Shazam! Fury of the Gods (2023) Movie Review

Title: Shazam! Fury of the Gods.
Rated: PG-13.
Director: David F. Sandberg.
Writer(s): Henry Gayden & Chris Morgan.
Release Date: March 17th, 2023.
Runtime:  130 minutes.
Genre(s): Action, Adventure, Comedy.
Cast: Zachary Levin, Asher Angel, Jack Dylan Grazer, Rachel Zegler, Adam Brody, Ross Butler, D.J. Cotrona, Grace Caroline Currey, Meagan Good, Lucy Liu, Djimon Hounsou, Helen Mirren, and many more!
Budget: $125 million.
My Overall Rating:

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

Previously in the DCEU:
Shazam! (2019).

It is believed that unity is strength. Through sheer solidarity, any task may seem minute, insignificant, and effortlessly surmountable. When gifted with godlike powers beyond anything a mortal could ever conceive, it is only natural for one to make the most of it, to utilize it for the greater good, to save lives, and assure the peace and safety of all those vulnerable to evil. For a group of youngsters who have yet to acquire renowned wisdom through experience, it is no easy feat to understand the weight of their responsibility, the determination with which they must work together to protect and serve, and the sacrifice required to do what’s right. After all, when the going gets tough, the tough get going. Set within the DC Extended Universe (DCEU), this light-in-tone sequel to the commercially-triumphant Shazam! (2019) looks to repeat its success or wither away with the rest of the superheroes who will eventually fall prey to the upcoming soft reboot in The Flash (2023).

What is Shazam! Fury of the Gods about? Set two years after the events in the first movie, highlighted by the downfall of Thaddeus Sivana to the Shazam Family, two of the Daughters of Atlas, Hespera and Kalypso, wreak havoc in the Acropolis Museum in Athens, Greece in the pursuit of the Wizard’s broken staff. Meanwhile, in Philadelphia, Billy Batson and the rest of his superpowered-foster siblings try to work together in daily heroic outings. Still, they are drifting apart as their interests and commitment to these new responsibilities wane. As much as they’d like to do things their way, or just be like any other normal kid out there, the arrival of the Daughters of Atlas forces their hands, leading them to work together and fight them off before they can retrieve a powerful artifact that could destroy their world and leave disastrous consequences in their universe.

(c) SyFy.

This latest DCEU affair is a twinge of pain to all fans of its predecessor. Unable to recapture the heart and soul of Billy Baston’s debut as a kid-turned-adult superhero, this sequel flails violently in a CGI cacophony, desperately trying to hide its lack of substance. With the first movie having already brilliantly covered the coming-of-age story of this teenager who finds a home among his foster siblings, there was barely much else left to explore this time around as the writers attempt a repeat with similar themes of family, love, and responsibility. Trying to prove that the future of the DCEU still has a place for Zachary Levi’s Shazam, the story contents itself with a traditional superhero adventure where Lucy Liu’s and Helen Mirren’s characters must be stopped before an end-of-the-world scenario unfolds. With a linear story at hand, there are very few surprises as the obvious issues rise and these young heroes in adult bodies fly and punch away until they figure out what needs to be done to keep the innocents from finding themselves in the crossfire.

Nonetheless, there’s still plenty to enjoy in what clearly was meant to be a family-friendly all-the-good-vibes time in theaters. While many of the comedic moments are too aggressive, Djimon Hounsou’s Wizard does steal the show most of the time, more often than not, mocking some of the predictable moments without breaking the fourth wall. The rest of the Shazam Family does get a little bit of screen time to allow for some entertaining moments but never enough to really connect with them. The only romantic subplot weaved throughout the movie is very uninspired but offers a cute distraction amidst all of the more bombastic visual and auditive chaos. Unfortunately, it is difficult to say that there’s much of any kind of character development throughout this movie. It is worth mentioning that the movie does end on a messy and wild note, highlighting a hero’s inevitable destiny in his eternal pursuit of the greatest happiness of the greatest number, with a very predictable twist that is unfortunately cowardly undone in the final moments.

(c) Variety.

The tactless and abundant usage of CGI effects across this movie, especially in the final act made for quite a jarring visual experience; wait till you see how Lucy Liu’s character awkwardly ends up sitting on a CGI creature for the entire final act. Sure, it is difficult not to have recourse to special effects when working with a group of flying superheroes and powerful Greek gods, but the corny utilization with little to no originality made for an empty carnivalesque spectacle. The loud score also went hand-in-hand with the messy show without adding much more to it than reminding viewers of the sensory overload prominent throughout the movie. The myriad of plot holes present throughout the poorly-structured story, from inexplicable motives and dialogues to flagrant ignorance of opportunity (e.g. to attack and kill one another), are terrifying and predominant but once you overlook the seriousness (or lack of), and simply unwind and embrace the chaos, there’s something stiffly fun and silly underneath that allows this movie to be better than the last DCEU movie starring Dwayne Johnson.

