Shazam! Fury Of The Viewers?

Movie lacks the life and rawness you’d expect from DC

A still from the movie A still from the movie

When it comes to the most hyped movies of the DC Universe, let’s be honest. Shazam isn’t really way up in that list. Understandably, it is the story about a teenager – Billy Batson – who, after acquiring superpowers via magical means, transforms into an adult whenever he shouts the name "Shazam!”

Even so, when compared to his fellow heroes, Shazam! is one of the oldest of the DC Universe. Few superheroes were created as early as Shazam by the comic book giant, which debuted in February 1940. Considering the character’s ties to the Greek gods – one of the most ancient and culturally significant mythologies – Shazam! deserves to be acknowledged right alongside Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman.

In the light of the new appointment of CEOs James Gunn and Peter Safran, there has been a lot of buzz about their plans for DC lately. According to social media, Shazam! Fury Of The Gods is an adequate sequel. The movie isn’t exactly a total game changer, but it’s watchable enough.

Bearing in mind the financial situation, where the successor of Shazam! was given the same budget of a modest 100 million as before, the movie seems to have compensated here and there. Following the events of the initial film, Billy Batson (Zachary Levi) has settled into his new family but struggles to balance his normal day-to-day with his superhero alter ego. As traction rises among the family, they find themselves facing quite the threat from the Daughters of Atlas, who have escaped from their supernatural imprisonment and are on a mission to regain the power taken from their gods. With the fate of the world at risk, it’s up to Billy and his family to save the day and stop the Daughters from unleashing chaos on the world. Taking on 3 powerful gods and one gigantic dragon isn’t exactly a visual treat – the result of some questionable VFX work.

Although there are a few good attempts to give it a comedic essence, most of the movie is seemingly bland. It may have been an attempt at creating a spiderman-esque feel, but they do not compare to their competition, Marvel Studios. The other siblings get hardly any attention as most of the starlight falls on Batson and Freddy Freeman (Jack Dylan Grazer). They are (barely) joined by Helen Mirren, Lucy Liu, and Rachel Zegler as the Daughters of Atlas, and Adam Brody, Grace Fulton, Ian Chen, Ross Butler, Faithe Herman, and Meagan Good as the Shazam family (The Shazamily, if you will).Djimon Hounsou, however, excels in his act of the Wizard, brimming with the perfect concoction of humour and seriousness.

A still from the movie A still from the movie

Whilst the storyline remains mostly predictable, there are elements that keep us hooked. The CGI is not exactly stupendous, but the idea of a live dragon being wooden is simply unimpressive. It doesn’t really portray the depth of the original Greek mythology the story is based on. The movie lacks the life and rawness you’d expect from DC.

As so often is the case with these sorts of films, Shazam! Fury of the Gods becomes monotonous with its excessive spectacle relying, combined with the not-so-spectacular CGI that make you long for a little more movement. By the time an army of unicorns are recruited by young Darla Dudley (Faithe Herman) with a fistful of Skittles, you’re all set to slap your own forehead in exasperation. Yes, the Shazam films are geared to a younger comic book movie audience, but this leans more to the pre-schooler/cartoon terrain.

Which leads us on to the million dollar question: Is the movie a total bust? Well, somewhat. If you really want to keep up with the DC storyline, it’s worth a watch. There are two juicy post credit scenes you do not want to miss. But do not go into the theatres with high expectations, as this one does not deliver.

Movie: Shazam! Fury Of The Gods

Cast: Zachary Levi, Asher Angel,Jack Dylan Grazer,Marta Milans,Faithe Herman

Rating: 1.5/5

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