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Release Date: 03/17/23 [In Cinemas]
Genre: Action. Adventure. Comedy.

Studio: Warner Bros. Pictures

"The film continues the story of teenage Billy Batson who, upon reciting the magic word "SHAZAM!" is transformed into his adult Super Hero alter ego, Shazam." 


In the midst of DC’s massive cinematic shift soon to come, we’re still treated to another adventure from Billy Batson and his family of misfits in Shazam! Fury of the Gods. David F. Sandberg returns to the director’s chair for this one, and thankfully his filmmaking charms that made the first so endearing still remain. Shazam! 2 has some big footsteps to follow with such a strong first entry, so is it a worthy follow up? Well… yes and no. With some of its character work, Shazam! 2 is strong in areas, but also comes up short in others. It’s a frustrating ensemble. However, Shazam! 2 has an incredibly strong second half that thankfully holds it up right next to the first.


Shazam! 2 attempts to go with The Goonies’ approach with its cast, involving Billy’s other orphan siblings; not just Freddy, but his four other siblings. Although it is a mostly strong ensemble, there’s a lot of messiness in the writing in the way it handles certain characters. As charming as this is as the first one, the film misses a huge opportunity in prioritizing Levi’s screen time over Asher’s as Billy Batson. We see significantly less of Angel Asher as Billy Batson in this sequel which is disappointing because it’s that adolescent charm that’s pretty integral to Billy’s character.


We see some more attention towards Freddy Freeman in this film who thankfully is the best part of the film. What the film lacks in Asher’s absence it makes up for in Glazer’s performance. In Shazam! 2, Freddy meets Anne, played by Rachel Zegler, and their chemistry reminded me somewhat of a Hughes film - Glazer reminding me heavily of an Anthony Michael Hall type, and Zegler reminding me a lot of Mia Sara from Ferris Bueller's Day Off. This is where the film shines, and I was delighted to see it verge into the overarching plot and made for a pretty strong second half.


Other cast members joining are Lucy Liu and Helen Mirren as the Daughters of Atlas who have come to the mortal realm to reclaim the power (they believe) rightfully belongs to them. It’s perhaps a simple motivation, but in an age where countless superhero movies feel they’re trying too hard to be convoluted, this was actually quite welcome. It’s just down to mortals vs Gods in a test of will to see who is more worthy of this power, and this central conflict creates pretty great moments that make Shazam! 2 worth it despite some of my reservations.

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