Shazam: Fury of the Gods * I Laughed, Cried, And Felt Every Emotion Watching This Film. It Is Entertaining From Beginning To End

Bestowed with the powers of the gods, Billy Batson and his fellow foster kids are still learning how to juggle teenage life with their adult superhero alter egos. When a vengeful trio of ancient gods arrives on Earth in search of the magic stolen from them long ago, Shazam and his allies get thrust into a battle for their superpowers, their lives, and the fate of the world.

KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Tiana S. comments, “I laughed, cried, and literally felt every emotion watching this film. It is entertaining from beginning to end. The plot twists and special guest appearances are mind-blowing as well.” Avani M. adds, “… Zachary Levi makes this movie amazing! He is so funny as Shazam! because he portrays a teenager’s personality so well. He also shows that a superhero can have insecurities too. Helen Mirren is great as Hespera because she plays a very menacing villain…” Katherine S. adds, “This is a mediocre movie that I wasn’t particularly drawn in to. I feel as though it lost sight of the values and characteristics of the first movie. Although it does explore more about the origins of Shazam, the story and character development didn’t engage me as much as I hoped it would.” Zoe C. wraps it up with, “The most heartwarming superhero is back in a bigger and better second installment: Shazam! Fury of the Gods really delivers the goods… and the gods! This film is unique among the DC universe because how it gracefully combines humor with action; is completely relatable and absolutely family oriented entertainment all at once.” See their full reviews and interviews below.

Shazam! Fury of the Gods

By Zoë C, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic age 14

The most heartwarming superhero is back in a bigger and better second installment: Shazam! Fury of the Gods really delivers the goods… and the gods! This film is unique among the DC universe because how it gracefully combines humor with action; is completely relatable and absolutely family oriented entertainment all at once.

The “Shazamily” is back! This film takes off where the first one ended. Billy Batson (Asher Angel) has bestowed powers to his foster brothers and now, as a team, they will fight crime together. However, a great menace comes from the daughters of Atlas, a trio of sisters from the Greek mythology who are battling to take back the God-given powers activated by the word Shazam!

With a great storyline, fueled with lots of humor, themes relatable to teenagers, visually stunning action sequences, lots of heart, a dragon and even unicorns, Shazam! Fury of the Gods is a great option for movie goers like me and evokes the nostalgia of the great family / adventure / fantasy films of the 80s and 90s like Goonies, Jumanji, Flash Gordon and Superman. The special effects really work and I believed in all those creatures that this group of super heroes confronts. In this sequel, the storyline is a bit darker and actor Djiimon Hounsou reprises his role of Shazam with more screen time and funny lines. Acting wise, the Shazamily expands with the presence of Hespera (Helen Mirren), Kalypso (Lucy Liu) and Anthea (Rachel Ziegler) playing the Daughters of Atlas. Mirren brings a lot of gravitas while Liu is always fun to watch and Zegler successfully misleads the audience in her role. Directing Shazam! Fury of the Gods is David F. Sandberg, who also directed the first film and proves to understand and give life eloquently to this franchise. Zachary Levi is the perfect Shazam; not only he is a great genuine comedian, but also, embodies the hero with contagious enthusiasm. Jack Dylan Grazer really shines in this film as Freddy Freeman, a bigger role and one where he connects so well with the audience.

This film brings to attention the marvelous mission of foster families and the role they play in society. Among the messages of this film are: keep the kid inside of you while you grow up; teamwork is important; the notion of “family” is the one you make and not necessarily the one you were born with.

I give Shazam! Fury of the Gods 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. Shazam! Fury of the Gods opens in theaters March 17, 2023.

Shazam! Fury of the Gods
By Tiana S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

Enjoy Shazam! Just like that, our favorite foster family of heroes is back in Shazam! Fury of the Gods. I laughed, cried, and literally felt every emotion watching this film. It is entertaining from beginning to end. While people tend to be suspicious of sequels, this is well done and is sure to surpass the original. The plot twists and special guest appearances are mind-blowing as well.

Taking place in Philadelphia, Shazam! Fury of the Gods continues the story of Billy Batson (Asher Angel) who turns into his adult superhero alter ego, Shazam (Zachary Levi), when he yells “SHAZAM!” In this sequel, he is pursued by the Daughters of Atlas, who come to Earth to avenge their father’s death and retrieve the magical powers that the wizard Shazam (Djimon Hounsou) took from their father, Atlas. Joined by his family of fellow superheroes, Billy must defeat the three ancient goddesses in order to save the planet.

