The DC cinematic universe is due for an overhaul, but before that, we’ve still got a few more 'leftovers' from the last regime to enjoy. Besides Shazam: Fury Of The Gods, we’ve also got The Flash, Blue Beetle and Aquaman And The Lost Kingdom to look forward to this year, before the James Gunn revolution takes over and lays the Snyderverse to rest once and for all.
Speaking of the Snyderverse, the kooky, comedic tone of 2019’s Shazam! Stood out like a sore thumb among the movies that came out in that particular period. But at least that sore thumb was more of a thumbs up compared to last year’s dismal Dwayne Johnson-starring Black Adam.
If you were a fan of the first Shazam, then you will probably like Fury Of The Gods as well, as it really doesn’t stray far from the original’s comedic tone, and is almost old school in the way it revels in its comic book superhero origins.
Set three years after events in the first movie, Billy Batson (Asher Angel) is now on the cusp of turning 18 and ageing out of his foster home, which is making him worried about being forced to leave his foster family.
At the same time, Billy is also dealing with a serious case of imposter syndrome, as he struggles to cope with the responsibilities of being the superhero Shazam (played by Zachary Levi) while leading his ‘Shazam family’ of superheroes, made up of his foster siblings whom he gave superpowers to in the first movie.
To top it all off, a new threat arrives in the form of the Daughters of Atlas – two gods named Kalypso (Lucy Liu) and Hespera (Helen Mirren) who are out to avenge their father’s defeat at the hands of the Wizard Council led by the Wizard Shazam (Djimon Hounsou).
The first Shazam movie was a breathe of fresh air in the otherwise dour and over-serious DC Extended Universe at the time, thanks to its zippy origin story and the focus on Levi’s comedic boy-in-a-man’s-body superhero.
This time around, however, Levi has to share the superhero limelight with his fellow Shazam family members, with Freddy (Jack Dylan Grazer/Adam Brody) getting more screentime. The result is a film that doesn’t seem as focused as the first, with its multiple characters pulling the story in too many different directions at once.
Still, while Shazam’s lightning doesn’t exactly strike the same place twice in this sequel, it’s still an entertaining watch, mainly thanks to the wide-eyed, innocent, child-like shtick that Levi has been honing since his early days as Chuck Bartowski in the spy series Chuck.
Levi, along with an unexpectedly funny comic turn by Hounsou, manage to keep this from sinking like The Rock’s dour Black Adam film. (Fun fact: Black Adam is actually Shazam’s arch enemy in the comics, but don’t get your hopes up for them meeting anytime soon).
At the same time, Mirren and Liu manage to make the most of what is a pretty limited story arc for the Daughters of Atlas (though one can’t help but think Mirren was a little wasted here).
All in all, this is a decent, entertaining old school mindless superhero flick that does its job well without too much fuss. Shazam won’t be changing the DC universe any time soon, but hey, if this is the last time we see this version of the superhero on-screen, then at least he gets to go out with a pretty good bang.
Fun but formulaic superhero flick