Shazam!: Fury of the Gods is one of my anticipated movies of 2023. It's finally come out in theaters and I have mixed feelings about the movie. The first movie was fantastic despite some of the shortcomings that we could oversee. There was a certain charm to that movie that I was really hoping they'd be able to repeat with this sequel.
The movie starts off in a museum where the wizards old staff lays. If you remember the outcome of the first Shazam movie Billy had broken the wizard's staff. Unwittingly he just left the staff on the ground and let the authorities take it. You can't excuse this behavior because it's consistent to his childlike tendencies.
In this opening scene there are two new villains Kalypso and Hespera. They come into the museum to take back what's theirs. There's still some power in the old wizard's magical staff. The two new villains do their evil in order to get the staff and go on their merry way. We all know this will lead back to Billy and the gang.
Thankfully the whole cast from the first movie are back in this sequel. Though the kids are now noticeably older. Unfortunately they don't stay in their kid form a lot in this movie. We will see them in their superhero form for the majority of the movie. This is one of the major faults of this movie.
I found that a lot of the charm of the first movie came from the kids in their everyday forms. In the first movie they only turned into superheroes at the very end of the movie. There is still a certain charm to all of them but the charm kind of gets lost when they're in their superhero forms.
The best example of this is displayed when we see the Freddy side story throughout this movie. I thought this side story was the most charming of the whole movie. It is hardly realistic but logic is thrown out the door with the charm of this side story.
In fact there's a lot of glaring continuity issues with this movie. The first part of this movie has the gang try to save a major bridge in Philadelphia only to fail to save it. The bridge is obviously down and then a few scenes later the bridge seems to be miraculously back up in perfect condition. This movie falls under a lot of inconsistencies and a ton of ex machina mechanisms to save our heroes.
Most of these scenarios happen around the end of the movie. It really feels lazy at certain points. There's even a cringe inducing product placement situation that saves the day for the gang. I couldn't help but groan in pain from seeing this on screen.
Ending aside they did have some fun parts and some genuinely funny scenes. Again most of them involved the Freddy side story. I thought this movie had a ton of potential scenarios that they really wasted along the way. I wished they implemented the foster parents a little more into the movie. Billy as a kid could have played a bigger role just like he did in the first movie. They could have had some actual bad things happen to some of the characters instead of miraculously saving everyone.
Overall, I recognize it's a kids movie so many of my complaints are kind of moot. It just hurts because I could see how this movie could have been so much better. All of the elements were there but the movie kind of whittled at the end. That's why I have to give this movie a 6 out of 10. I think people can wait for this on a streaming platform. It's too bad because I had such high hopes for this one.