Billy Batson/Shazam is the protagonist, but his extended family consisting of Mary (Grace Caroline Murray), “Captain Every Power” Freddie (Jack Dylan Grazer/Adam Brody), Darla (Faithe Herman/Meagan Good), Eugene (Ian Chen/Ross Butler) and Pedro (Jovan Armand/D.J. Cotrona) are just as important to this film. I find it interesting how all the characters aged up and are played by someone else in their hero form except for Mary, who is played by the same person for both the regular and superhero versions of her character. One of my favorite parts is when the heroes write a negotiation letter to the Atlas Sisters and they think Steve, the magical pen, has edited everything they said for him to write. When the sisters receive the letter, it includes all the side conversations, word for word, which makes a hilarious scene. The costumes are Halloween-worthy!  And, of course, you can’t forget about the sand people, lightning and other captivating special effects.

Family is the constant theme throughout Shazam: Fury of the Gods. Billy constantly reminds his family – “All or None” – when it’s time to battle. Together they can take on the world, but when the family is broken it just causes unnecessary drama, and no one wins. Even with the Atlas sisters, while they are powerful, they struggle with sticking together and it causes sibling rivalries amongst them. Parents should be aware of severe foul language, violent scenes, death and some scenes that can be triggering, such as suicide.

I give Shazam! Fury of the Gods 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. It releases in theaters March 17, 2023.  Remember to stay for the end credit scenes. 

Shazam! Fury of the Gods

By Katherine S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 15

The hilarious Shazam-fam kids-turned-superheroes are back after four years of waiting! Shazam! Fury of the Gods is an entertaining and exciting sequel to the original Shazam! I like how the movie incorporates Greek mythology into the plot and explains the backstory of the powers and name of Shazam in this movie.

A few years after the first movie, we find Billy Batson (Asher Angel), aka Shazam (Zachary Levi) and his siblings still trying to balance being superheroes and teenagers. When the three angry daughters of Atlas come to seek revenge on humans, the fate of Philadelphia and the world is in their hands.

I recommend watching the first movie in this series before watching Shazam! Fury of the Gods, because it may be confusing otherwise. If you are fan of the first film, you will probably enjoy this one, but it doesn’t live up to the original. This is a mediocre movie that I wasn’t particularly drawn in to. I feel as though it lost sight of the values and characteristics of the first movie. Although it does explore more about the origins of Shazam, the story and character development didn’t engage me as much as I hoped it would. I do like how it relies less on topics, characters and plot points from other DCEU (DC Extended Universe) movies and I do love the humor. The clever writing and comedic timing helps lighten up some of the heavy scenes and makes this movie a Shazam! movie. My favorite performances are from Zachary Levi, as Shazam and Jack Dylan Grazer, as Freddy. Zachary Levi as the alter ego of Billie Batson perfectly captures the essence of an immature, irresponsible and bad-decision-making teenager trapped in a superhero’s body. Jack Dylan Grazer has the best execution of his role out of all the kids. He’s genuine, sweet and witty. The chemistry between Zachary and Jack is as strong as Shazam himself, which made me enjoy the comedic relief we get from both of them even more.

The message of Shazam! Fury of the Gods is that you can find your own family. Do take note that the film has plenty of profanity and superhero violence.

I give Shazam! Fury of the Gods 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. It releases in theaters March 17, 2023.

Shazam! Fury of the Gods
By Avani M., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 10

I enjoyed Shazam! Fury of the Gods a lot, because of its interesting and exciting story line and because of the soundtrack which makes the movie intense. Also, it is quite amusing and entertaining.

The story is set in Philadelphia around a family of six misfit foster children and teenagers. These foster kids are actually superheroes, led by Shazam! (Zachary Levi) to save the city. The villains are the Daughters of Atlas, Hespera (Helen Mirren) and Kalyplso (Lucy Liu). Hespera wants her “god powers” back and wants everything to be just again, but Kalypso wants much more. The villains first try to take the powers from the superheroes, so Shazam! leads them to a secret lair to strategize on how to defeat the sisters.

This film is so fun and exciting and Zachary Levi makes this movie amazing! He is so funny as Shazam! because he portrays a teenager’s personality so well. He also shows that a superhero can have insecurities too. Helen Mirren is great as Hespera because she plays a very menacing villain; even Shazam! says so. Finally, the young actors all give great performances, especially when they act as if they are regular teens when they are not in superhero mode. The theme of this film is to believe in yourself. There is a time when Shazam! says that he won’t be able to defeat the villains and wants to give his powers back to the Wizard (Djimon Hounsou). However, the superhero ultimately prevails. We learn that even “everyday normal people,” with no apparent talents, have powers. They just have to find their power within themselves, because everyone should be given a chance to prove themselves. I really like the special effects, especially the different realms, dragons and monsters. Hats off to Director David F. Sandberg. The dragon’s CGI is especially nice because it looks very frightening. The last thing that I really like are the fight scenes — they look so realistic.

The messages of this film are about believing in yourself and the importance of teamwork. The villains are too strong for anyone alone, so it’s essential for the superheroes to work together. Plus, the gods are arrogant, and teamwork always beats arrogance.  You should know that there is some profanity and some scary monsters.

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