Shazam! Fury of the Gods – Film Review

It has been three years since Billy Batson was bestowed with the power of the gods and became Shazam.

Having shared his newfound powers with his foster siblings and defeated the villain Dr. Sivana, there have been few challenges for the super-hero team. Between fighting crime, helping the citizens of Philadelphia, and their study commitments, Billy is struggling to keep the team focused on their super-responsibilities.

Directed by David F. Sandberg, a new threat is here to put Shazam and the team to the test in the second film of the DC Franchise, Shazam! Fury of the Gods. The threat? The Daughters of Atlas. Hespera (Helen Mirren), Kalypso (Lucy Liu), and Anthea (Rachel Ziegler).

I thoroughly enjoyed the first Shazam! film; however I was unsure how this new instalment in the mess that is the DC Film Franchise would turn out. With all the changes that the franchise has gone through in the last year, it left me with a bit of a sour taste in my mouth. The last thing that I wanted was to see another film, enjoy it, only to have the character and actors portraying them, ripped out from under me. Whilst that feeling still lingers underneath, Shazam! Fury of the Gods is a very enjoyable film.

With the tail end of the first film seeing the foster family gain the powers of Shazam, it was great to see a bit more of the superhero forms of these characters together on screen. With Zachary Levi and Asher Angel as Shazam and Billy Batson, Jack Dylan Grazer and Adam Brody as Freddy Freeman and Superhero Freddy, Faithe Herman and Meagan Good as Darla Dudley and Superhero Darla, Ian Chen and Ross Butler as Eugene Chen and Superhero Eugene, Jovan Armand and D.J. Cotrona as Pedro Pena and Superhero Pedro, and Grace Caroline Currey as both Mary Bromfield and Superhero Mary.

The hero and sibling portrayals from each actor are just as good as each other. However, one for me stood out amongst the others just that little bit more. That is Faithe Herman’s portrayal of the young Darla Dudley. She exudes so much confidence in herself and fearlessness to boot. I wish I was as strong as her when I was a kid! I also appreciated the teen and child-like personas the hero actors took on to maintain the heart of their younger counterparts.

It was great to see Zachary Levi really embrace the role for a second time around. I could tell that he was having the best time as Shazam with the return of the nervous banter that I came to love from the first film. Despite all the drama in the DC universe right now, I really hope that they keep Levi around, because he is definitely a breath of fresh air amongst the other DC characters.

We then get to the villains of the story. Helen Mirren is fantastic as Hespera, the eldest of the three sisters. I don’t think I have ever seen Mirren in a film as a villain before and I enjoyed every moment of it. I could tell she was having the best time exploring her darker side, yet she still exuded glimpses of a moral compass.

Middle child, Kalypso played by Lucy Liu, the determination and fierce nature of Kalypso is captured perfectly by Liu’s performance. The look in Liu’s eyes at the start of the film was enough to tell me she was going to be trouble!

Last and by no means least, is Rachel Zegler as Anthea, the youngest the three. Her chemistry on screen with Jack Dylan Grazer’s Freddy was both manipulative and sweet and is executed flawlessly. The three are some of the better DC villains I have seen in a long time.

A clear stand out of the entire film would have to be the incredible score by Christophe Beck. Shazam is often compared with the likes of Superman and Wonder Woman, and there were notes of each of their individual themes mixed into the score. These themes assist the audience in realising the full potential and strength of the character. Because while he is essentially still a teenage boy, Shazam is as powerful as the come.

Shazam! Fury of the Gods has kept the fun from the first film. The humour is just as good, if not better. There is more action with just as much heart and all round, this sequel was a fun experience. One thing for sure is, you should not miss this one on the big screen. Head to the cinema and catch it, even if just for the action sequences which deserve to be seen on a full cinema screen.

Shazam! Fury of the Gods is out now in cinemas. Check your local guides for session times. Don’t let the DC Universe drama hold you back like it almost did with me. Because I would have regretted not seeing this in theatres.

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