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REVIEW: ‘Shazam! Fury of the Gods’ Brings Our Fam Back to Us

4/5 Shazamily members.

Zachary Levi as Shazam in Shazam! Fury of the Gods

Shazam! Fury of the Gods had a lot to live up to, and it delivers! Billy Batson (Asher Angel) is getting ready for his 18th birthday later in the year, and he’s afraid of what it means for the new family that he’s found. As he’s trying to navigate his life as a superhero and keep his Shazam family together, he starts to lose track of what’s important about the superhero gig, and we get to see a lot of growth from not only Billy, but the rest of the family, as well.

Directed by David F. Sandberg and written by Henry Gayden and Chris Morgan, the followup to the 2019 film Shazam! holds its own and makes for a more compelling emotional arc than the first one. Gone is the idea of learning how to be a hero, and instead we’re seeing how all our favorite kids are adapting to their new reality.

It’s still a fun poke at superheroes as a whole and is still connected to the larger DC universe through things like Freddy Freeman’s obsession with superheroes and magic, but overall, Shazam! Fury of the Gods brings us a fun time with the family we have learned to love and root for. And at its core is still that relationship between Angel’s version of Billy and Jack Dylan Grazer’s Freddy Freeman. Without these two brothers, the movie wouldn’t work in the way that it does, and it is beautiful to see both Angel and Grazer bring such depth to these characters.

Still though, as the Shazamified version of Billy (played again by Zachary Levi) says: It’s all about family. Granted, he was talking about The Fast and the Furious movies, but still.

Shazam! Fury of the Gods is all about family

The kids of the family in Shazam! Fury of the Gods
(Warner Bros.)

At the end of Shazam!, we saw as the kids all became their own superheroes. Billy shared his power with his siblings from the foster home, and the Shazam family was born. The problem with their powers in Fury of the Gods comes from their desire to all branch out and do their own things, while Billy is trying to keep together the one family he’s ever had.

Yes, their dynamic is fun, and they poke at each other and cause one another pain in that way only siblings canm but we really get to see Billy’s insecurities come out when it comes to his siblings. Mary (Grace Caroline Currey) calls it out in Billy, and she sees him and his insecurities as stopping his siblings from shining, but it really is rooted in Billy’s own abandonment issues.

Those are rearing their heads because of his impending 18th birthday. Still, the movie focuses on the friendship we know and love from Billy and Freddy, even if it is tested when a new girl named Anne (Rachel Zegler) comes into their lives and shows Freddy attention. But the family is all still so supportive and loving of each other that it just makes their journey one of the best parts of the movie.

A sisterhood

Helen Mirren and Lucy Liu in Shazam
(Warner Bros.)

But their big bads this time around are the gods. Hespera (Helen Mirren) and Kalypso (Lucy Liu) want to avenge their father, Atlas. When the humans revolted and destroyed their power because the gods were abusing it over their human subjects, Atlas took the brunt of the fall, and so, both Hespera and Kalypso want to recreate their world while their sister, Anthea, struggles with the choice.

However, much like the Shazam family, they are torn because they are not talking to each other or listening to each other’s needs. But at least within the Shazam family, they always have their moments when they realize that can’t keep ignoring each other. That doesn’t happen with the sisters, and as the big bads of the movie, they’re incredibly menacing and show no remorse for what they do in the name of Atlas, and it’s a very big reminder of how badass both Mirren and Liu are.

Overall, Shazam! Fury of the Gods is a strong sequel to the 2019 film and, in a lot of ways, brings us back together with our family in a new and exciting adventure. It’s truly just as good as—if not better than—the first, which is saying something because the 2019 film was incredible! Fury of the Gods is fun, emotional, and exactly why we love Billy Batson and Shazam!

Shazam! Fury of the Gods hits theaters on March 16.

(featured image: Warner Bros.)

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She/Her. A writer who loves all things movies, TV, and classic rock. Resident Spider-Man expert, official Leslie Knope, actually Yelena Belova. Wanda Maximoff has never done anything wrong in her life. Star Wars makes her very happy. New York writer with a passion for all things nerdy. Yes, she has a Pedro Pascal podcast. And also a Harrison Ford one.