Shazam 2: Fury of the Gods Earns Three Stars
Last updated 10/19/2023 at 1:58pm
Zachary Levi is back as Shazam, a teenager, who can turn into an adult superhero, and his band of foster siblings who are trying to save the world from angry Greek gods. There's a lot of silliness in this as kids are trying to be grown ups in this superhero adventure. I laughed a lot at this. Some jokes are cheesy though.
Helen Mirren, the Queen herself, and Lucy Liu are the villians in this. They play Daughters of Atlas trying to reclaim the world for themselves somehow. There are some good fight scenes, great special effects, silly jokes, Philadelphia is destroyed, there's a dragon and a side plot involving a cute teen romance amongst two side characters.
All the plot details involving a lot of mythology is a bit tough to keep track of but it really isn't necessary to understand the basics of what's going on. It is just a fun time at the movies.
Like the previous installment, this movie is directed by David F. Sandberg who has mainly directed horror movies. The 1st movie, while very much part of the DC Extended Universe as originally Envisioned by Zack Snyder, had its own voice from the other movies and is a bit lighter in tone than the Man of Steel and other movies. This sequel retains a lot of that same feel which I liked. The movie is very much not too serious and it's not too dark or depressing.
Shazam and his family of heroes are trying to be both kids and adults at the same time. It reminded me a bit of the 80s Tom Hanks movie Big. This leads to a lot of silliness as they switch roles and try to make adult decisions from their obvious lack of experience. Some growing up does happen as the movie progresses.
This group of heroes is continuing to learn to be a team but also learning to be their individual selves at the same time. This is something many teenagers go through as they transition to adulthood. The difficult balance of family and individuality is a theme throughout the movie that I think many viewers would relate to.
This movie is one of the last projects from the Snyder-verse as DC moves away from that era with its new chief at the helm, James Gunn known for his Guardians of the Galaxy movies. As far as overall plot this film obviously suffers from a bit of neglect. The viewer can tell that it might have been better had it been able to fully connect to a broader story that is no longer going anywhere. There are parts of this movie that mean nothing now and the viewers know it.
There's some great cameos and Easter eggs throughout the movie including some references to the show Peacemaker on HBO Max.
Overall this is just a fun movie. It's fun for the whole family and everybody can enjoy it. Three out of five stars. I recommend it.