Shazam! Fury of the Gods is a family-friendly, jolly, and silly saga regurgitating the same themes and messages as its superior predecessor with awkward comedy and CGI effects while maintaining the status quo within the DC Universe.

X is available for purchase and on select streaming services.

Have you read any Shazam comics?
Have you seen Shazam! Fury of the Gods? Will you?
What did you think about it?
Share your thoughts with me!


40 thoughts on “Shazam! Fury of the Gods (2023) Movie Review

  1. Might want to edit this. Your closing sentences all refer to “X” instead of actually saying Shazam or S:FotG 😉

    I’m going to pass on this. While Shazam was fun, the second time I watched it I just groaned on the inside and I suspect I’d be doing that from the get-go with this one.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the heads up. I wanted this published way too fast so I wouldn’t end up thinking about more negatives and knocking off a couple more stars in the process hahahaha

      Yep, the first movie, with one viewing, is more than enough to really appreciate it… This sequel is mediocre compared to it…

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh my, this brings back memories. The cheesiness you describe in both CGI and plot remind me of my childhood enjoyment of the Shazam and Isis Power Hour every Saturday morning. My dad felt tortured when I had to watch it during his coffee and newspaper. That was nothing like the first Shazam in this series, but perhaps this second one…
    I’ll keep your thoughts on it in mind when I get around to seeing it and lower my expectations accordingly.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for reading, Sophia! I really appreciate it. Hahahaha I honestly think this sequel does resemble far more to that cult classic show. If you ever do decide to try this sequel out, I definitely agree that lowering your expectations will do wonders. 😀


  3. Yeah, I’llbe steering clear from this. The first one was moderately enjoyable; this sounds like a torture. I do wonder what possessed Helen Mirren to play in such flop, though. An ambition to flex in front of the grandchildren, perhaps??

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It actually has zero references to Black Adam, which is great since Black Adam was a terrible movie. I hear that a cameo in Black Adam of Shazam was cut out but hey… a bunch of what-ifs that don’t matter anymore now. The first Shazam! was definitely a better movie and if you have a choice, it’s better to leave it at that rather than continue on… Thanks for reading, Jeroen!


  4. I enjoyed the first film, Lashaan. Was looking forward to this one based on the trailer…but it definitely sounds like a bit of a mixed bag…a film more concerned with flair over substance. There is also the likelihood this character won’t be “carried forward” in the new DCU. I still may see this one in the theatre, but it is sounding more and more like a home watch. Enjoyed reading your thoughts on this one!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m a fan of the first movie too, Bruce. I’m quite shocked and saddened by the state of this sequel. It felt unnecessary on so many levels but if you go into the theaters to have a fun time, making sure to turn off your sense of criticism for a second (or two hours), you can come out of it having enjoyed a little bit of it hahah I do hope you enjoy this a little when you get around to it, Bruce! At least there’s John Wick Chapter 4 to make sure you’ll have at least one good cinematic experience this month! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Just came back from seeing this, Lashaan. I went into it with an open mind, and while I’m glad I saw it, it was a bit of a mess. There was a lot of unnecessary sound and fury, and not quite enough heart like the first film. With Gods involved, I’m not sure we needed all the “extra” baddies this movie (and computers) generated. Maybe a better way to craft this sequel would have been about the family learning to harness and control their new-found powers, with a “big bad” awaiting them while still uncertain how they’d win. In short, a movie that starts out right at the end of the first one, and slowly builds towards the first real conflict the family has with a power potentially greater than them. Just a thought…

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’m glad you were still able to enjoy a bit of it, Bruce! I wish they had gone with something more intimate and organized too. In the end, it was Batson’s show and he went ahead for the big sacrifice to fix it all while everyone else was conveniently rendered powerless… There are so many great Shazam stories that could’ve been adapted but clearly, they didn’t want to try hard this time around.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Wait, is that Chuck? I never watched the first movie but I did watch and enjoy the first season of the Chuck tv series. Very corny but fun, which is what it sounds like this was trying for. Too bad it didn’t work out, though.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I still haven’t got around to watching the first one. I’ve heard it’s quite entertaining, at least for a first viewing. This review isn’t the only one that’s not selling me on the sequel though. Especially for someone who hasn’t watched anything Superhero related since I gave up on the She-Hulk show half-way through.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can only recommend the first Shazam! and nothing more… This sequel was a huge step down in every way possible but still a fun spectacle if you decide to ignore all of its flaws. I have yet to check out She-Hulk… Everytime I try to muster some courage to try it, I’m reminded somehow of how bad it is hahaha


  7. As much of a mixed bag as this sounds like it’s probably infinitely better than 65 which I just saw. I mean, I heard the bad reviews but went anyway. It had a few moments, but… yeah, few. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Great review, Lashaan! To be completely honest I did not plan to watch this movie anyway as it is completely off my radar and didn’t even know it was a sequel, so at least I won’t fear missing out on it too much!

    Liked by 1 person

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