Billy Batson came back in Shazam! Wrath of the Godssequel to the 2019 superhero movie Shazam. This new film in the DC Universe follows a foster family of superheroes who can transform from children into super-powerful adults with the scream of a single word. After the delightful success of the original film, director David F. Sandberg is back to give us another adventure. This superhero action comedy is a solid sequel to the original, offering a consistently entertaining tone with some of the gritty edges of its predecessor.
After defeating Dr. Sivana and being a superhero in the first film, Shazamily had a polarizing reaction in Philadelphia, with many calling them incompetent. The scenario offers a humorous idea from the start, showing how kids can better become superheroes. They’re all a bit older than they were in the first film, but they still have a lot to learn, shown by an early action sequence on a bridge where the heroes save multiple lives but fail to stop the bridge from collapsing. His strength is the uniqueness of a foster family of children working together to fight crime.
With a new film comes a new set of villains, as it introduces Hespera (Helen Mirren) and Kalypso (Lucy Liu), daughters of Atlas who seek the power of the family. This crazy dynamic duo is tough, boasting star power and a menacing performance as a powerful sister who poses a grave threat to our heroes. They have the power of mind control and dispel superpowers, making the need to stop them all the more significant, as not only are they after the family, but they also become a threat to the world.
This sequel carries on the upbeat and humorous tone of the first film, with the cast delivering great performances. Zachary Levi’s comedic timing as Shazam is fantastic. While he doesn’t always embody the older Asher Angel, that bridge works even better in this movie than it did in the original. He gets some of the funniest moments in the film while also giving the character some emotional weight. Jack Dylan Grazer is also hilarious in this film, getting plenty of moments to shine as a standout character. On top of that, he received a romance subplot with Anne (Rachel Zegler), which was well done but, sadly, felt like an inorganic romance straight out of a Disney Channel movie.
Shazam! Wrath of the Gods takes a lot of the ideas that were set up in the original film and improves on them, ups the ante, and gives us a lot more of the action and comedy that you’d expect from this film. The film is very fast paced, always giving you something fun to look at. However, this may also be the film’s fundamental weakness, as there is quite a bit of drama around Billy’s fear of growing out of the foster system and into himself. This idea needs to be explored further to give profound moments the emotional weight they can.
On top of that, the film doesn’t go the way you’d expect, as most of Shazamili doesn’t participate in the final act. Instead, it’s mainly Shazam alone for the final action set piece. While the other characters play other roles in the final act, their sequences feel so much smaller than they’re set up that it’s easy to forget he even exists in the film.
However, Shazam! Wrath of the Gods remains a breezy and entertaining superhero film with a powerful array of heroes and villains. It’s not the strongest outing of the DCU, and doesn’t quite reach the heights of its predecessors, but you’ll have a good time in the theater.
As explained in ComingSoon’s review policy, a score of 8 equals “Excellent”. Despite a few minor hiccups, this score means the art succeeded in achieving its goals and leaving an unforgettable impact.