Billy Batson and his scrappy foster family test their superheroes’ mettle against an ancient threat with a deadly grievance. Shazam! Fury of the Gods brings a much-needed levity, humor, and heart infusion to a comic book genre that’s been dour and depressing. Kids grow up and have to face adult problems, but reach their true potential when given the chance. The fun sequel improves on the original by taking the characters to the next logical phase of their development. It’s not all chuckles with solid action thrills and just enough darkness to make the villains truly menacing.
A mistake made during the climax of the last film breaks down a barrier that unleashes banished gods. The Daughters of Atlas, Hespera (Helen Mirren) and Kalypso (Lucy Liu), raid a museum to recover an important artifact. They make their intentions known by using restored magic to corrupt, punish, and kill. Humans are feeble creatures to be disposed at whim. They will feel a wrath that has been boiling for thousands of years.
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The Daughters of Atlas
Warner Bros. Pictures
In Philadelphia, Billy (Zachary Levi, Asher Angel) struggles to forge his siblings into a team of legitimate superheroes. Their inability to operate cohesively leads to disastrous unintended consequences. Billy also faces another troubling problem. He turns eighteen in five months and will age out of foster care. His beloved adoptive parents (Marta Milans, Cooper Andrews) will no longer get financial support to care for him. Billy doesn’t want to be a burden and feels unworthy of his alter ego’s incredible powers.
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Meanwhile, life has taken a positive turn for Freddy (Jack Dylan Grazer). He appreciates Billy’s intent to make them better but prefers to fly solo. Freddy’s liberated from his disability fighting crime in adult form (Adam Brody). He’s still bullied at school but ecstatic that a beautiful new girl (Rachel Zegler) has taken a keen interest in him.
Zachary Levi’s Hilarious
Shazam! Fury of the Gods will have you consistently laughing out loud. Levi’s absolutely hilarious as a teenager trying to deal with a doomsday scenario. There’s no quiet contemplation for him or his brothers and sisters. Scenes of them discussing possible solutions and battle tactics are comedic gold. Darla (Faithe Herman), the youngest, nearly steals the show with her sweet innocence and naïveté as a grown woman (Meagan Good). The Daughters of Atlas soon discover that Earth’s champions aren’t mature adversaries.
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The film uses Greek mythology and magic in a creative way. There are “Potteresque” elements that drive the narrative. The children have to learn about their enemies and how to fight them. The Rock of Eternity, their superhero lair, is akin to a common room at Hogwarts. A clever second act has the protagonists exploring and discovering useful new allies in a world that had previously been a mystery. Billy’s hope of them working together manifests in a natural and adventurous way.
A Dynamite Finale
Shazam! Fury of the Gods has a dynamite finale. The film builds to a spectacular conclusion with big surprises. It doesn’t make the mistake of flaming out early and ends on a sharp high note. Stick around during and after the credits.
Shazam! Fury of the Gods is a production of New Line Cinema, DC Studios, The Safran Company, and Seven Bucks Productions. It will be released theatrically on March 17th from Warner Bros.
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