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The movie contains moments that highlight the boyish charms of the characters but ultimately succumbs to the generic chaos of the superhero genre.

Despite a decent box office performance in 2019 not a lot of people were probably clamouring for a sequel to the fine but forgettable Shazam! After Fury of the Gods the appetite for further adventures of Billy Batson and company seem to be dimished even more.

That's not to say that during large chunks Shazam! Fury of the Gods is actually a pretty enjoyable movie, with charming interaction between the youthful leads and a wholesome thematic throughline that works pretty well.

In fact, discounting the final ten minutes of the movie, I'd be inclined to give the Shazam! sequel a solid two stars. The tempo might not always be perfect and the plotting feels rushed but the picture offers harmless family-friendly entertainment and even seems willing to add actual existential stakes to the fate of the superhero characters.

At least, until those final ten minutes happen and Fury of the Gods becomes a piece of badly written fan fiction that gratingly brings in a deus ex machina cameo. Those final ten minutes exemplify everything that's wrong with superhero movies these days.

release: 2023

director: David F. Sandberg

starring: Zachary Levi, Jack Dylan Grazer, Rachel Zegler, Helen Mirren, Lucy Liu


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