As we all know by this point, Shazam! Fury of the Gods is one of the last films to come out as part of the DCEU, which began back in 2013 with Man of Steel. James Gunn and Peter Safran now hold the reins and are beginning to plot out their new DCU. While it’s unclear if Zachary Levi/Shazam will play a role in this new DCU, I certainly hope so because Shazam! Fury of the Gods is the most fun DC movie I’ve seen in a while (looking at you Black Adam).
The film picks up a few years after Shazam! and reintroduces us to Billy Batson and his adoptive family who all possess the powers of Shazam. Unfortunately, they don’t have the best reputation in Philadelphia and are called the “Philadelphia Fiascos”. They face their toughest challenge yet when the Daughters of Atlas (Hespera, Kalypso, and Anthea) arrive to take away their powers after acquiring the Wizard’s staff in Athens. Naturally, it’s up to Billy and his family to stop them and not only save Philadelphia, but also the entire world.
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The biggest critique I can give this film is that there are a lot of moving parts and storylines, so the story itself feels rushed at times. The film tries its best to balance each character and give them an equal amount of attention, but some of the siblings are left short at times, particularly Eugene, Mary, and Pedro. This was bound to happen though when introducing a trio of antagonists in the Daughters of Atlas.
Zachary Levi is still the perfect choice to play Shazam, and Asher Angel does a great job as Billy. He’s definitely grown up since the first film as his voice is noticeably deeper, but it still works after you get used to it. Jack Dylan Grazer is still a scene stealer and does a fantastic job, while Adam Brody gets more to do this time around and does a good job.
The rest of the Shazamily are great as well, and it’s wonderful how the adults are able to capture the persona of the kids so well. Djimon Honsou also gives a great performance as the original Shazam and gets to have more time with the rest of the Shazamily, which was nice to see.
The Daughters of Atlas were a good choice to be the antagonists of the film, but only one of them becomes the true villain of the story (I’ll leave that for you to discover on your own). Helen Mirren looks like she’s having a great time as Hespera, much like she does in the Fast and the Furious films. Lucy Liu is great as well as Kalyspo and has great rapport with Mirren. The highlight of the trio though is Rachel Zegler as Anthea; she is truly a rising star and I can’t wait to follow her career for the next few years. She has such natural chemistry with everyone she’s on screen with, especially Jack Dylan Grazer.
Overall, I would recommend checking out Shazam! Fury of the Gods in theaters when you can. These are easily up there as the best and most fun films that DC has put out the last few years. There is great humor and action throughout, as well as tons of heart from the entire Shazamily. I truly hope this isn’t the last time we’ve seen them together. James Gunn and Peter Safran, hopefully you can find a way to keep them around in the new DCU because as they say, it’s all or none.
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