When we last saw, Billy (Asher Angel), the teenage boy who can transform into an ultimate, strong and charming superhero (Zachary Levi), he was fighting crime with his fellow adopted family brothers and sisters. However, leading a team isn’t easy. Each day Billy doubts himself and whether his choices are right or not. He even has trust issues, hoping his fellow team members never leave him like his parents once did.
But maintaining a team’s strength isn’t the only issue for Billy. Soon Earth is invaded by ancient goddesses Hespera (Helen Mirren) and Kalypso (Lucy Liu). Hespera and Kalypso are on a revenge mission and carry power unlike anything the world has ever seen. But before their final takeover occurs, they seek the chosen one who was given a gift from a wizard. Now Billy will try to protect his family, as well as having to find a way to defeat the ultimate gods so he can save the entire world.
Shazam! Fury of Gods is, in fact, a sequel to Shazam!, which was released back in 2019. If you’re unfamiliar with the original film, I would recommend a rewatch as the sequel does make various references to key moments. Several returning characters are also present.
I’m proud to say that I love Zachary Levi as Shazam, and he is easily the best part of the entire film. His interaction with many other characters (including the villain played by Helen Mirren) is delightful. While the film is filled again with lots of random gags and fast-paced talking, Zachary Levi also manages to deliver heartfelt moments, which I’m confident younger audiences and families are going to enjoy experiencing.
However, as a plot, I found this story either uninteresting or filled with predictable moments. My investment in the various side characters was also at a low point. The film doesn’t push its limits, and everything and everyone feels safe and protected. The final showdown is CGI-heavy and overstays its welcome. The soundtrack is sadly forgettable, yet sound effects in the areas of bass were a major strong point. If you are someone who can’t stand witnessing product placement in a film, be prepared to see some of the most horrible and corniest product placement I have ever seen. Witnessing one hero feeding Skittles to an angry monster and questioning if they can taste the rainbow only made me want to Shazam out of my cinema instantly.
Overall, as a fan of the previous instalment, I’m saddened by how disappointing I found this instalment to be. Sure, it successfully carries the strengths of what fans loved in the original film, such as a fast-paced talking hero, witty gags and random moments. Let’s not forget the high level of heart and charm, particularly from the talented actor Zachary Levi. The plot here is a weaker aspect, with an uninteresting main story, unneeded romantic subplots and predictable reveals. The cuts between scenes at times feel uneven and clunky. The final ultimate showdown is not only CGI heavy and dragged out, but it also combines some of the corniest product placement in cinema history, which only made me want to Shazam my way out of my theatre as quickly as possible. It’s a huge step down in the quality and story, but some fun can still be found. In the end, I guess I couldn’t taste the rainbows.