Shazam! Fury of the Gods (2023) Review

Better than Expected


Shazam! Fury of the Gods delivers what you’d expect but it’s far more entertaining than the trailers would have you believe with some impressive action set-pieces and funny moments. It’s silly stuff and it doesn’t really stand out amongst all the other superhero fare but it’s still a fun time.

Plot: Bestowed with the powers of the gods, Billy Batson and his fellow foster kids are still learning how to juggle teenage life with their adult superhero alter egos. When a vengeful trio of ancient gods arrives on Earth in search of the magic stolen from them long ago, Shazam and his allies get thrust into a battle for their superpowers, their lives, and the fate of the world.

Review: The trailers for Shazam! Fury of the Gods weren’t the greatest, so I never bothered going to see it in the cinema; judging by its box office most of the audience felt the same way. Barely a month after its release the movie is now on VUDU so I figured I would give it a watch and admittedly it was far better than expected and I think I even prefer it to the first film.

The script doesn’t always work but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t laugh at several points and the film is just good-natured fun. The visual effects are impressive and I’m a sucker for movies with monsters in them and this has plenty.

The cast do their best and Helen Mirren never phones it in; even in a movie this silly she brings some gravitas. Zachary Levi is once again appealing as Shazam although he seems to act like more of a kid than his alter ego Billy Batson. In this tale Billy is struggling to let go of his abandonment issues desperate to keep his family when it seems like life is pulling them in opposite directions. It gives the movie enough heart, so we still care about him, and the family are all appealing too with Freddy once again having all the best lines. I do wish there was a scene with Freddy changing into his superhero form and dropping bullies from a great height… but I guess that wouldn’t be very heroic.

It’s a fast paced 2 hours and although the action is the usual comic book movie stuff, I did enjoy the bridge rescue scene which felt like an old-school Superman sequence.

I’m sure you already know but in case you didn’t I’ll give you a spoiler warning – the cameo at the end was one of the highlights, especially using the character’s epic theme tune which was arguably my favourite moment of the entire film.

The biggest issue with the film is that it now feels utterly pointless; with James Gunn taking over the DCEU this and any of the other upcoming movies (Like Aqua Man 2) feel like a waste of time as I’m pretty sure they aren’t going anywhere as none of these characters have movies announced any time soon. Luckily this works as a standalone feature and although a few things are teased it doesn’t ruin the enjoyment for this movie.

Overall, Shazam! Fury of the Gods is silly but still a fun time with likeable characters, impressive visual effects and some decent action scenes. It feels like it’s aimed at younger audiences but there’s plenty for the whole family to enjoy.