Even with the saturation of superhero movies over the last five years and specifically the creative chaos of adaptations of DC Comicsthe movie Shazam! Fury of the Gods manages to be a sequel that fleshes out and elevates everything that worked in the first film to provide audiences with an entertaining, memorable and rewarding experience.
There are many positive qualities of this Warner Brothers production that begins to be shown in theaters in Puerto Rico this Thursday. However, what makes it all easier is the excellent script by Chris Morgan and Henry Gayden. It is worth noting that it is one of the few of this particular genre that is exemplary. The dramatic structure is solid and more importantly, it proves that in this type of film having a consistent and distinctive tone is much more efficient than trying to imitate what has worked for others.
This film reaffirms that what works for Shazam! (Zachary Levi) is to focus more on the internal conflicts of Billy Batson (Asher Angel) than in the external threats that he has to fight in order to save the world. When the film begins it becomes clear that being a teenager who can transform into a superhero in less than a second has not healed the traumas of being abandoned by her mother and how this affects her relationship with her adoptive family. . All of this is put to the test when two mythological deities, played by Helen Mirren and Lucy Liuthey seek to restore their power over humans, recovering the powers that the protagonist and his family share.
If that plot synopsis sounds generic to you, as does much of the film’s publicity campaign, know that the magic of this sequel is in its execution. The film lacks the chaotic energy that characterized Black Adam. Each action sequence happens to move the story forward or to deepen the arc of the characters. The direction of David F. Sandberg manages to give unity to all the resources of the script. The director has an amazing knack for juggling suspense and humor in action sequences, but his secret weapon is his actors.
Zachary Levi in the starting role is even more successful this time. It’s no surprise that the actor is an excellent comedian. On this occasion, his handling of the emotional core behind the character’s humor allows the last section of the film to work and not be pretentious or manipulative. In the same way, actors like Helen Mirren and djimon hounsou they treat this material with the same integrity they give their more conventional dramatic efforts. And the celebration of the talent of this cast cannot be closed without mentioning the work of Jack Dylan Grazer. His character in this film has a parallel journey to Billy’s and the young actor has the same facility as Levi for the dramatic nuances behind the film’s comedy.
With all this going for you, Shazam! Fury of the Gods it stands out as an excellent sequel that leaves the viewer wanting to see more of what dazzles and entertains on screen. Even so, the film ends with what could be interpreted as the final closure for this character. Without going into details, it’s one of the best moments DC Comics adaptations have had on the big screen in a long time.