The long-awaited sequel to the 2019 Shazam! film is finally hitting theaters this weekend. Shazam! Fury of the Gods shows the return of Billy Batson and his foster siblings as they continue to try to fight crime as their superhero counterparts while being normal school-aged kids during regular daytime hours. But much like the original film, the Shazam! sequel may have mostly a cast of children as the main characters, but the movie isn’t made for kids.
Despite their best efforts to try to fight crime through Philadelphia, Shazam! and his siblings are making a change, but there’s often more damage done to the city or the area that the heroes are blamed for over and over again. This seems to be something that a lot of other action movies seem to gloss over. And while the blame may be misdirected at the kids, the movie does show that there’s a cost to the damage that the superheroes often leave behind them trying to stop crime. The only other movie that even comes close to addressing this is The Incredibles (2004). Now, will the lives saved be worth more than the bridge that falls? Absolutely, but that doesn’t keep the news cycle moving. And in the case of Shazam! some of the decisions the kids make may not be the best when they’re trying to save people, but their intentions are (mostly) for the good of others.
With the age of Billy Batson and his siblings, the movie does get to focus on some other issues we don’t usually see in the movies as well including, school bullies, first crushes, and aging out of the foster care system. The emotional toll that these can have on kids, and teens and how it could affect their decision-making skills put the kids at a different level of risk than a lot of adults who gain powers or have them from the time they’re born.
That doesn’t mean Shazam! Fury of the Gods is all serious, the movie does pack in a lot of laughter along the way. With characters put in unusual situations, weird fantastic beasts, and even a bit of well-placed cuss words (and bleeps), the movie will have you laughing between the fight scenes.
But, much like the original Shazam! movie, there’s a darker side to Shazam! Fury of the Gods. There are moments of mind control, death scenes, and evil creatures attacking people in the street. There is even a moment where mind control is used to direct a character to commit suicide – which may be hard for a lot of viewers to watch. While there may be some jokes that seem to be directed at younger viewers, it may be a movie that parents want to watch without their own kids for the first time.
The action scenes are fast and full of magic and superpowers. But the one downfall with Shazam! Fury of the Gods is the CGI is a bit shotty in places. It seems unpolished and doesn’t quite fit the hyper-realistic backgrounds and the world around the characters. Some of the mythical creatures seem choppy compared to the world they’re in, but then some are in a better resolution and fit and interact better with the actors in the storyline. It just seems that some elements were cut or time was cut to get a better end result.
Shazam! Fury of the Gods is now in theaters everywhere. If you’re a fan of the original movie, this sequel will not disappoint you and may make you want to watch some of the other DC movies and just how their universe is shaping up.
About Shazam! Fury of the Gods
From New Line Cinema comes “Shazam! Fury of the Gods,” which continues the story of teenage Billy Batson who, upon reciting the magic word “SHAZAM!,” is transformed into his adult Super Hero alter ego, Shazam.
“Shazam! Fury of the Gods” stars returning cast members Zachary Levi (“Thor: Ragnarok”) as Shazam; Asher Angel (“Andi Mack”) as Billy Batson; Jack Dylan Grazer (“It Chapter Two”) as Freddy Freeman; Adam Brody (“Promising Young Woman”) as Super Hero Freddy; Ross Butler (“Raya and the Last Dragon”) as Super Hero Eugene; Meagan Good (“Day Shift”) as Super Hero Darla; D.J. Cotrona (“G.I. Joe: Retaliation”) as Super Hero Pedro; Grace Caroline Currey (“Annabelle: Creation”) as Mary Bromfield / Super Hero Mary; Faithe Herman (“This Is Us”) as Darla Dudley; Ian Chen (“A Dog’s Journey”) as Eugene Choi; Jovan Armand (“Second Chances”) as Pedro Pena; Marta Milans (“White Lines”) as Rosa Vasquez; Cooper Andrews (“The Walking Dead”) as Victor Vasquez; with Djimon Hounsou (“A Quiet Place Part II”) as Wizard.
Joining the cast are Rachel Zegler (“West Side Story”), with Lucy Liu (“Kung Fu Panda” franchise) and Helen Mirren (“F9: The Fast Saga”).
The film is directed by David F. Sandberg (“Shazam!,” “Annabelle: Creation”) and produced by Peter Safran (“Aquaman,” “The Suicide Squad”). It is written by Henry Gayden (“Shazam!,” “There’s Someone Inside Your House”) and Chris Morgan (“Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw,” “The Fate of the Furious”), based on characters from DC; Shazam! was created by Bill Parker and C.C. Beck. Executive producers are Walter Hamada, Adam Schlagman, Richard Brener, Dave Neustadter, Victoria Palmeri, Marcus Viscidi and Geoff Johns.
Joining director Sandberg behind-the-camera are director of photography Gyula Pados (the “Jumanji” franchise), production designer Paul Kirby (“The Old Guard,” “Jason Bourne”) and editor Michel Aller (“Shazam!,” “The Nun”). The music supervisor is Season Kent (“DC League of Super-Pets,” “The Addams Family 2”) and the music is by Christophe Beck (“Free Guy,” “Frozen II”). Visual effects supervisors are Bruce Jones (“Aquaman,” “It”) and Raymond Chen (“Alita: Battle Angel,” “The Meg”). The costume designer is Louise Mingenbach (“Jumanji: The Next Level,” “Godzilla: King of the Monsters”).
New Line Cinema presents A Peter Safran Production of A David F. Sandberg Film, “Shazam! Fury of the Gods,” which is set to open in theaters internationally beginning 15 March 2023 and in North America on March 17, 2023.