You don’t get your usual superheroes in “Shazam! Fury of the Gods”
Lately, I’ve grown a little wary of superhero movies: too much CGI, formulaic and repetitive plots, dull characters. So naturally, when I watched Shazam! Fury of the Gods, I couldn’t help but feel a little skeptical.
But just a few minutes into the movie, I began to feel something unexpected: I was truly enjoying myself. It’s the norm now for superhero movies to tend to break the doomsday scenarios and supervillain-induced carnage with humor breaks and jokes and this is as evident as ever in “Shazam 2”—the movie is so filled with more humor, cheeky well-written gags and well-acted delivery. And as someone that likes a good laugh, I have no complaints.
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Billy Batson, played by Asher Angel, is a typical teenager living with a Philadelphia-based foster family. But here’s the catch: when he and his siblings scream “Shazam!,” they turn into a group of superheroes with amazing powers, despite retaining their youthful mental states. The combination makes for pretty entertaining viewing. Shazam himself is played by the chiseled, wise-cracking Zachary Levi. He’s the accidental superhero, constantly second-guessing himself and creating blunders despite his abilities; and the rest of the kids are essentially the same. From disadvantaged inner-city orphans, they transform into some of the most powerful superheroes we’ve seen onscreen in a while…albeit with childlike and somewhat Gen Z-ish mindsets.
The motley crew of superhero foster kids is tasked with battling two vengeful Greek gods—descendants of Atlas—who have plans of ruling the world. The villains are played by the unorthodox but fun combo of Helen Mirren (yes, Dame Helen Mirren) and still stunning Lucy Liu—both possessing some really godlike powers in their own right. Eventually, of course, Shazam and his posse save the day much to the delight of the Philly townsfolk.
This new Shazam movie is a two-hour joy ride tailor-made for the big screen with non-stop laughs along the way. It’s diversely cast and doesn’t take itself too seriously, rivaling James Gunn’s fellow DC feature, The Suicide Squad, in terms of the sheer jokes to epic-ness ratio. “Shazam! Fury of the Gods” may have some typical superhero tropes, but it also is a charming, smartly conceived blockbuster and well worth the price of admission. Oh, and there’s a pretty epic cameo toward the end that may or may not give you some goosebumps.
Words Art Vandelay
Art Macky Arquilla