Shazam! Fury of the Gods

Any doubt whether Shazam was going to make the cut to the new DCU is gone.
51/10064841
Starring
Zachery Levi, Helen Mirren, Lucy Liu, Djimon Hounsou
Director
David F. Sandberg
Rating
PG-13
Genre
Action, Adventure, Comedy, Superhero
Release date
March 17, 2023
Overall Score
Rating Overview
Plot/Story
Visuals/Cinematography
Performance
Direction
Non-Wokeness
Rating Summary
Shazam! Fury of The Gods is as middling of a superhero movie as has been made. With inconsistent and mediocre performances, artificial-sounding dialogue, and creature designs right out of the original Clash of the Titans, it’s a fitting clarion call for the end of the DCEU.
Audience Woke Score (Vote)
Please wait...

Set two years after the events of 2019’s Shazam!, Fury of The Gods finds our erstwhile confident and braggadocious hero experiencing a crisis of confidence.

Shazam! Fury of The Gods

In Shazam! Fury of The Gods, Billy Batson (aka Shazam) has spent the last two years as the de facto leader of his super-powered foster brothers and sisters, and it’s not been going well. The super-team will perform heroic tasks like saving people from a collapsing bridge but not save the bridge, so the media will lambaste them as failures. Now, Billy’s only a few months from turning 18 and “aging out” of foster care. So, in addition to feeling inadequate, he’s been smothering his brothers and sisters out of fear of losing the only family he’s ever known, and they are pushing back.

slide 1
1 Vacation
2 Shop
3 Amazon

On paper, it sounds like a solid premise for an interesting superhero movie that deals with identifiable themes not usually addressed in big-budget CGI-laden punch-it-till-it-stops-moving flicks. In fact, I found myself rereading that paragraph and asking myself, “how did they screw this up?”

The first Shazam! was lauded mostly for not sucking, and this film falls trap to many of the same issues that have plagued superhero sequels forever. There are more superheroes/main supporting cast members, more villains, more subplots, and WAY more of the juvenile humor that was dosed out just enough to make the last entry somewhat endearing (like a lot lot more). Mix in a gluttonous amount of convenience and contrivance, and you’ve actually got a bit of a mess on your hands.

One of the biggest criticisms of the first movie was that Billy Batson and Shazam behaved so differently from one another that they were basically two different characters. However, Zachery Levi’s childlike enthusiasm as the titular character could be somewhat forgiven because of the excitement and newness of Batson’s transformation. No matter how dower one might be, it’s virtually impossible to believe that nearly everyone wouldn’t be wearing a huge grin on their face for the first several months of being able to fly and toss city buses around like toys. Furthermore, Levi was a delight to watch.

Now, two years later, Shazam is still goofy and far more immature than the streetsmart and brooding boy that lies beneath the cape, and what was once charming has worn thin and comes across as childish and oafish. Combine that with an underdeveloped and underwhelming super-team/cast, and the film’s foundation just can’t support the bloated weight of its many plots and subplots.

The primary plot is that the three daughters of the Titan Atlas (you know him for his maps and globe-supporting statue) are seeking revenge on the last remaining wizard responsible for their father’s death and their millennia of imprisonment. They also want to find the beneficiaries of his power and reclaim it for their own. Also, one of them just like wants to be like left alone by her big sister and like be allowed to live. Also, one of them wants to trick the Shazams into taking her to their secret hideout so that she can find a golden apple. Also, they want the golden apple because it holds the seed of the tree of life and can restore their realm to its glory. Also, one of them wants to destroy the world of man. Also, the Shazams need to find unicorns.

But wait, there’s more: Billy still needs to overcome his “imposter syndrome” and become the team leader/superhero that he is destined to be. Early in the film, The Wizard sends him a magic voicemail to tell him that he sucks and is embarrassed by his decision to make Billy “The Champion.” Then toward the end of the film, The Wizard randomly decides to change the meaning of wisdom to that which is actually the complete opposite of wisdom, and then Billy suddenly has confidence and starts making good decisions. There’s no good reason for this. Billy doesn’t do anything to earn it. It was simply the time that the algorithm determined that the hero needed to get his act together, so it happened.

Even with all of this going on, the movie has time for the youngest of Atlas’s daughters to fall for the crippled Shazam kid and for him to fumble around and mug at the camera. Keep in mind that she is 6,000 years old and he is only 17. Even Leonardo DiCaprio thinks that’s pushing it.

shazam fury of the god
It’s ok because she looks like she’s the same age.

Do you see how much the flick is trying to shove into this sausage casing? It’s far too much, and none of it is delivered with any pizazz or even much competency.

