SHAZAM! FURY OF THE GODS. The Power of Youth is Coming [Review]

As a cool proposition for a spring screening and an antidote to the superhero pathos of Shazam! Fury of the Gods will work more than well.

Katarzyna Kebernik

16 March 2023

Sequel to Shazam! is at least as successful and entertaining as the previous part. Everyone who liked the “first superhero movie about the mutation” (as Shazam! is jokingly called) will also like its sequel.

I’ll try without giving away too much of the plot. Shazam! Fury of the Gods understands why number one was successful and repeats the same recipe. The combination of the story of slightly awkward, not feeling well in their skin teenagers with superhero cinema once again gives a light, pleasant, family film. The young heroes are played here not by the model Zendaya and the handsome Tom Holland, but by normal-looking actors, believable in the roles of school outsiders. Shazam! Fury of the Gods has a youthful wink and nice humor (often self-referential), as well as something from the New Adventure cinema.

In the sequel, Billy (Asher Angel) will not only continue to learn his new superpowered adult form (played again by Zachary Levi) – he will also have to learn to be a good leader to his adoptive siblings, part of his newly formed team of heroes. In addition, like every teenager, he faces everyday school life and complexes, as well as the imposter syndrome, i.e. with the feeling that he is not good enough to achieve the goals set. Accustomed to constant changes of adoptive homes, Billy is also unsure of his “here and now”. All this together becomes too heavy for a teenager’s shoulders… and this mess is joined by the Daughters of Atlas, very powerful and very malicious beings whom the main character carelessly and unknowingly hurt, which made him the center of their vengeful interests.

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We watch with tenderness how the teenagers from the first part turned into young adults after three years. Freddy is still my favorite, Jack Dylan Grazer, who plays him, has also led his career so far in the most interesting way – the young actor has, among others, appearances in the seriesĀ It and the main role in Luca Guadagnino’s series, We Are Who We Are. The youngest in the cast, Faithe Herman, or Darla, is also exceptionally characterful. All relationships in the patchwork family are interestingly outlined. We like these kids, we want to be with them as much as possible. The film manages to capture both the carefree charm of teenage years and more serious dilemmas related to this period: the uncertainty of tomorrow, the need for social acceptance, the choice of a professional path, first infatuations and rejections. One of the characters will fall in love with each other, which is one of the most charming themes of the film. With a slight surprise, however, I observed that the writers clearly create the foundations for the love relationship of Billy and Mary, i.e. adoptive brother and sister … Quite a slippery thread.

The fantastic layer of the story uses Greek mythology in a creative way, we will see many monsters from various legends, often in quite perverse incarnations. Helen Mirren as the villain is – as expected – great. It’s a pity that she didn’t get more space to deepen her character, but maybe the next parts will create an opportunity for that. Also her partner in crime, Lucy Liu, with the role of Calypso reminded her of her acting talent (and the fact that she does not age at all). In turn, fans of the character of the Wizard (Djimon Hounsou) from the first part can count on getting to know this enigmatic hero from a slightly different side. A cameo of a certain character from the DC universe came out very elegant, with a nice irony in relation to the lazy plot solutions used in popular films.

It’s the kind of movie you can go to with your kids, younger siblings, husband and grandma, and they’ll all be happy. As a cool proposition for a spring screening and an antidote to the superhero pathos of Shazam! Fury of the Gods will work more than well. Probably in six months I won’t remember much about the plot, but that’s the charm of the genre. Lightness is the strongest strength.

Katarzyna Kebernik

Katarzyna Kebernik

She lives for reading, watching, listening and telling stories.

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