Film review: Shazam! Fury of the Gods

Shazam! Fury of the Gods is rip-roaring, visually stunning, funny and well-acted. It is released in UK cinemas today.

shazam movie poster

The story

The Ancient Greek Gods are fed up being locked up in some decaying old world stripped of their powers, a punishment for taking things too far millennia ago. So they recover the old must-have accessories from our museums, get them mended and recharged, then fall out amongst themselves about what they’re going to do with all this omnipotence. Some want to just give Mount Olympus a tasteful make-over, others want revenge.

What they didn’t count on was some spirited godlets who slipped through the net and have been living happily amongst us since eons, using their superpowers to make the world a better place. Hence the web of conflict god-on-god and god-on-man.

Mix in the delightful concept of an Insecure Superhero, an adoptive child with abandonment issues, at war with himself, who is a cool teen by day and a neurotic superman by night… There are lots of LOL moments when his worlds collide.


The trailer

The verdict

Madeleine at the press screening of Shazam

The credits were enlightening. The ‘Visuals’ section looked like a war memorial wall, hundreds of people, multiple teams, a global village, and with good reason. The special effects were totally amazing, especially the Dragon who rips through the city scattering masonry and people and making a totally awesome roar.

Helen Mirren is a bit of a pin-up, and does a psycho rather well, (see RED 1 and 2), with the sneery upper class English accent required for American movie baddies. (Why is that?) She co-stars with Asian and Latina goddesses to make things fair, beautifully acted by Rachel Zegler and Lucy Liu. African culture is represented by the Wizard, called ‘Wizard’ or, ‘Merlin’, when sarcasm is required.

I enjoyed the references to other Warner Brothers movies, like Reeter Skeeter’s magic quill that writes on its own from Harry Potter, and a few drop-dead fabulous appearances from Wonder Woman, which turn our Hero into jelly every time. The power-wand is very much like Gandalf’s staff in The Lord Of The Ring, but is capable of creating sci-fi anti-missile domes.

In all, it’s a refreshing retake on the Amerian obsession with their role as superhero White Saviours. Ok Shazam is still a man, and he’s still white, but this one is totally devoted to the team and lost without it.

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