There’s a Family Guy episode in which the Griffins vacation in Purgatory. While they’re there, they just sort of float in nothingness, and comment to one another that it’s not that bad…but it’s not that good either. They might as well have been talking about Shazam! Fury of The Gods. Some of the effects are kind of ok, while others aren’t that great. The dialogue gets you to the next scene, but it’s not particularly good. The jokes are plentiful, but the beats feel like a 90s sitcom waiting for a laugh track. The plot could have been worse, but it could have been better.

When the ozone clears and your eyes readjust from the lightning blast, Shazam! Fury of The Gods is entirely mediocre and doesn’t need to be watched. Watch the superhero film that started it all instead.

WOKE ELEMENTS

  • Wolf Blitzer makes repeated cameos as himself while newspositioning (i.e. exposition via news stories).
  • Just in case you forgot that the overweight foster child is gay, they make sure to remind you multiple times with all of the skill and subtlety of a Kamala Harris interview.
  • A large group of foster kids in a large urban environment being diverse makes total sense. Two-thirds of a trio of goddesses from greek mythology being made up of one Chinese woman and another Columbian woman does not make sense. Therefore, the casting was purely to check off more Hollywood intersectional quota boxes. Especially especially since Rachel Zegler had all the charisma and range of Freddy’s cane in the film.
  • The goddesses exclusively refer to themselves as gods instead of goddesses. Somehow the masculine form is gender-neutral and empowering? Ok. Go patriarchy.
  • Skittles are used as the world’s most obvious diversity metaphor and cheapest McGuffin.
  • Unicorns are used as the world’s second most obvious diversity metaphor and second cheapest McGuffin.
  • While they cut away a fraction of a second before she completes the word, the youngest and most sickeningly sweet of Team Shazam drops an F-Bomb for the sake of comedy…because nothing says funny like taking a big runny dump on a child’s innocence…amiright?
  • Words (really just one word) with meaning established over generations are randomly and haphazardly redefined to fit a particular narrative, and the new meaning is the complete opposite of its actual meaning.

GET NOTIFIED!

Latest Reviews

We'll email you a heads-up when we publish our latest reviews.

Look for your confirmation email

SELECT EMAIL FREQUENCY

Look for your confirmation email

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply

GET NOTIFIED!

Latest Reviews

Choose to receive our updates weekly or monthly.

Look for your confirmation email

SELECT EMAIL FREQUENCY

Look for your confirmation email

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply

James Carrick

James Carrick is a passionate film enthusiast with a degree in theater and philosophy. James approaches dramatic criticism from a philosophic foundation grounded in aesthetics and ethics, offering insight and analysis that reveals layers of cinematic narrative with a touch of irreverence and a dash of snark.

6 comments

  • Woker Wokinson

    April 8, 2023 at 11:37 am

    Hahaha, thank you for giving me a cushion to nose dive on

    Reply

  • KTW

    April 30, 2023 at 3:21 am

    All movies and TV series should come out with a woke rating/factor (John wick 3 = 0, Peter Pan & Wendy = 9) to alert all the good people before they waste their precious time and money and slow the perverse woke indoctrination of our children.

    7
    1

    Reply

    • James Carrick

      April 30, 2023 at 9:46 am

      If they did that, I’d be out of a job! lol

      Reply

  • stanedgie

    May 16, 2023 at 12:46 pm

    Thank you James and Team for this amazing site, and for your reviews that all of us sane, practical, free thinking, balanced people can enjoy, and use as a good base to determine what media is worth watching these days.

    4
    1

    Reply

  • Ravey gravy Davey

    June 4, 2023 at 5:05 am

    The gay kid plotline added nothing to the film. It existed purely because someone wanted to add a woke message.

    5
    1

    Reply

  • John

    June 10, 2023 at 2:19 am

    This movie ticked off nearly every single woke trope in the book. The contradiction is that they are pushing the idea that in order to be a superhero you need to have the perfect body and perfect face. Looks like they forgot one woke tope….inclusion of the aesthetically challenged!

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Related Posts

   

GET NOTIFIED!

Latest Reviews

We'll email you a heads-up when we publish our latest reviews.

Look for your confirmation email

SELECT EMAIL FREQUENCY

Look for your confirmation email

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply

Ads Blocker Image Powered by Code Help Pro

Ads Blocker Detected!!!

We understand—ads suck. But they help us keep this site running and provide you with valuable content.

There are a couple of ways that you can support us:

  • Turn off your ad blocker, or add us to your safe list.
  • Choose one of our memberships to remove ads and enjoy exclusive benefits.

Support our mission and enjoy a seamless, ad-free browsing experience.

Choose Your Membership and Go Ad-Free!

[See Membership Options]

or

[Member LOGIN]