The Reel Review
In this sequel to the 2019 DC Comics superhero film Shazam!, the teenage boy who is transformed into his adult superhero alter-ego upon reciting that magic word must work together with his now superhero foster siblings, when a trio of villainous superhero sisters come to Earth to take away their superpowers. All of this happens as our hero faces the prospect of aging out of his foster home with his approaching 18th birthday.
All of the charm and good-natured humor of the original film is in much shorter supply this go ’round, hampered by a corny story that is just so convoluted that it frankly makes very little sense, instead over-relying on mind-numbing CGI, hokey dialogue, and a strange juxtaposition of kid-focused humor alongside some jarringly adult-themed violence. Director David F. Sandberg (Shazam!, Lights Out) seems stuck in a no man’s land – uncertain if he wanted to make a movie for adults or for young children.
Zachary Levi’s “gee-whiz I’m a superhero” schtick, which was so charming in the original film, feels a bit tired this time, and the stunt casting of Helen Mirren, Lucy Liu and Rachel Zegler (West Side Story) as the villainous trio never really melds. The overlong film does have a considerable number of chuckles and a fun cameo in its finalé, but overall, Shazam! Fury of the Gods is serviceable but quickly forgettable, with little to shout Shazam about.
• Shazam! Fury of the Gods is a reunion of director David F. Sandberg and actress Grace Caroline Currey, who worked together in 2017’s Annabelle: Creation. In one scene, an Annabelle doll can be seen in a chair at the pediatrician’s office, continuing the Easter egg theme from 2018’s Aquaman and 2019’s Shazam! movies.
• The daughters of Atlas do not appear in the DC Comics, but are original characters created for the film.
• Michael Gray, the actor who appeared in the 1970s TV series Shazam!, has a brief cameo near the end of the film.