Shazam! Fury of the Gods (2023) is a breath of fresh air in the waning DC Extended Universe (aka the Justice League movies).
Henry Cavill is out as Superman, Gal Gadot is no longer Wonder Woman, Ezra Miller as the Flash is a PR nightmare, but throughout it all, Shazam (played by both Asher Angel and Zachary Levi) remains the one lone DC superhero standing strong in the franchise.
Following the events of the first film, Shazam! (2019), the sequel begins with the god daughters of Atlas (played by Helen Mirren, Lucy Liu and Rachel Zegler) brutally and violently getting their hands on Shazam’s magical staff (the one that granted him magical powers in the first place) and setting off a conflict between gods and superheroes.
“Children have stolen the power of the Gods,” was one of many great lines in the movie, delivered by Helen Mirren.
The three-act story and emotional beats aren’t as tightly-woven as the first film, but Fury of the Gods still has a lot of heart and comes across as great fun. It’s messy but still way better than most other DCEU films, and in my opinion, it’s even better than some of Marvel’s most recent releases like Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (2023).
The protagonists are likeable and all get their own character arcs, the villains have a simplistic quest but are nuanced and different from one another, all the magic and monsters are visually fun to see, and the action wasn’t half bad. The only criticism I have for the movie is that there were too many characters, and screen time was split unevenly amongst them. Acting standouts include Helen Mirren and Jack Dylan Grazer – they gave us some of the best scenes, but they could have done so much more given more screen time.
It’s a shame that this film is underperforming at the box office, but it’s to be expected. The DCEU announced that it wouldn’t continue with its current lineup of superheros. Similar to how X-Men: Dark Phoenix (2019) came out just as the X-Men franchise was announced to end – fans simply don’t care to pay to watch a discontinued cinematic universe. And so the box office suffers for it.
Shazam! Fury of the Gods is a good popcorn flick. I’d give it a solid 8 out of 10. Definitely worth checking out.
In his youth Alvin loved watching movies and would find himself spending his lunch money and allowance at the box office. He loved the Matrix and the X-Men films, and somewhere along the way, he discovered a love for horror movies — Hereditary, Midsommar and Mother! being his favourites. He now holds a professional writing diploma, a couple of journalism degrees, and likes to spend his free time reviewing movies on IMDB and for various magazines. @alvinwct