brody, Ross Butler, Meagan Good,
Lucy Liu, Djimon Hounsou, and Helen Mirren
Directed by: David F. Sandberg
Tagline: Oh. My. Gods.
s the DC Extended Universe attempts to reshape itself (hopefully into something more compelling than the mess we’ve gotten over the last decade), we are left with the final pre-reboot projects before the DCEU morphs into the DCU. Among these remnants is Shazam! Fury of the Gods, the second outing of teenager Billy Batson and his foster siblings who transform into adult superheroes upon reciting the titular magical phrase.
Their nemeses, this time around, are the Daughters of Atlas: commanding Hespera (Helen Mirren), vengeful Kalypso (Lucy Liu), and kind-hearted Anthea (Rachel Zegler). They seek retribution and aim to reclaim the magic that was stolen from them long ago.
The sorceresses face off against the Shazamily in what is basically a standard issue superhero caper. You have the charming, well-meaning, sometimes-bumbling good guys. You have the baddies with their textbook nefarious plan that threatens the world. And you are never in any doubt about which side will emerge victorious.
It’s all very generic and not quite as delightful as its predecessor. The story doesn’t take any interesting or creative turns and isn’t even brave enough to deliver meaningful consequences. The humour is amusing in parts, cringey in others. And the script could definitely have done with more polish.
For all its faults though, Fury of the Gods is still fun. Even when the adventure is less than exciting, the proceedings aren’t exactly boring, thanks in large part to Zachary Levi’s charisma. He remains terrific as the adult version of the protagonist (even when the writing is failing him and his character), and we can only hope James Gunn and co. will allow him to continue his Shazam journey as they rework the struggling DC franchise.
All in all, the Shazam sequel falls firmly in the “turn off your brain and enjoy the silly adventure” category. It’s a middling popcorn flick with a solid cast and enough heart and moments of wit to keep you invested in the predictable tale. If you choose to give it a pass though, you won’t be missing much.
Rating system: *Not on your life * ½ If you really must waste your time ** Hardly worth the bother ** ½ Okay for a slow afternoon only
*** Good enough for a look see *** ½ Recommended viewing **** Don’t miss it **** ½ Almost perfect ***** Perfection