Shazam is back after what feels like an eternity from the first film of the same name, which to be fair was just in 2019. The DC cinematic world has been rocked by repeated duds and a leadership shake-up that has led to James Gunn taking over. On top of that, based on Gunn’s own comments, many of the legacy actors won’t be back in his new vision of the DC universe. Nothing concrete has been said yet on Shazam but if we had our way, it would still be as is in the new DC Gunn is building.
Bestowed with the powers of the gods, Billy Batson and his fellow foster kids are still learning how to juggle teenage life with their adult superhero alter egos. When a vengeful trio of ancient gods arrives on Earth in search of the magic stolen from them long ago, Shazam and his allies get thrust into a battle for their superpowers, their lives, and the fate of the world.
Zachary Levi, Djimon Hounsou, and the main cast of kids, including their adult forms, all return for the sequel film Fury Of The Gods. Introduced in the sequel are 3 new characters whose identity is quickly revealed in the opening scene of the film as 2 gods have returned to retrieve the staff that Billy and his family took away from the villain in the first film. Lucy Liu and Helen Mirren play Daughters of Atlas Kalypso, and Hespera respectively. Atlas was a Titan in Greek Mythology. Their realm was sealed off from Earth eons ago but now they have been released due to the breaking of the staff.
The main cast continues to be funny and entertaining with their comedic timing throughout the film. Some of those references included poking fun at Marvel, a Fast Franchise reference with Helen Mirren, and many other cultural references that kept the audience laughing. If Peacemaker is irreverent in a darker more violence-driven way, Shazam is its polar opposite on the violence scale but still irreverent of itself and makes no apologies for it. Frankly, this level of fun and simple entertainment is a huge gap in the DC universe that perhaps James Gunn can fix, but hopefully, that means keeping Shazam in its current form apart from that.
The only small issue I have with the film is the dense mythology introduced. There was a limited amount of back story and mythology in the first film by comparison. In Fury Of The Gods, the mythological tie backs just keep coming at you at break neck speed. They don’t spend an overly awkward amount of time recapping any backstories thankfully so you can move the story forward and still get whats going on.
The film ends with a cameo that helps ground and tie it back to the broader DC universe. However, given these scenes were shot before James Gunn took over, we don’t yet know whether any of this will change moving forward. There is also a post-credit scene that ties it to another property that again reinforces hope that Shazam can and should continue in the new DC.
Overall, Shazam! Fury of the Gods is a fun and solid DC superhero film that audiences will laugh at and enjoy. And remember to “taste the rainbow mo….”
Shazam! Fury of the Gods hits theatres 3/17