Billy Batson is back Shazam! Wrath of the Godsa sequel to the 2019 superhero film Shazam. This new movie in the DC Universe follows a foster family of superheroes who can turn from children to superpowered adults with the shout of a single word. After the fun 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 rougher edges than its predecessor.
After defeating Dr. Sivana and became superheroes in the first film, the Shazamily had a polarizing reaction in Philadelphia, with many calling them out for their incompetence. The screenplay offers a funny idea from the start, showing how kids can become great superheroes. They are all a bit older than the first film, but they still have a lot to learn, which is shown in an early action sequence on a bridge where the heroes save many lives but fail to stopping the bridge from collapsing. Strength is the uniqueness of a family of foster kids who work together to fight crime.
With a new film comes a new set of baddies, as the film introduces Hespera (Helen Mirren) and Calypso (Lucy Liu), the daughters of Atlas who follow the family powers. This dynamic demented duo is formidable, offering star power and menacing performances as the powerful siblings who pose a dire threat to our heroes. They have the power to control the mind and get superpowers, which makes the need to stop them more important, because they are not only in the family, but they also pose a threat to the world.
This sequel coasts from the light, humorous tone of the first film, with the cast giving excellent performances. Zachary LeviShazam’s comedic timing is incredible. While he doesn’t always perfectly embody an older Asher Angel, Bridges is better in this movie than in the original film. He captures some of the funniest moments in the movie while also bringing some emotional weight to the character. Jack Dylan Grazer is also fun in this movie, getting plenty of opportunities to shine as a unique character. Additionally, he receives a romance subplot with Anne (Rachel Zegler), which is well done, but, unfortunately, feels like an inorganic romance from a Disney Channel movie.
Shazam! Wrath of the Gods takes many of the ideas put forth in the original film and takes it up a notch, raising the stakes and giving us more of the action and comedy you’ve come to expect from this film. The movie is very fast, always gives you a fun to watch. However, this may also be the film’s fundamental flaw, as there is a hint of drama surrounding Billy’s fear of growing out of the foster system and being alone. This idea needs to be explored more for deep moments to have the emotional weight they can.
Additionally, the film doesn’t go in the direction you’d expect, as most of Shazamily doesn’t participate in the final act. Instead, it goes ahead of Shazam alone for the final action set piece. While other characters play another role in the final act, their sequence feels so much smaller than what was set up that it’s easy to forget it exists within the film.
However, Shazam! Wrath of the Gods remains a breezy, fun superhero film with a strong set of heroes and villains. It’s not the strongest outing in the DCU, and it won’t reach the heights of its predecessor, but you’ll have a fun time at the theater.
As ComingSoon policy review explains, a score of 8 equals “Great.” While there are some minor issues, this score means that the art succeeds in its purpose and leaves a memorable impact.