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'Shazam!Wrath of Gods review: The magic is starting to wear off in busy sequel

Shazam of 13! tells the fascinating origin story of DC Comics character Billy Batson, a teenage boy who meets a wizard who grants him the ability to become an adult superhero after speaking a spell. Now, Billy is back with his foster siblings, a similar Superman alter ego, and the sequel Shazam! Wrath of the Gods . But like some kids who grow up a bit and stop being cute, this sequel lacks the appeal of its predecessor. While the film delivered the well-crafted action, colorful villains, and world-saving plot mechanics expected of the comic book genre, some of the magic was missing.

The villains of the story are the daughters of Atlas, three ancient goddesses who came to Earth to take back the wizard Shazam (Djimon Hounsou ) took it from them. (Why they need them, since they seem to have a lot of magical power left over, is another question.) Naturally, beating the villains is up to Billy aka Shazam (Asher Angel/Zachary Levi ), and his extended family/superhero sidekick Freddy (Jack Dylan Grazer/ Adam Brody ), Eugene (Ian Chan/Ross Butler), Darla (Faithe Herman/ Meagan Good ), Pedro (Jovan Armand/DJ Cotrona) and Marie (Grace Caroline Currey), playing both the regular and superhero versions of her character, just changed hairstyle).

Shazam! Wrath of the Gods

Bottom line Sophomore slump.

Release date : Friday, March 10 Throwing: Zachary Levi, Arthur Angel, Jack Dylan Grazer, Adam Brody, Ross Butler, Meagan Good, DJ Cotter Rona, Grace Caroline Curry, Faith Herman, Ian Chen, Jovan Armand, Marta Milans, Cooper Andrews, Jamon Hounsou, Rachel Zegler, Lucy Liu , Helen Mirren Director : David F. Sandberg Screenwriter : Henry Gaydon, Chris Morgan Rated PG -13, 2 hours10 minute

Goddesses Hespera, Kalypso and Anthea – by Helen Mirren, Lucy Liu and, in her role as Spielberg West Side Story, Rachel Zegler, respectively, is an awesome bunch with access to all sorts of mythical creatures, including one that looks like it came from a ‘ era of Japanese monster movies. They are also a crafty bunch, the youngest Anthea is only 6 years old, years old, pretending to be the new girl, expressing interest in innocent Freddy and getting hoarse every time she talks to her.

The movie features a lavish, well-executed sequence in which Shazam and his fellow superheroes rescue dozens of people from a collapsed bridge. Unfortunately, they also failed to save the bridge, leading them to be dubbed the “Philadelphia Fiasco”. Shazam himself seems to be struggling with his own superhero identity, pouring out his anxieties and self-doubt to his pediatrician (PJ Byrne). He also had a nightmare involving a dinner date with Wonder Woman, only to find Wonder Woman’s head on her.

These are the assorted, often underwhelming gimmicks provided by screenwriters Henry Gayden and Chris Morgan. (There’s also a shameless joking reference to the Fast and the Furious movies, several of which Morgan wrote and Mirren starred in). There are still some funny moments, many of them, to be sure, courtesy of Grazer’s funny but somewhat over-the-top geeks and Levi’s fast-paced timing and delightful heists. The scenes depicting the budding relationship between young Freddie and Anthea are charming, and despite the importance of her mission, Anthea can’t help but fall for the insecure.

But as is often the case with these kinds of movies, Shazam! Wrath of Gods is tedious with its excesses of spectacle, and in this case, the less spectacular CGI effects will leave you longing for a little Ray Harryhausen-esque stop-motion animation . When young Darla recruits an army of unicorns with a skittle, you’re ready to throw up your hands. (The product placement of Reese’s Pieces in ET is lovable; not so much here.) Yep, Shazam movies for the young The comics book moviegoers, but that seems to be more of Saturday morning cartoon territory.

To their credit, maybe not, Mirren and Liu played their villainous goddess roles perfectly. (You can only imagine how often they fell into giggles during filming.) Unfortunately, their characters aren’t very funny other than their ability to wave their arms and cause all kinds of chaos, and there isn’t a single one between them. Witty sarcastic one-liners. Levi is thus forced to fill the comedy void, and you can feel his efforts starting to get tense.

On the plus side, Hounsou can do a lot more here than in the previous film, and his fun with letting his comic geek flag fly is contagious force. Ziegler is just as attractive here as Maria, and the young actors playing Billy’s foster siblings are literally and figuratively growing into their characters. DC fans will have a cameo later in the game featuring a big shot who, of course, won’t be named here.

Full credits 1235056068

Production companies: New Line Cinema, DC Entertainment, Warner Bros. Publisher : Warner Bros. Actor: Zachary Levi, Arthur Angel, Jack Dylan Grazer, Adam Brody, Ross Butler, Meagan Good, DJ Cotrona, Grace Caroline Curry , Faith Hellman, Ian Chen, Jovan Armand, Marta Milans, Cooper Andrews, Djimon Hounsou, Rachel Zegler, Lucy Liu, Helen Mirren Director: David Sandberg Writers: Henry Gaydon, Chris Morgan Producer: Peter Safran
Executive Producers: Walter Hamada, Adam Schlagman, Richard Brener, Dave Neustadter, Victoria Palmeri, Marcus Viscidi, Geoff Johns
Director of Photography: Gyula Pados Production Designer: Paul Kirby
Editor: Michel Aller
Composer: Christopher Baker
Costume Design: Louise Meng enbach casting; Rich Delia Rated PG-000, 2 hours 10 minute

THR Newsletter 1235056068


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