If you have not yet seen Shazam!, previously reviewed here, there will be spoilers in this review for the ending of that movie, so you might want to watch that before you read this review.
Shazam! Fury of the Gods is the sequel to Shazam!, where we meet the newest DC Comics superhero, who doesn’t yet know what his name is. He goes through many iterations of names, and finally he calls himself Captain Everypower Junior, a name given to him by his best friend and co-superhero, Freddy.
The second movie has a different focus than the first. In the beginning, we meet Anne, who has just started high school with Freddy. Being a gentleman, he defends the new girl from the two oaf bullies we met in the first movie. He gets knocked down by the bullies, and then one of the teachers steps in.
When he gets up, and doesn’t get put into the garbage pail as they threatened to do, Anne asks if he will walk her to class. Overjoyed, of course, he does so.
That afternoon, he and Anne are hanging out, when Billy comes over and tells him about the weird dream he has been having, where the wizard who gave him the powers keeps trying to tell him something, but he wakes up before he can learn what it is. It’s always in dreams featuring Wonder Woman.
Later that same day, we learn who Anne really is, and what her true purpose is.
The opening scene of the movie doesn’t make sense to us until we learn who Anne and her two sisters are. They are the Daughters Of Atlas, which is where the “gods” aspect of the movie comes into play.
The powers that Billy now has, as Shazam, are powers that were essentially stolen from the gods by the wizard thousands of years ago. The powers of Atlas, Hercules, Mercury, and other gods are those which flow through Billy, which were given to him by the wizard in the previous episode.
One of the things that superhero Billy does at the end of the first movie is to destroy the staff, in the hope that it will prevent anyone else from trying to steal his powers.
This is after he learns, from the super-villain, that his powers can be shared with others. After he shares his powers with his siblings, he doesn’t want anyone else to be able to take them, thus he destroys the staff. After that movie ends, they leave the broken staff behind, and it makes its way to Greece, where the two gods, Hespera and Kalypso, find it.
What he did not know, and which turned out to be the catalyst for this next chapter, is that the staff maintained a barrier between the human world and the realm of the gods.
Once it had been broken, the gods were able to make a plan to come and steal back the powers which had been stolen from them. The seed of the tree of life was also stolen by the wizard, and their ideal hope was that they could get that back, and thus heal the god-realm from this theft and subsequent damage.
Shazam-Billy freely shares his powers with his brothers and sisters at the end of the first movie. This has important ramifications for the respect that the wizard later has for Billy, since when he learns the staff was destroyed, he thinks Billy was not the right choice to give the powers to. As the first movie starts, there are now six superheroes with powers of flight, super-speed, and ‘bullet immunity.’
One of the gods becomes torn between new love and her sisters’ plan to destroy the heroes
So, when Freddy decides to show his superhero self to his new friend (and he hopes girlfriend), Anne, he hides around the corner before transforming and returning to her.
She does not know that the superhero she is speaking to is the same Freddy that she had just been talking to. So, when her sisters arrive to carry out their plan, stealing the heroes’ powers with the staff that they forced the wizard to rejoin for them, she is surprised to see Freddy fall to the ground after the attack.
This causes Anne to become torn, as she has fallen in love with this human who risked his safety to help her (even though she knew that she did not need his help – it was the willingness to be a hero).
Anne and her two sisters are the daughters of Atlas, and they kidnap Freddy, bringing him to the god-realm to hold him hostage. Though, at a certain point, when the gods are contacted by Billy using one of the magical items in the cave in the Rock of Eternity, they decide they have no use for Freddy anymore, dropping him and the wizard into the cave with a magical dragon.
From this fate of certain death, it is Anne (or Anthea, the daughter of Atlas) who saves both him and the wizard.
She tells them how to escape back to their realm, and they are nearly there when Hespera, the oldest sister, returns through the door to their realm, with the seed of the Tree Of Life. Freddy and the wizard decide to try to get the seed back, as the seed can cause much destruction to their realm.
In the hands of the provably evil sisters, particularly Kalypso, they would unleash many horrors on the human world.
There is a scene that shows how Hespera obtained the seed that Freddy and the wizard seek to retrieve, which was in the cave with the Rock of Eternity: she was eventually, after a long battle with Shazam-Billy, Darla, and Mary, kidnapped and brought back to the lair.
She escapes from the prison cell, using her powers of elements, and is able to find the seed and the door back home.
During the melee that follows, the superheroes, including Billy and the others who still have their powers, are made to reveal their secret to their foster parents, who were completely clueless.
They must do so quickly because, for some reason, the dragon has decided to enter the human world through their parents’ bedroom.
This scene is hilarious, and one of my favorites.In this scene, as they are revealing who they are to their parents, there were some cool moments between Pedro, their mom, and Billy. That was such a nice scene too. Til the dragon shows up, of course.
Needless to say, they failed to retrieve the seed, and shortly after this, all of the superheroes except Billy lose their powers. That doesn’t stop them from committing heroic acts, however, including befriending unicorns, which is not an easy task, contrary to popular folklore. In this movie’s universe, a unicorn is fierce, likely to kill a human rather than help them.
There is another touching scene shortly thereafter, in which Billy’s foster mom, whom he has never called by the name mom, although all the other children have done so, assures him that he can never age out of her home. Inspired with a new confidence, he thanks her, as mom, before flying away to save the day.
My favorite scene is when Shazam-Billy discovers one of the gods lying on the top of a roof, clearly dead. She was essential to his plan to defeat the evil daughter of Atlas, Kalypso. He runs over to her, saying No, no, no you can’t die!
Then he says, “Medical powers, medical powers…. clear…. ?” Then he zaps her with a lightning bolt and brings her back to life. This was very funny, well executed.
The rest of the movie is a seriously fast-paced, action-packed ride where Billy is the only superhero who remains with superpowers, and is forced to save the day, making the ultimate sacrifice.
The battle scenes between the dragon and Shazam-Billy, as well as the scenes where the unicorns defend the city from the monsters brought by the Tree of Life to wreak havoc on the human world, are quite incredible. I was on the edge of my seat throughout the entire climatic and ending scenes of this movie.
The end of this movie was very unique. I have literally never seen a movie quite like this one, with such a hilarious and unexpected twist ending.
The wizard played a great role, and the superhero that Billy has been dreaming about since the beginning makes an appearance.
This movie is highly recommended.
While I will comment that the special effects were amazing, that is not what is most important in a good movie, period. Special effects are the ‘icing on the cake,’ so to speak. But the cake has to be good, too, or the effects become empty and hollow. That didn’t happen in this movie.
Storyline, plot, and character development is much more important. Just as the previous installment featured these in high quantities, this movie is also amazing on these much more important points. Especially character development. You really get to know these characters, inside and out. Especially well-developed are Billy, Shazam-Billy, Freddy, and Anne.
The only part of this movie I didn’t like was the epilogue, during the end of the credits. This scene features Shazam, but with a different, much more jerk type of personality that doesn’t really fit with the rest of the film.
The final epilogue scene at the very end is more interesting. I had been wondering what happened to the villain in the first movie, as once Shazam-Billy throws him to the ground after removing his magic powers, he’s not heard from again. This epilogue shows what happened to him (he didn’t die, obviously), and leaves the possibility for another sequel.
I would rate this movie five stars, and highly recommend you see it as soon as possible🤗.
Banner Image: Shazam! Fury of the gods promo. Image Credit – Movie Database/ Warner Bros.