Early Reviews of Shazam 2: A Fantasy DC film with a Touch of Lightheartedness

The initial reviews for Shazam! Fury of the Gods are finally out, and it is the first film to officially kickstart the DCEU’s final run in 2023.

The movie reunites the Shazam Family on the big screen to battle the Daughters of Atlas, with David F. Sandberg returning as the director.

The early social reactions to Shazam! Fury of the Gods have already created a buzz and many critics have provided their two cents on the film. Check them out below:

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.

Rachel LaBonte, Screen Rant

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.

Ross Bonaime, Collider

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.

Frank Scheck, THR

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.

William Bibbiani, The Wrap

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.

Kate Erbland, IndieWire

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.

Jamie Jirak, Comic Book

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.

Brandon Zachary, CBR

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.

Pete Hammond, Deadline
Early Reviews of Shazam 2: A Fantasy DC film with a Lighthearted Touch

Although Shazam in 2019 was not as grand in size, it still managed to earn critical acclaim. The positive reviews indicate that the creative team aimed to increase the magnitude of the upcoming film.

They are not only building upon the successes of the first DCEU movie, but also exploring new avenues.

Another crucial aspect is that, Shazam! Fury of the Gods emphasizes the fantasy elements more than before.

The inclusion of the Daughters of Atlas, dragons, and other creatures enhances the Shazam! franchise.

Dr. Sivana’s portrayal as the antagonist in the first film received mixed reactions, but the introduction of the Daughter of Atlas in Shazam! 2 seems to be a significant improvement. The audience’s response to the sequel as a whole is yet to be determined.

It is uncertain what lies ahead for Shazam! after the release of its sequel. The new DC Universe is expected to shake things up, and it remains to be seen if there will be a Shazam! 3.

However, if Shazam! Fury of the Gods is successful, the franchise could potentially continue.

Watch Shazam! Fury of the Gods on:

About Shazam! Fury of the Gods

Shazam! Fury of the Gods is an upcoming American superhero film based on the DC Comics character of the same name. It will be a sequel to 2019’s Shazam, directed by David F. Sandberg, who’s returned for the sequel.

Shazam! Fury of the Gods follows Billy Batson and his superhero siblings take on Hespera and Kalypso, daughters of Atlas, who have come to strip the six heroes of their powers, claiming the wizard Shazam’s decision of giving Billy the power of the gods was a mistake.

The movie starring Zachary Levi, Jack Dylan Grazer, Lucy Liu, and Helen Mirren, is set to release on March 15, 2023.

Epic Dope Staff

Epic Dope Staff

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