A Hero Worthy Of James Gunn’s New DC Universe

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Early Shazam! Fury of the Gods reviews are here, see what they say about the latest DC movie. While the DCEU is coming to an end, Warner Bros. still has a few films to release in 2023. The first one to start the DCEU’s final era is Shazam! Fury of the Gods. The Shazam Family are uniting once again on the big screen as they face the Daughters of Atlas. David F. Sandberg is back as the director after helming the 2019 installment.

This week, Shazam! Fury of the Gods is finally arriving in theaters around the world. The first Shazam 2 reviews have begun to roll out, with several critics offering their opinion on the Shazam! sequel. This comes after the early Shazam! Fury of the Gods social reactions. Check out several excerpts below:


Rachel LaBonte, Screen Rant

Anyone who wasn’t won over by the first Shazam! and its more lighthearted look at the DCU probably won’t find themselves buying into Billy’s journey now. And it is fair to say that DC’s imminent changes make parts of Fury of the Gods feel like they’re coming too late. However, as it stands on its own, Sandberg has crafted a fun sequel that has its heart in the right place. It has its stumbles, but it knows what kind of movie it wants to be: An earnest superhero romp that entertains and tugs at the heartstrings. It certainly succeeds there.

Pete Hammond, Deadline

Sandberg and his screenwriters Henry Gayden and Chris Morgan deftly navigate the two worlds here, with that of the teenagers the most engaging. When they switch to being 30 year olds led by their older Super Hero selves this sequel has really upped the ante with fire breathing dragons and other creatures employed by those devilish goddesses, Hespera (Mirren), Kalypso (Liu), and younger member of the trio Anthea (Zegler of West Side Story fame). The action is really quadrupled here, as are the special effects. Of course Zachary Levi, ideally cast, leads the way again as the older Billy, still really a lost teen at heart looking for his place in the world, and commanding Super Hero Freddy (Adam Brody), Super Hero Eugene (Ross Butler), Super Hero Pedro (D. J. Cotrona), Super Hero Darka (Meagan Good) and Super Hero Mary (Grace Caroline Currey who also gets to play the younger Mary, oldest of the teens). Levi, almost in Paul Rudd-like fashion really knows how to inject comedy without sacrificing the heroic antics the role requires.

Ross Bonaime, Collider

Fury of the Gods finds its most interesting and fun moments through the character of Freddy, who feels like more of a fully fleshed-out character than Shazam ever does. By day, Freddy is picked on at school, but falls for the new student Annie, who he doesn’t know is really Anthea, one of the daughters of Atlas. At night, he becomes his hero, who fights crimes by himself that we never get to see. Both Grazer and Brody are extremely fun here, and it’s a shame that this story isn’t centered around them. Brody is great in hero mode, while Grazer is always a joy when we see him, particularly when he’s teamed up with the wizard (Djimon Hounsou), who has no time for Freddy’s antics, and Zegler is particularly charming in the quieter moments of the film. In fact, the mismatched team-up of Grazer and Hounsou is where Fury of the Gods shines brightest, a nice reminder that this film can actually be funny.

Brandon Zachary, CBR

At the end of the day, Shazam! Fury of the Gods is a fun movie willing to embrace weird monsters, giant dragons, and lightning punches. It won’t revolutionize the genre or push the boundaries. It’s a simple story that falls prey to some trappings of the genre. Sometimes it’s better to know what kind of story you’re trying to tell and how to tell it well. A predictable but effective entry in the genre, this is a fun way to spend an afternoon in the DC Universe. With the cinematic landscape for superheroes set to continue expanding for the foreseeable future, there’s a place for something light-hearted and comedy-driven to serve as a palette cleanser amidst the multiversal chaos and grim imaginings. There’s merit to the childish sense of fun at the heart of the film, a literalization of the imagination inherent to the premise of a kid shouting a magic word to become a superhero. Shazam! Fury of the Gods is the kind of big, broad blockbuster that movie theaters can always afford to have more of.

Frank Scheck, THR

The film begins with a lavish, well-executed sequence in which Shazam and his fellow superheroes rescue scores of people from a collapsing bridge. Unfortunately, they fail to save the bridge as well, resulting in their being derisively saddled with the nickname the “Philadelphia Fiascoes.” Shazam seems to be wrestling with his superhero identity himself, pouring out his anxieties and self-doubts to his pediatrician (P.J. Byrne). He also has a nightmare involving a dinner date with Wonder Woman, who turns out to have the wizard’s head on her body.

Jamie Jirak, Comic Book

Overall, Shazam! Fury of the Gods isn’t the most unique or action-packed comic book movie out there. You certainly won’t leave the theater a changed DC fan, but you will leave with a smile on your face. If you can look past the uncertainty of the Shazamily’s future, Shazam! Fury of the Gods is a delightful ride and a worthy follow-up to the first film.

William Bibbiani, The Wrap

Whenever Shazam! Fury of the Gods focuses on comedy and character it’s fabulous, but sometimes it gets distracted in favor of generic superhero stuff. The opening of the film finds Hespera and Kalypso wreaking havoc in a museum as they pull off a heist. It’s all very chaotic, like a PG-13 version of the epic opening sequence from “Wishmaster.” But it’s not very interesting because we don’t know who they are or why we should care, and the movie doesn’t bother telling us for a long time.

Kate Erbland, IndieWire

Despite the universal stakes of what’s unfolding, the action feels relatively contained (the monsters look good, the lightning Shazam so often employs has never looked better, but it all feels as if was shot on a single backlot). And while the rest of the DC world does occasionally find its way into this particular bubble (Billy, for instance, has a major crush on Wonder Woman), there’s something to be said for a series like this that can truly stand alone. It’s charming — and it’s different, and it’s worth saving.

RELATED: How Much Shazam 2 Cost To Make & What Box Office It Needs For Success

Why Shazam 2 Reviews Are Positive

While 2019’s Shazam was smaller in scale, it was still a critical success. What is coming from these reviews is that the creative team definitely strived to make it bigger. Not only are they taking what worked with the first DCEU film, they are expanding upon it. Also a key factor is that Shazam! Fury of the Gods leans more into the fantasy aspects.

With the addition of the Daughters of Atlas, dragons, and other creatures, it fleshes out Shazam! as a franchise. One of the elements that was received with mixed reactions in Shazam! was Dr. Sivana as a big bad. But Shazam 2’s Daughter of Atlas appear to be a massive improvement as a new threat. Time will tell how general audiences respond to the Shazam! sequel as a whole.

What remains to be seen is what the future of Shazam! looks like after the sequel. With a new DC Universe on its way, it’s unclear if Shazam 3 will happen at this point. But if Shazam! Fury of the Gods is a success, the franchise might continue.

MORE: Does Shazam 2 Have An After Credits Scene (& How Many)?

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