‘Shazam! Fury of the Gods’ zaps comedy into simple heroics

By Katlynn Rossignol

Gifted with magic from a wizard, Billy Batson and his foster siblings transform into grown-up superheroes by shouting the magic word: “Shazam!” While the team struggles to manage the responsibilities of their powers, the Daughters of Atlas steal the wizard’s staff and hunt for the seed to the Tree of Life, which has the power to destroy Earth. With the staff able to take away their Shazam powers, Billy will have to protect his family and stop the end of the world.  

“Shazam! Fury of the Gods” is funny and upbeat, with Zachary Levi leading the film with his comedic attitude. Since most of the main characters are children, the comedy is light-hearted with a self-aware edge as the children pretend to be adults. Ross Butler, D.J. Cotrona, Meagan Good, Grace Caroline Currey and Adam Brody all do a fantastic job acting as the kid’s alter egos, especially since the characters stay in “Shazam” form for most of the film. The action scenes are dynamic and fast-paced. Much of the theming for the set pieces and foes draws from ancient Greek mythology, with the Daughters of Atlas starring as the villains. 

Shazam barters with Hespera, played by Helen Mirren. The steaks have never been higher

The movie’s plot is fairly simplistic, including the introductory family conflict, the villain’s CGI army and a lesson about family connection. This simplicity is used well though, as it allows time for more character interactions within the movie’s large cast. The writing also does a great job of providing set-up and foreshadowing for events later in the movie, without being too obvious as to how they play out. 

Billy, played by Asher Angel, is concerned that he will age out of the foster system soon and lose his new family. The movie’s theme focuses on this fear and shows how Billy’s family encourages him to think about his future but also reminds him that he’ll always have a home with them. Freddy, played by Jack Dylan Grazer, is the sibling most expanded upon from the first film, as he argues with his brother Billy over how they always work in a group. The rest of the sibling’s character development is kept to a minimum for the sake of the runtime. 

Billy lecturing Freddy for going on solo missions

Although I enjoy the movie’s comedic tone and fun action, it is not without flaws. The film occasionally has sudden changes in tone that shift from lighthearted kid jokes to horrific tragedies. These moments serve the plot but are often jarring and unnecessarily violent. The characters habitually forget about some of their super abilities for the sake of the plot or make baffling decisions that even children wouldn’t make. 

“Shazam! Fury of the Gods” is a fun movie that sticks to classic superhero staples. It was a good time that didn’t tell a groundbreaking story but was action-packed and entertaining. While not the most well-written or original movie, “Shazam! Fury of the Gods” is a fun film that will make audience members embrace their inner child and shout “Shazam!” 

I recommend “Shazam! Fury of the Gods” to fans of action, comedy and superhero films.

“Shazam! Fury of the Gods” is now showing in theaters. 

Katlynn Rossignol is a freshman Communications Major and A&E writer for Cedars. She loves 2D animation, superhero movies and the color pink.

Images courtesy of DC Entertainment

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