High Expectations, Low Results

Review of ‘Shazam! Fury of the Gods’


“Shazam! Fury of the Gods” directed by David F. Spielberg and starring Zachary Levi, released on March 17. The movie features a group of teenagers who are granted with the wizard Shazam’s power and decide to fight crime while hiding their superpowers from their parents. Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, the movie has grossed f $104.1 million since its release. (Heidi Williams)

Heidi Williams, Reporter

Growing up, the best way my family would spend time together was at the movie theaters. No matter what genre, we booked tickets immediately. Since we moved, though, that sought-out family connection accompanying each movie quickly faded. Still, my brothers and sister maintained a rivalry lasting for years: Marvel versus DC. My sister was constantly fangirling over Superman, whereas my brothers looked up to Thor and Iron Man. Naturally, I sided with my sister on this conflict, but recently decided to see if DC was my cup of tea by watching the new movie “Shazam! Fury of the Gods.”

I’ve always been up to date with DC’s most famous releases, but not its lesser-known superheroes. Though Shazam is pretty well known, I wasn’t excited to watch the first movie in 2019. After four long years, I finally went to watch “Shazam!” However, without even watching the first movie, I walked straight into the movie theater’s doors with high hopes of its 2023 sequel.

I didn’t know what to expect. Watching the trailer, I first noticed that Wonder Woman was going to be included. As a big fan of hers, I was excited to watch Wonder Woman and Shazam work together to defend their city, Fawcett City. Unfortunately, 45 minutes of this 2 hour movie passed without a DC Universe superhero. As a long time fan of Superman and Batman, I was expecting some existing heroes to be mentioned and fight alongside Shazam. Throughout the entire movie, Wonder Woman was mentioned twice: once in the beginning and the last time in the end. I was pretty disappointed, needless to say.

Ignoring this, being around a funny crowd made the movie much more enjoyable. The movie tried to incorporate up-to-date “memes,” but that just led the movie to being a bit cringey. The crowd would occasionally say their mind, and those tidbits made everyone laugh. Led to believe it was an adventure or action movie, it surprisingly turned out to be a comedy. Having people sitting in the back and commenting on everything made the movie better.

I was a little lost at the beginning of the movie, though. Not knowing Shazam’s identity or his backstory, the setting in the first half made no sense. The teenagers in the movie had a similar premise to other popular TV shows, such as “Miraculous” or “Henry Danger.” Teenagers Billy, Freddy, Pedro, Mary, Eugene and Darla were able to transform into a new body which held their Shazam powers in a small ring. Calling out “Shazam!” the group transforms into adults in Shazam suits. The group hid their secret from their friends at school and even their foster parents.

The group was quick to help the town with its problems, but the news always found something to pick at with the group. For instance, the Shazam Family saves multiple citizens’ lives from a bridge collapsing as the movie’s first heroic act. Even then, the news only shared their failure to save the bridge. After every mission, Billy —the Shazam who was originally granted powers— constantly tried to regroup and discuss what the group did and how they could do better. However, Freddy was disinterested and quick to leave, which led the other members to leave as well. This led to the movie’s main plot, where all the Shazams go save Freddy.

The plot was very easy to follow. There were only a couple of plot twists, but the audience can see it coming fairly easily. I wasn’t necessarily bored during the movie, but the movie went a little slow at some points and added some random scenes where I wasn’t sure how they went into the plot.

Personally, I wouldn’t watch the movie again, as it didn’t give me the same level of excitement as other movies. The cringey dialogue and failed attempts at connecting with teenagers made me lose interest pretty fast. I set my expectations a little too high.

Overall, I give “Shazam! Fury of the Gods” a 2/10.