Disclaimer: This movie review is a loose transcription from our podcast where we do all our movie reviews – link is at the bottom of this page to listen in!
James, what are your thoughts on Shazam! Fury of the Gods?
I’m pleasantly surprised. But, you know, I think both you and I had the sentiment that this movie did not look good at all. I had the impression that Warner Brothers didn’t have faith in this movie. There’s just so much going on with DC and now they’re moving in a new direction which is pretty clear. So yeah, I didn’t expect much from it at all, but I enjoyed it. I liked the movie. It does what the first Shazam did right. It’s not overbearing in terms of it’s not cringe humour, but it’s a unique style of humour. I was worried that this was going to be the new Deadpool of DC in terms of just you know, the audience liked the humour in the first one so they were going to double down on it with the sequel and it was just gonna be all humour. This movie still has an emotional core to it as it keeps its characters in focus for most of the time even if it does get a little bit too silly at points. I think by the second half of the film it started to really pull together its narrative pieces where the character is actually going through real things and then dealing with the stakes of the film, it’s somewhat felt.
Although I didn’t like the villains at all, I thought all three of them were bland. The humour was good. Visually, it’s just this new, 2020s kind of CGI that we’re getting, it’s just not that good and it really needs some improvement. It’s not just that it’s bad, it’s that the lighting is bad and makes it look even worse. There are just moments where it’s just all dark and I’m like, I don’t even know what I’m looking at. There are a couple of nice shots here and there. But yeah, overall, I think the best kind of visual moment in the film is when Rachel Zegler’s character is kind of doing her thing. I thought those are the most interesting kinds of shots in the film and more compelling from a CGI perspective.
I think the strength of these movies is in their writing and while yeah, I’m saying good stuff about the movie please do not go in expecting it to be an amazing movie. It’s just a good fun time at the cinema – that’s how I would define it. Yeah. What do you think?
Well, I’m pretty much in agreement with you, I was pleasantly surprised about this. I was expecting it to be a shit show and I ended up coming out of the film laughing. I enjoyed the humour throughout the film and the dynamic between the kids was fantastic and their reactions to the elder members provide genuine laugh-out-loud moments such as one of the team members are in college and living that college lifestyle and coming to these superhero meetings and you know she is hungover but all the kids are like, Why are you wearing glasses? Any adult knows why she is wearing glasses but it was great to see the kids questioning that and being loud.
Obviously, the spotlight was on Billy Batson and Freddie Freeman. I thought that just like the first Shazam film that the two main kids would carry the film and that’s what we got here also. Freddie got a lot more screen time in this film than in the first and he got a lot more to do outside of being Billy’s sidekick/superhero mentor.
Just as you were talking about that I kind of wish we saw a little bit more kid Billy. We only got about four or five scenes with the younger actor in it otherwise it was mainly Zachery Levi.
I’d say there’ll be less than five minutes of him as Billy.
Honestly yeah, it’s very brief.
I wish we saw more of the younger character deal with the conflict that he had with his foster mom, as at the start of the film we see him call her by her first name, Rosa, then at the end of the film he calls her mom but that moment feels less impactful as the majority of the scenes we saw the two character interact was when he was his adult self.
Yeah, that kind of choice was questionable, I’m like, oh, okay, I guess he just came to that conclusion himself. That’s a big thing, there’s just not much interaction between the parents and the foster kids. But I’m glad the movie kept its emotion in place. It’s definitely not to the degree of the first one. I think the first one is really great when it adds the emotional scenes because, you know, his mom, he thought his mom left him or she lost them at the carnival and then later Billy finds out that she intentionally did it, that’s kind of gut-wrenching. And at least quite a powerful moment in the film.
So what would you give Shazam! Fury of the Gods a score out of 10?
I’d give it a 6.5 I think that’s a respectable score for me. What about you?
I would say actually thinking exactly this, mine would be 6.5 out of 10 as well.
Listen to the full Shazam! Fury of the Gods podcast here.