‘Shazam! Fury of the Gods’ Doesn’t Do Enough to Safeguard the Franchise’s Future

through Warner Bros.

As the primary DCU blockbuster to be launched since James Gunn and Peter Safran assumed energy, Shazam! Fury of the Gods finds itself in an undesirable place. It was shot lengthy earlier than the Warner Bros. Discovery merger, and properly previous to DC Studios deciding that it wanted one other freshening up, that means it successfully feels inconsequential proper off the bat.

There are not any ensures that any of the characters are even a part of the plan shifting ahead, which immediately stigmatizes David F. Sandberg’s sequel as being inessential; a burning ember of the previous DCEU earlier than it drops the “E” and strikes onto pastures new. After all, one of many many issues of contemporary fandom is that the goal demographic is so focused on what comes subsequent that they find yourself trying too far past the movie that’s proper in entrance of them, however the draw back of specializing in the current is that it doesn’t take lengthy to comprehend Fury of the Gods received’t be a patch on its predecessor.

Shazam! stays one of many best-reviewed and most worthwhile entries within the shared universe’s again catalogue, and whereas the thrill ranges for the second chapter might generously be described as lackluster, it could be supremely helpful to all concerned have been Sandberg and his forged to knock the sophomore journey filter out of the park. Whereas there are entertaining moments, first rate character work, and a number of other standout performances, the Shazamily can’t elevate their newest outing above mediocrity.

Even at 130 minutes, Fury of the Gods feels approach too overstuffed for its personal good, which admittedly comes with the territory when there are such a lot of shifting items in motion suddenly. Nonetheless, there’s a borderline irritating reliance on aiming for the obvious joke each trip, to the extent that it comes throughout because the figures onscreen transparently attempting to beg in your acceptance and approval. The opener was very straightforward to love for a large number of causes, however right here it’s extra cloying than anything.

That drawback is rarely extra profound than with the title hero himself, who was an endearing and heartwarming presence first trip. On his second go-round, although, Levi is extra annoying than charming, and it wouldn’t be stretching the reality to breaking level to say that each the main man and Asher Angel are comfortably upstaged by Jack Dylan Grazer and Adam Brody as Freddy Freeman and Captain Everypower (yep, that’s his superhero identify).

Having embraced their newfound skills with somewhat an excessive amount of zeal, the Shazamily have been dubbed “The Philly Fiascos” by the native press, however schisms are starting to type. Mary (Grace Caroline Curry) desires to go to school, Pedro (Jovan Armand) spends quite a lot of time watching baseball for causes that quickly develop into clear, and Faithe Herman’s Darla Dudley is simply sort of… there.

shazam fury of the gods
through Warner Bros.

Their enhanced alter-egos exist largely to prop up the set items (aside from Grazer and Brody), and whereas that’s an anticipated casualty of a superhero sequel, it could assist if the machinations revolving round them have been fascinating and interesting sufficient to carry consideration. Don’t get us unsuitable; there’s an terrible lot happening at any given time in Fury of the Gods to make sure one thing is all the time taking place, however the world-building, exposition, and fixed barrage of gags will get drained in a short time.

You’ve received what’s principally a Skittles business, a magical pen known as Steve, goth unicorns, the three daughters of Atlas who descend upon the narrative with outpourings of dialogue about wizards, spheres, a golden apple, dragons, and all the remaining, but it surely’s both troublesome to maintain monitor of what’s happening at any given level, or impossibly difficult to even care.

That being mentioned, seeing the pleasant Helen Mirren chew on the surroundings is as wondrous as you’d count on, together with her studying of a letter from Billy comfortably the comedian standout. Lucy Liu is aware of precisely what sort of film she’s in and pitches her efficiency as such, whereas Rachel Zegler presents extra coronary heart than maybe her sorely underwritten and transparently plot-propulsive function deserves.

shazam fury of the gods
Picture through Warner Bros.

On the finish of the day, Fury of the Gods is strongest when it focuses on household before everything, which is extremely ironic when the script was co-authored by Quick & Livid stalwart Chris Morgan, by no means thoughts the gag that sees Shazam reference the franchise in an alternate with longtime star Mirren’s Hespera. Billy is aware of that he’s edging nearer and nearer to the day he will get pushed out of the foster system, and although he’s been combating crime alongside his nearest and dearest for years, he’s wracked with fear and guilt that they’re all going to finish up drifting aside.

No quantity of CGI-assisted showdowns and finish of the world MacGuffins can match such a simple-yet-effective throughline no matter how arduous Sandberg and the forged attempt to ship a worthy sequel that holds all the way forward for the Shazam! saga in its arms, however oodles of appeal and some beats of real heartfelt emotion fail to paper over the various cracks on show, nearly all of which might be very acquainted to these with a data of how comedian book-derived sequels are inclined to function.

To not dive into spoiler territory, however the post-credits scenes point out that there could also be plans afoot for the Shazamily additional down the road, however a threequel is starting to appear just like the least apparent choice given the underwhelming nature of Fury of the Gods as an entire, which isn’t robust sufficient as a standalone epic to make it obvious to Gunn and Safran that the DCU can’t do with out Levi headlining at the least another solo effort.


‘Shazam! Fury of the Gods’ is a considerable step down from its predecessor, hardly ultimate when the way forward for all the franchise doubtless depends upon it.