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  • Writer's pictureKen Silvers

Shazam! The Fury of the Gods

Many non-comic book fans may not realize the character of Shazam, first known as Captain Marvel, has been around since 1940 when he first appeared in Whiz Comics #2. Due to issues with Marvel Comics, Captain Marvel became know as Shazam. The name Shazam is an acronym for Solomon, Hercules, Atlas, Zeus, Achilles and Mercury. When teen Billy Baston speaks the word "Shazam"! he is transformed into an adult with superhuman strength, speed, flight and other abilities. If you are never seen or are too young to remember the 1974-1977 live action series "Shazam" then you were introduced to the character in the 2019 film "Shazam!". Zachary Levi plays the hero, and let me say he was born to play Shazam. The sequel "Shazam! Fury of the Gods" begins with two of the daughters of the Titan Atlas, Hespera (Helen Mirren) and Kalypso (Lucy Liu) breaking into the Acropolis Museum in Athens, Greece to steal the broken staff of the Wizard Shazam (Djimon Hounsou), who gave Billy Baston (Asher Angel) his powers in the first film. The two daughters take the staff to the Wizard so he can repair it so they can use its powers. After this occurs, we see the Shazam family of foster siblings saving people from a collapsing bridge in Philadelphia. As happened toward the conclusion of the first film, Billy gave his foster siblings the same powers he has, and they fight crime together. As Billy has grown older, he is aging out of the foster care program and fears he will be booted out of the Vasquez family home. While Billy tries to keep his Shazam family united, his foster brother and best friend Freedy (Jack Dylan Grazer) is still being bullied at school despite his classmates knowing he has superhero friends. One day at school, he meets a new girl named Anne (Rachel Zegler) who takes an immediate liking to him, but will be revealed later in the film to be not as she appears. Meanwhile, Billy/Shazam receive a warning from the Wizard about the daughters of Atlas coming after him and his family. After a meeting with his family, Billy warns them of the pending danger, and one night when Freddie sneaks out to fight crime on his own, Hespera and Kalypso find him and steal his powers thanks to the newly reformed staff. Billy and his family try to save Freedy, but he is kidnapped by the daughters and the daughters place a dome around the city trapping everyone inside. Thus, the Shazam family has their work cut out for them. The family begins to plan their efforts to rescue Freedy and the city and know battling the daughters will be a challenge, especially know that they have a dragon in tow. When the final battle begins, not only must the family battle the daughters and their dragon, but various monsters the daughters have unleashed as well. As the battle continues, Billy begins to feel his cannot fight without the support of his family, but he eventually must face one of the daughters alone in order to save the city, and his family from destruction. I will not say what happens after the battle concludes, other than to say a great sacrifice is made, resulting in a appearance by Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot). The film ends with the family reunited in their home, and hopefully we will have a third film. The sequel is far more epic than the original, and gives fans plenty of action, while still having the heart and humor of the first film. All the performances are great, highlighted by Levi and Grazer as Freedy. I just can't imagine anyone other than Levi as Shazam, as he portrays the adult/child role to perfection. The film has two post credit scenes, the first of which was better in my opinion. This film is fun from start to finish, and despite all the action and bombast, "Shazam! The Fury of the Gods" is a film about family, and how you don't have to be related to be in one. Now playing in theaters.(Rated PG-13)



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