Shazam! Fury Of The Gods (2023)
PG-13 ‧ Action/Adventure ‧ 2 Hours 10 Minutes
Written by Henry Gayden, Chris Morgan
Directed by David F. Sandberg
Zachary Levi, Asher Angel, Jack Dylan Grazer, Rachel Zegler, Adam Brody, Ross Butler, Meagan Good, Lucy Liu, Djimon Hounsou and Helen Mirren
(In their own words) 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.
The BEST things about the film
- The comedy. It is a very funny film. For the majority of the film, the comedy is played really well. By that I mean the acting is played with purposeful intention with complete seriousness by the actors. The situation is funny and funnier because of how truthful and earnestly the actors are going at it. What doesn’t work for comedy is when the actors are “playing for laughs.” 90% of this film, they do the superhero comedy right. Honestly, there are a lot of ways they handle humor that I think Marvel could learn from. They let serious moments be serious, and comedy be comical.
- Pacing. The film really moves quickly and keeps you fully engaged.
- The actors. There are some top-notch actors in this film. Helen Mirren as a villain is just a wonderful treat. Make the best actors the villains because it just raises the stakes so much.
- Story. The story really is interesting. They managed to keep it feeling a bit fresh for a superhero film because it is just different enough in tone. I really think it helps that they are leaning into the comedy aspect rather than just making it a super serious film that breaks up serious moments with a random joke (cough, MCU, cough).
The WORST things about the Film
- The overacting for laughs. As mentioned above, 90% of the film, the comedy is done right. But when it is done badly, it’s really hard to watch and I can’t stand the actor the moment they do it. At times it makes it feel like the actors are in different universes. The director has to be consistent and decide if the film is gonna have a slapstick over-the-top Nickelodeon kids’ comedy or it’s gonna be a good comedy.
- The ending. I am not really too pleased about how they make the moment at the end happen. I could write an essay about what is wrong with just the ending.
- Cringy age difference for love interests. I don’t want to get too into it and spoil things, but I will definitely talk about this in a discussion episode.
- Too many characters. With all of the foster family kids superheroes now, there just isn’t enough time to really care about each of them. I think if they are going to continue this franchise, it might run better on the small screen as a series so we can get invested in all the characters.
The sequel to any film is really a challenge. Origin stories are usually always more interesting because there’s a lot of fun in watching characters discover who they are becoming. This sequel does a really good job in continuing the energy as Billy Batson is now comfortable with his powers but trying to figure out where he fits in the world as a superhero. He is at a crossroads of looking at graduating high school and not knowing if he can be with his superhero family much longer. The beauty of using teenage characters as superheroes is they are trying to figure out so much more than just their superpowers. They don’t even know who they are as a person and the powers and new responsibility just add to their personal chaos.
True power comes from working together.
IS IT REWATCHABLE?
Yes. Very fun film.
THE FINAL WORD
Lightning may have struck twice for this superhero sequel. They lean in strong on the comedy and it works 90% of the time. This franchise has probably done the best job of creating a comical world to play in. Really strong actors as our villains with Helen Mirren and Lucy Liu playing the daughters of Atlas really elevate the film. Shazam also manages to be one of the better sequels in the DC world. They manage to keep some of the naivety that origin stories typically have and bring it into the sequel. A benefit of having teenagers as the superheroes.
This isn’t a groundbreaking superhero film, let’s be clear on that. But it does have surprises, a level of freshness, and an extreme level of fun.
My 3L system gives me the choice to Love It, Like It, or Lose It.
Shazam! Fury Of The Gods gets a Like It.
THE MEME REVIEW