Let’s Talk About The [REDACTED] Cameo In Shazam! Fury Of The Gods And What It Means For The Future

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This post contains spoilers for “Shazam! Fury of the Gods.”

Despite mixed reviews and a less-than-super opening weekend at the box office, “Shazam! Fury of the Gods” is an enjoyable, largely guilt-free moviegoing experience for the better part of two hours. Things get bumpier toward the end, but this wouldn’t be the first superhero film to suffer from third act problems. It’s when the movie shoehorns in a certain cameo, tacking it on at the very end in the least elegant way possible, that it starts to feel like “Fury of the Gods” has gone a little off the rails.

The cameo was revealed by a TV spot days before the movie’s release, leading director David F. Sandberg to tweet, “Well there’s some big ‘Shazam’ spoilers out there now. If you want to go in fresh maybe don’t be online or watch TV with ads.” What’s so egregious about said TV spot is that it gives away the end of the movie. 

We’re talking, of course, about the part where Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman shows up to bring Shazam (Zachary Levi) back to life. We sit there the whole movie waiting for her to arrive, and she does, but the first time, we only see her from the back of the neck down. The first “Shazam!” film used this same tactic with its Superman cameo, and we never did see his face, presumably because including a high-priced star like Henry Cavill might have been cost-prohibitive.

In “Fury of the Gods,” the first Wonder Woman tease comes in Billy Batson’s dream date with Diana Prince. When she turns around, she has the face of The Wizard (Djimon Hounsou) instead. Later, when the real Diana finally makes her last-minute entrance — complete with a Hans Zimmer needle drop — it’s the very definition of a deus ex machina.

Deus Ex Diana

The way it’s shot, Wonder Woman’s “Fury of the Gods” cameo just amounts to misguided fan service. For the big reveal, the camera pans up from her neck as her theme music plays, as if it’s realizing — long after the audience has put two and two together — that this isn’t just some random gal — it’s the Gal Gadot.

However, since we’re one step ahead of the movie already, it’s not nearly as impressive as it thinks it is when it pulls this ka-ching move (as if to say, “Oh, ho. Look who we got. The real Gadot!”) And it’s especially awkward to see Wonder Woman used as a plot device to resurrect the hero of the movie, Shazam, after it’s gone about the pretense of having him sacrifice himself to save the world.

Webster’s defines a deus ex machina as “a person or thing (as in fiction or drama) that appears or is introduced suddenly and unexpectedly and provides a contrived solution to an apparently insoluble difficulty.” There’s not a picture of Wonder Woman in “Fury of the Gods” under that definition, but there might as well be.

After a few seconds on screen, Gadot settles back into her old charm, radiating the nobility of Christopher Reeve’s Superman, but since “Wonder Woman 3” will officially not be moving forward, this botched, somewhat ham-fisted cameo could be the last time we see her as Wonder Woman. If so, that would mark an ignominious end to her DC tenure. The first “Wonder Woman” was arguably the first good film in the DC Universe. It saved us from the likes of “Suicide Squad” and “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice,” and the American Film Institute even recognized it as one of the 10 best movies of 2017.

Gimmick Of The Gods

Gal Gadot’s big cameo in “Shazam! Fury of the Gods” would have been a mind-blowing thing if it had arrived fifteen years ago, when the idea of a shared cinematic universe was new and all we had to go on were epilogues in “Iron Man” and “The Incredible Hulk.” Her scene might have even been a big deal if it had arrived ten years ago, when “Man of Steel” kicked off the DC Universe.

Since then, however, audiences have seen superheroes crossing over into each other’s movies left and right, with all kinds of stingers setting up future sequels (or go-nowhere threads, like Mr. Mind). Having a cameo at the end just for the novelty of it is no longer as special. You need a good reason for it, otherwise it just comes across as a gimmick.

If they really wanted to include Gadot in “Fury of the Gods,” it seems like the normal thing to do would have been to write Wonder Woman into the plot in an organic way. Make it a team-up. Make her the co-star. She’s already a demigoddess who’s faced off with the Greek god of war, so her corner of the DCU would naturally incline itself to involvement with the daughters of Atlas (another Greek god).

Maybe Gadot is just busy, or maybe her price tag is so high now that the budget didn’t allow for more than one scene with her. Whatever the reason, this can’t be the last we see of her as Wonder Woman. It just can’t. Give her a few years off if need be, but bring her back in another movie and give her more to do next time than just wink goodbye to the audience.

“Shazam! Fury of the Gods” is in theaters now.

Read this next: Every DC Movie Made Prior To The DCEU Ranked From Worst To Best

The post Let’s Talk About the [REDACTED] Cameo in Shazam! Fury of the Gods and What It Means for the Future appeared first on /Film.

/Film – Let’s Talk About The [REDACTED] Cameo In Shazam! Fury Of The Gods And What It Means For The Future
Author: Joshua Meyer
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March 18, 2023

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