Sufficiently entertaining. SHAZAM! Fury of the Gods starts and ends well, but the middle wanders aimlessly with the only goal to inflate runtime. After the explosive first act, the second act mostly serves as filler material to augment the narrative by making it about twenty to thirty minutes longer than it needed to be. Fortunately, the third act delivers a climatic showdown, which greatly aids in the audience experience. But the movie struggles narratively between the inciting incident (at the beginning) and the showdown at the end. Clearly, there was a good superhero movie in there, but it gets lost during the meandering developmental stage. To the movie’s credit, though, it’s the enthusiastic cast that ultimately saves the audience from complete disengagement. This is especially true with Helen Mirren and Lucy Liu, playing our villains, and Jack Dylan Grazer in his well-played comedic relief. While it’s not terribly memorable superhero movie, neither is it a bad movie.

Bestowed with the powers of the gods, Billy Batson and his fellow foster kids are still learning how to juggle teenage life with their adult superhero alter egos. When a vengeful trio of ancient gods arrives on Earth in search of the magic stolen from them long ago, Shazam and his allies get thrust into a battle for their superpowers, their lives, and the fate of the world.

If you have not seen the trailer, DON’T. While I have not seen the trailer myself, I’ve read that the BIG cameo at the end of the movie is spoiled. So, do yourself a favor and do NOT watch the trailer. As I stated in the beginning, it is sufficiently entertaining; moreover, I honestly enjoyed myself more than I thought I would for a movie aimed at kids and young teens. When I say aimed at kids and young teens, I do not use that as a pejorative or as a tool to belittle the movie. In fact, I am glad to see that there is a superhero movie that is aimed at kids. Seems like the majority of superhero movies nowadays are inappropriate for developing minds. It pleases me that we have a movie here that is suitable for the whole family.

Ryan teaches Film Studies and Screenwriting at the University of Tampa and is a member of the Critics Association of Central Florida and Indie Film Critics of America. If you like this article, check out the others and FOLLOW this blog! Interested in Ryan making a guest appearance on your podcast or contributing to your website? Send him a DM on Twitter. If you’re ever in Tampa or Orlando, feel free to catch a movie with him.

Follow him on Twitter: RLTerry1 and LetterBoxd: RLTerry


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