Shazam! Fury of the Gods contradicts speculations

Shazam! Fury of the Gods poster. Photo courtesy of

The first Shazam movie was perfect for those who wouldn’t call themselves superhero movie fans. Despite his age, Zachary Levi was good at playing this goofy teenager, and his character was likable even as his ego grew.

The new sequel, Shazam! Fury of the Gods, lasts over two hours, but the pace does not drag. There are always things to keep viewers engaged, and the story has substance.

The main criticism for the sequel is that Asher Angel plays an angsty teenage boy. In contrast, Levi plays a dopey adolescent boy who wants to have fun with his newfound powers. The montage where Shazam and his foster brother, Freddy Freeman, are testing out his powers is one of the best scenes in the movie. But the scenes with Angel interacting with really anyone just have a mopey feel. He’s mopey.

It does make sense, though. Angel’s character, Billy Batson, is a foster kid who wishes to find his mom and doesn’t feel like he belongs anywhere. But even in the scenes where he’s supposed to have fun, he always seems standoffish. He refuses to help keep his disabled brother from getting physically assaulted in school, and he claims that Freddy is being selfish. Freddy is literally bullied and just wanted someone to support him. But Shazam doesn’t seem like he would refuse that; if anything, showing up to the bullies would make him look cool.

Because of that, Billy and Shazam just don’t seem like the same people in the first movie. But the other siblings’ superhero personas are very similar. Other than that one minuscule problem, the first Shazam was entertaining and enjoyable.

The second Shazam is about Batson and his foster siblings with newly obtained powers, attempting to defend themselves against ancient gods who had their magic stolen from them many years ago.
After watching the sequel, it’s clear that some things were done better than in the first film. But on the other hand, the first movie had its strengths.

The first good thing about the sequel is that the combat is very cool. In the first movie, the combat was very chase-y and ended quickly. But in Shazam! Fury of the Gods, whenever there’s a chance for combat, it’s there, and it’s really excellent. It’s actually really cool to see the protagonists get beaten, and the only thing they can do is keep trying.

Shazam 2 also makes Billy and Shazam seem more like the same person. Granted, they did this by cutting a lot of Asher Angel out of the movie and giving more screen time to the character the audience liked more. But even in the scenes with Angel, he seems more like the goofy teenager that Levi portrays.

Objectively, this sequel is a little bit funnier than the first. Both films are amusing, but the first Shazam gave a better setup to each joke. The bits felt more connected throughout the first movie, whereas the second Shazam has more quick jokes.

The worst thing about this sequel is the forced romance between Freddie, a 17-year-old, and Anthea, a 6,000-year-old God! Why did they do this? They did not need to do this. It would be understandable if the characters had any chemistry, but they just don’t. Watching them interact — not even flirt — is awkward and really hard to watch. The parents are mildly uncomfortable with their relationship, but they should be disgusted!

Taking everything into account, Shazam! Fury of the Gods isn’t that bad. It is way better than most people speculated it would be, and it’s quite entertaining. It has some cringe moments and some great moments. Because of that, this movie deserves a 3/5.