Runtime: 130 minutes
Director: David F. Sandberg
Writers: Henry Gayden, Chris Morgan, Bill Parker and C.C. Beck (creators of Shazam)
Actors: Zachary Levi, Helen Mirren, Rachel Zegler, Lucy Liu, Marta Milans, Grace Caroline Currey, Adam Brody, Djimon Hounsou, Asher Angel, Jack Dylan Grazer
By Rosa Parra
Just when I am on the verge of giving up on superhero/comic book movies, here comes “Shazam! The Fury of the Gods” to give me a lightning ray of hope (pun definitely intended). Directed by David F. Sandberg and starring Zachary Levi, Asher Angel, Grace Fulton, Rachel Zegler, Jack Dylan Grazer, Helen Mirren, Lucy Liu and Marta Milans, this sequel follows Shazam and his siblings who’ve recently acquired superhero abilities as they’re faced with three sisters who are seeking the magic that was stolen from their father.
I absolutely loved this sequel. The action is epic. The story is thrilling and emotionally moving.
The essence of the first movie transfers, even though the threat and overall atmosphere in this film expand in scope. It’s been a very long time since I’ve had a roller coaster of emotions with a superhero film. I laughed, I cried and was fully invested in the outcome of this story, mainly thanks to its brilliant ability to handle various tones and mix them with intricate relationship dynamics. Grazer once again manages to steal every scene he’s in, and his dynamic with Zegler is cute.
The villains feel threatening and menacing. The stakes were high, and these antagonists felt more complex than just one-dimensional characters. And a lot has to do with the superb performances of Mirren, Liu, and Zegler. Their dynamic is believable, and I love the seriousness they bring to their roles and the film overall. We have three female antagonists whose threats aren’t devalued because they’re women. They are strong and powerful, and their presence commands the camera immediately from the very first time their characters are introduced (which is within the first few minutes of the film).
The best form of representation is the unspoken one. We tend to hyper-focus representation on race, ethnicity, gender and sexual orientation. We don’t often consider disability, physiques and even accents. DC films have always perfected the representation of diversity and inclusion, and this franchise specifically highlights the experience of being part of the foster system.
But the film doesn’t come without its problems. Some jokes can be a bit childish, but in this case, it’s expected because we are dealing with a group of children who are trying to figure out how to solve adult issues while also trying to navigate their teenage years. Some of the visuals can be CGI-heavy and distracting.
Overall, “Shazam! Fury of the Gods” is an epic, fun, heartfelt and engaging superhero movie that gives the genre a ray of hope. Its message highlighting the importance of family, individuality, and that anyone has the capacity of being a hero is welcomed and necessary. You’ll leave the film craving Skittles and perhaps hugging those close to you.
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