SHAZAM! Fury of the Gods – Movie Reviews by Ry!

SHAZAM! Fury of the Gods – Magic of Family’s Worth: A Hero’s Tale

What is it that makes a film worth seeing?  Is it the deep emotional connections, the adrenaline rush, or the fantastical adventure.  No matter what pulls us in, it becomes prudent for that journey to deliver.  For comic book films, with such an allure, it begs the question … what else can pull us in?  In this review, I look at the latest DC/comic book film.  In his second outing, we find a hero faced with intriguing conflict in the familial device.  Even as commonality grips the overall course, Shazam! Fury of the Gods does enough to show the fun in a superhero film.

Billy Batson (Asher Angel) / Shazam (Zachary Levi) is trying to balance the hero’s life while maintaining a strong family bond.  As new obstacles emerge, will he find the real reason he was chosen … to be the champion.  On the surface, the outline is ‘by-the-books’ when it comes to themes of the Hero’s Tale.  For all the formulaic wranglings, the journey (at times) slightly rises above within its character dynamics.  In the beginning (through the drop-in method), we see that Billy Batson is not protecting the city of Philadelphia alone.  The reason is (as a follow up to the first) the rest of his adopted family can utilize the Shazam powers.  As we move through the typical hijinks of hero action, there supposed ‘greatness’ has led to community fatigue.  For all the things they ‘save’, it comes at a price because of their childlike mentality.  This leads to a familial dynamic that layers within the ‘Hero’s Tale’ motif, providing the journey with slight enjoyment to is foreboding commonality (of the genre).  For all their issues in ‘being heroes’, we are then introduced to a film’s main antagonist: The Daughter’s of Atlas.  These three women:  Anthea (Rachel Zegler), Kalypso (Lucy Liu), Hespera (Helen Mirren) see the Shazam family as a stain (on the Gods) and find it their mission to take back the powers and revitalize their own world.  As the journey moves into this main conflict, the audience is thrust in a battle of contrast.  Each side is a group vying for purpose and existence, but the alluring of why provides an additional conflict within their own group.  Within the traditional ‘hero vs. villain’ archetype becomes a nebulous pull, leading to the formulaic path becoming more grounded within moments of raw enjoyment. 

As things become dire for the SHAZAM family, Billy Batson realizes there are certain ‘truths’ he must unravel (about himself) to become the ‘leader’ he was chosen to be.  Through expositional situations, witty confrontations, and the personal reflection moment, we head into the third act.  Once in the final stretch (of the film), there is the typical CGI overloaded action complimented with sincere dramatic moments.  Through some more red herring tactics, we head into the hero’s triumph climax with the typical epilogue found in any comic book film.  SHAZAM! Fury of the Gods is a comic book film is a family film within the comic book genre.  If you are a fan of DC Comics, Comic book films, the character or just wants some family fun, this is for you.  There is enough moments to have a good time at the theaters, for the right price.

Full Score – 3 out of 5 (Theater Discount)

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