In the wake of the DC Cinematic Universe's recent box office flops, such as 'Wonder Woman 1984' and 'Black Adam', 'Shazam! Fury of the Gods', the franchise's latest release, offers a promising revival.
Billy Batson, aka Shazam, is back with all of his charms amid all the controversies and heated debates surrounding the DC Universe, and he does not fail to captivate both DCU fanatics and the audience at large.
The film, which is a sequel to ‘Shazam’ released in 2019, portrays the life of Billy, a foster child who was handed over superhuman powers by an ancient wizard, and his siblings who share his powers by just calling out the word ‘Shazam’.
After defeating the evil Dr Thaddeus Sivana and the seven deadly sins with the help of his siblings, nothing changes in Billy’s life except for his muddled-up thoughts over the purpose of his powers. With the arrival of the daughters of Greek God Atlas, things take an adverse turn for Billy where he has to realise his strengths and protect his family.
Just as the film title suggests, the ‘ancient’ gods’ are angry over the new ‘Champion’ on Earth and they strive to retrieve the superpowers handed over to this 'kid’, thereby unleashing a series of chaos in the latter's realm. Billy’s efforts to save his family as well as the city and to prove his worth form the rest of the story.
The film, which is set in Philadelphia, has explored the potential of introducing new gods into the franchise, however, the storyline is predictable, like any other superhero film. It hasn't shown any reluctance to include its "signature" ensemble of stranger-looking, terrifying monsters from other worlds and gods, each of which has a different intention — one that is unrelentingly evil, while the others struggle to act morally. The makers also mention some characters of DCU’s counterpart Marvel in an interesting manner.
Zachary Levi as Shazam, Jack Dylan Grazer as Freddy Freeman and Djimon Hounsou as the wizard are a delight to watch on screen with their quirky dialogues and good performance. However, Asher Angel, who plays young Billy Batson, has less screen-space, compared to his role in the prequel. With a decent performance, other actors in the film have also done justice to their characters.
On the whole, ‘Shazam! Fury of the Gods’ is a one-time watch for somebody who missed an up-to-par superhero film from the DCU franchise. The film also comes with a surprise element — a cameo from an unexpected superhero and a post-credit scene that gives a hint into the potential future of Shazam in the DCU.