Shazam! Fury of the Gods Review

2019’s Shazam! was a fun and emotional film that both critics and audiences enjoyed. In a world where every superhero flick needs to be connected to dozens of other movies while setting up dozens more, it was nice to have one that focused more on telling a relatable, grounded story more than being in a shared universe. Now, Shazam! Fury of the Gods has hit theaters. Let’s take a look at everything that does and doesn’t work in this high-flying sequel.

Spoilers for Shazam! Fury of the Gods are below.

The Good

Shazam! Fury of the Gods is a fantastic example of a fun blockbuster movie. There are superheroes, dragons, explosions, and other elements to make the trip to the theater feel like an amusement park ride. It feels like a classic Saturday morning cartoon done in live action with a big budget and modern effects. 

Like the first film, this sequel offers heartfelt moments between the characters and covers emotional story arcs. Billy is still overcoming his mother issues after the events of the 2019 film and eventually grows to call Rosa “Mom.” Billy’s abandonment issues are seen with how much he doesn’t want his new family to leave him or separate. The rest of the family get their fair share of heart and development as well, like Mary working to ensure their foster parents can afford their cost of living. These genuine relationships help the movie stand out from a lot of other blockbusters.

The action is even bigger than before. With the Shazam kids soaring through the air and shooting bolts of lightning at monsters and goddesses and villains manipulating the world around them, the action is intense and exciting. What makes the action sequences stand out from many other modern superhero movies is that each hit feels like it has a real impact, whether it’s someone being slammed head first into a wall or being impaled, it all looks like it actually hurts. Audience members may wince during some of these instances because of how painful each blow looks. It is mostly fun, over the top, CGI moments that aren’t anything new on the big screen, but are still every bit as entertaining.

The movie is very CGI heavy, but the visual effects all look good and are necessary for the scale of the action, powers, and monsters being used in the story. The dragon and monsters all look awesome and threatening, and the lightning looks real-enough. It all also helps the film to have a cool aesthetic.

Despite this being a comic book fantasy film, the stakes feel very real throughout. There are civilians who are killed, and it feels as though others are truly in danger. It’s also worth noting that it’s nice to see superheroes going out of their way to rescue civilians since in other movies they’d only focus on battling the villain.

The themes of the film are incorporated cleverly. The villains of the movie are siblings who can’t trust each other which causes their downfall while the Shazam kids are a group of siblings who rely on each other and win as a result. The villains reflect the themes and the reverse of what the heroes are going through, like in the first movie when the villain is someone who didn’t come from a positive support system while Billy found the perfect support system. It’s quite enjoyable to see that reflection play out.

The Bad

While the heart and emotion are great when those moments happen, it’s not as well balanced as the first movie. There’s much more superhero and fantasy action this time around with some of the heart scattered here and there throughout. It makes some of it feel like an afterthought at times.

The Shazam kids are dubbed by the media “the Philadelphia Fiascos” because of how they screw things up during their superhero endeavors. The strange part is that we never really see them mess things up or cause chaos like the news says they do. It would make sense for a group of kids to make big mistakes, but we don’t see any of those mistakes. The example given in the movie is that they fail to stop a bridge from collapsing. They manage to save everyone on the bridge and no one gets hurt, and they weren’t the cause of it collapsing, so where did they mess up? They can’t be happy that they saved all those lives? Things would have been much worse if they didn’t show up.

Billy’s inner conflict of worrying about his family not sticking together is genuinely interesting and plays well off of his arc in the first movie, but it doesn’t quite get a resolution. He never grows to accept that they’ll have their own things going on in their lives. He saves the day, there’s a happy ending, but that particular conflict isn’t addressed in the end.


Shazam! Fury of the Gods isn’t quite as great as the first movie, but it’s still an extremely fun time. There are things that definitely should have been focused on more, but that never takes away from how entertaining it is. When the heartfelt moments do happen, they’re welcome. The action is always thrilling. The humor leads to big laughs. It’s a fantastic, but flawed, popcorn flick and a terrific follow-up to the 2019 gem.

Rating: 8.5/10


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