Shazam! Fury of the Gods
Onto the final release of the weekend and I finished watching the second installment of the Shazam franchise titled Shazam – Fury Of The Gods. Now when you asdociate a superhero film from DC, it is usually dark and brooding and less playful. But it is the exact opposite for Shazam who is playful and almost has a humour straight from the MCU. With all due respect to the DC fans, Shazam is more suited to be in the MCU! But then he is not and that is the reality!
I did watch Shazam(Part 1) only a few days back as a preparation for its second part. Honestly, I had become just a little too fatigued with the superhero genre, with a new Marvel film or a DC film landing up every month. So I really sid not expect much from Shazam(Part 1) either. But to my surprise, I found myself thoroughly enjoying the humour staged around a bunch of teenagers with all its core emotions in place. The humour was quite self aware of what it stood for and it never tried to overpower the story. And by the end of it, I had absolutely loved Shazam(Part 1) and was really looking forward to watching Shazam! Fury Of The Gods. Does the second film in the franchise manage to impress, lets find out!
Story & Screenplay
Shazam! Fury Of The Gods picks up two years after the last part had ended, wherein the Shazamily have to face a whole new opposition who will stop at nothing to attain their powers. The story here is good however it does make for quite a generic superhero film. Also the essence and the innocence of the first part is missing and that does make the drama dip a bit. The screenplay standing at a shade above two hours does make for a brisk watch but the connection to the characters was missing this time around.
The drama does open with the introduction of the antagonists in a good opening sequence. Soon, the Shazam gang is introduced again and you do feel nicely warmed up. However, the proceedings are pretty generic although immensely watchable. It is nothing that you haven’t watched already. The strongest aspect of this franchise in the DCU was the humour and playfulness which is unique to this universe. While the humour is still in place as well as the playfulness, the core concept of teenagers transforming into superheroes with an emotional streak to one of them is completely missing here. I would understand the dilemma of the writers to take the franchise forward, but they needed to do so while keeping the things that worked the last time in check.
The proceedings are fun but too cliched. I did feel that the characterization of the protagonist did take a beating, something which even the MCU has been guilty of lately(while the antagonists did enjoy the limelight here). What that results in is some fun action sequences but too forgetable in nature. The twists and turns are on expected lines and it just made me go through the motions although I wouldn’t say I was not invested at all. There are moments created that did hold my attention but the surprise factor or the nostalgic factor with a recall value was missing.
The final act does do the rescue act for the film pretty well. The sequences are fun with the heart in the right place with some quirky humour thrown in that did make me chuckle every now and then. I honestly needed more of it in the first two acts which would then have allowed the drama to match the madness of Shazam 1. The mid credits scene and post credits are fun and something which always has been a high point for a Marvel or a DC Film. But overall, the writing here was generic and that did bring the overall film down a bit.
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues are witty and funny and will make you chuckle at certain places. The music and BGM are the high points of the drama and they do manage to score. The cinematography is top notch but the VFX are a bit of a mixed bag. Some in a few places and found wanting in others. Director David F Sandberg does a decent job here but the direction never rises above the generic writing thereby making the drama middling for most parts.
The performances are pretty good here. Grace Caroline, Faithe Herman, Adam Brody and Asher Angel, all manage to shine. Helen Mirren as Hespera and Lucy Liu as Kalypso are fabulous to watch. Rachel Zegler as Anthea does look pretty and does a fine job. Jack Dylan Grazer as Freddy is in his elements and does a good job. Zachery Levi as Shazam is top notch and does a wonderful job.
Shazam! Fury Of The Gods is a generic superhero film at best that misses the spark of the first part. But it still has its fun quotient in check and can be watched once. Available in a theatre near you.