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movie reviews
Shazam! Fury of the Gods

Shazam! Fury of the Gods

The Shazamily are back to take on a vengeful trio of gods.

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There's no denying that the DC Extended Universe has had its problems and was in need of a firm hand to guide it in the future. But at the same time, we can all agree that DC has given us some good films over the past decade, and one series that stands out as a highlight is without a doubt Shazam. This superhero flick headed up by Zachary Levi's quick-witted, immature protagonist showed that the DCEU can deliver on humour, strong narrative, charisma, and charm, and while the first was a hit among fans and critics, the second seems to be sailing beneath the radar. And I say this because it really does feel like the imploding DCEU has done a number on the expectation for this film, which is sad, because it is another fun, hilarious, and entertaining romp - even if it doesn't live up to the brilliance of the original.


While I will say that the plot is less coherent and defined as that of the predecessor, with often too much happening at one point that it becomes difficult to appreciate what's on-screen in front of you before it jumps to something else wacky and weird, Shazam: Fury of the Gods' story does entertain and feature great pacing. You never once feel like it is lacking in something or that it is stretching itself too much, even if there are far too many moments that are too cheesy for my liking. I feel like as a sub-genre, superhero films need less monologues about 'the power of friendship' and so forth at this point, and Shazam 2 really doesn't skimp on going overboard on them.

Still, Levi is once again fantastic as the lead character, and delivers a performance that excels in its comedic timing and delivery. I'm not sure how much of a compliment this is to give a 42-year-old man, but he really does play a marvellous 17-year-old. There are a few faces in the current DCEU that I would like to see continue in Gunn's DCU, and Levi is without a doubt one of them as he really suits and embodies this role.

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Shazam! Fury of the Gods

And on the topic of performances, Helen Mirren plays a wonderful part in this film. Sure her action scenes leave a little to be desired, but otherwise she plays a character that commands attention when she is on-screen. Speaking about action, if there was one area that Shazam! Fury of the Gods lacks most in, it would be here. Any form of action usually revolves around some form of high-speed aerial chase, and with these featuring an extravagant use of mediocre CGI, they never come across as particularly exciting or impressive.

While I do like Mirren's role of Hespera, I found myself less impressed by Lucy Liu's Kalypso. The character comes across a bit flawed from a narrative perspective and lacks the development and backstory to really make her feel like a compelling villain or really much of a match for Levi's Shazam. If anything, the villain role in this film is really the splitting dynamic of the 'Shazamily', who are growing up and looking to explore their own individual places in the world.

But all in all, Shazam! Fury of the Gods is best described as a thoroughly entertaining film that gives me hope that this character will have a future in Gunn's DCU. It's not quite a movie that lives up to or excels that of the original, but considering the state of a lot of other previous DC movies, and the fact that Marvel finds itself in one hell of a slump right now, this Shazam sequel shows that there is hope for the superhero sub-genre.

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07 Gamereactor UK
7 / 10
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