Billy Batson and his foster siblings are back in the sequel to the surprisingly excellent 2019 DC film. Taking off from where we left them, Billy and the kids who can transform into superheroes by saying “Shazam!”, are forced to get back into action and fight a new evil: the Daughters of Atlas who are bent on destroying the world with an ancient weapon.While this world-ending premise seems to be overdone in many DC superhero films, Shazam! manages to keep the balance of comedy and action nicely. There are your typically overpowered fight scenes of course, but also plenty of interesting characters and some truly laugh out loud comedy.Zachary Levi is the perfect choice to play the lead hero, a teenager who’s magically turned into an adult superhero, though sometimes overdoes it. Teenager Billy Baxter played by Asher Angel does a great job at portraying a moody kid who’s worried about ageing out of the foster care system as he’s about to turn 18. Whenever Zachary Levi takes over however he suddenly seems to be about 10 years old again mentally, it was this and a few other character inconsistencies that sometimes took us out of the moment.
Where the film really shines is the group action scenes where Billy’s family have to team up to battle their foes. What could be quite a confusing mix of characters is handled expertly by director David Sandberg. We especially loved the battle scenes in Philly with ancient mythical animals including a great unicorn scene – it’s not what you think. Djimon Hounsou is also back reprising his role as The Wizard from the first film as well as Black Adam and Lucy Liu’s Calypso and Helen Mirren’s Hespera, the daughters of Atlas, are both excellent as the big baddies of the film. We especially loved the creature design of the dragon.
With the future of the DC Universe, and who gets to portray its classic heroes, in question after director James Gunn took control, we’d be sorry to say goodbye to Levi’s Shazam and hope this is one part of the franchise that’s left somewhat alone. Shazam! Fury of the Gods is a very fun romp for anyone that loves a good action-comedy, and well worth seeing up on the big screen in cinemas.
– The Plus Ones