“Shazam! Fury of the Gods” is now out, and it mostly recaptures the magic of its predecessor. Zachary Levi seems even more comfortable as the titular teenager in a titan’s tights. We’re treated to plenty of the Shazamily’s dynamics as they juggle their lives as orphans and superheroes, and that makes for plenty of humor and heart. Helen Mirren, Lucy Liu, and Rachel Zegler are worthy additions to the “Shazam” universe as Atlas’ daughters Hespera, Kalypso, and Anthea. There’s no shortage of flying, punching, and lightning in this action-packed sequel that’s sure to please comic book fans.
However, as entertaining as the movie is, the plot’s a bit messy and left me with a few questions — some of which relate to the lapses in logic that are typical in superhero movies and others that have more to do with confusing character motivations and story elements that aren’t given enough attention. Hopefully, these will be addressed in future DC Universe movies, but for now, these are moments in “Shazam! Fury of the Gods” that make no sense.
As an ancient goddess, Anthea (Rachel Zegler) has more than her fair share of mystical gifts. Her main power appears to be the ability to warp physical reality at will. The film uses some pretty stunning visuals reminiscent of the mirror dimension sequences conjured up by Doctor Strange in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Anthea’s powers are fun to watch, but they’re undermined by the lack of explanation of how they work, as it’s never quite clear whether she’s physically altering reality or if she’s employing some kind of mental misdirection or something else entirely. For example, when Shazam confronts her in her true form for the first time, she shuffles many skyscrapers around to slow him down. Again, it looks cool, but did she actually rearrange downtown Philadelphia or rewrite reality or create illusions to throw him off? I’m not asking for any scientific exposition on how a deity’s powers work. I just want a little consistency, that’s all.
Kalypso And Hespera’s Plan
Here’s what I know for sure of Atlas’ daughters Kalypso and Hespera’s plan: Steal the Wizard’s staff that Shazam broke in half in the first movie, force the Wizard to put it back together, and use it to … be evil? We’re given some backstory on the ill will between Atlas and the Wizard, so revenge seems to play a part in the sisters’ scheme. But outside of that, their grand design isn’t entirely clear.
Later, Hespera (Helen Mirren) breaks out of her prison at the Rock of Eternity and steals the Golden Apple — which just happens to be lying around and also happens to be a seed for the Tree of Life. This major coincidence changes the sisters’ plan. Hespera wishes to use it to bring life back to their realm (I think?), while Kalypso (Lucy Liu) wants to plant it on Earth. She does, and the tree’s “fruits” are just massive monsters from mythology that run amok in Philadelphia. Perhaps Kalypso is a Dallas Cowboys fan, and she’s sticking it to the Philadelphia Eagles? That’d make more sense than a convoluted 10,000-year-old grudge.
Anthea first appears in human form as a teenage student at the same high school that Billy and Freddy (Jack Dylan Grazer) attend. She even develops a little romance with Freddy, giving the misfit orphan a much-deserved break. However, she’s soon revealed to be a goddess, specifically the youngest sister of Hespera and Kalypso. It’s confirmed that all three are thousands of years old, but why is there such a major age difference between Anthea and her sisters?
Hespera and Kalypso conduct themselves far more maturely than Anthea, who acts like a teenager. Because she has the same level of (im)maturity as Freddy, their romance seems ideal — but their age difference makes it much creepier. Freddy’s a great guy and all, but considering how long Anthea has been around, surely she could find another demigod with whom to strike up a relationship. Whatever. It’s not like age-of-consent laws mean much to someone who can bend reality with little more than a thought.
No One Seems Too Bothered By The Blue Dome
When Hespera and Kalypso first arrive on Earth, they kidnap Freddy to force Shazam and the rest of the Shazamily to give up their powers. They then conjure a giant blue dome around the city. It’s a plot point that raises the stakes, but it’s treated as such an afterthought that it renders its inclusion almost nonsensical.
There’s a scene in which a civilian yells at Shazam to take care of the blue dome that’s trapped everyone inside it, but other than that, no one else seems annoyed by it. You’d think that being caged up in a magical ball would cause the city to go into a panic and ration food and supplies and whatnot, but everyone mostly goes about their lives as usual. Maybe the city is so used to being besieged by otherworldly entities that this is just another Tuesday for them. Still, it does seem like a waste of a plot device that, if handled properly, could have added a much-needed sense of urgency.
Mister Mind’s Evil Plan
The post-credits scene features an incarcerated Doctor Sivana (Mark Strong), now sporting a beard and looking more obsessed than ever, scribbling ancient signs onto his prison wall. His manic scrawling is interrupted by the arrival of the minuscule Mister Mind (voiced by director David F. Sandberg), who previously appeared at the end of the first “Shazam!” The evil caterpillar has been MIA since then. Sivana angrily demands to know where he’s been, to which Mister Mind responds that a plan is in the works and he’ll return soon.
It’s a fun little tease for fans, but one makes us wonder why Mister Mind is taking so long to get his scheme off the ground. Also, why weren’t Sivana and Mister Mind the villains of “Fury of the Gods?” Do the folks at DC Studios even know what they’re doing with these two baddies? This post-credits scene does little more than say, “Don’t worry, fans. Sivana and Mister Mind are still out there!”
Where Does This Film Fit In The DCU?
Last year’s shakeup at Warner Brothers left the future of many DC films in doubt or unceremoniously canceled. However, now that James Gunn and Peter Safran are running things, does “Shazam! Fury of the Gods” affect their plans? At the beginning of the film, Shazam talks to a therapist about his problems and name-drops other superheroes like the Flash and Batman. He also has a major crush on Wonder Woman (Gal Godot), who appears at the end to revive him after he gives his life to destroy Kalypso and the malignant Tree of Life.
Because of all of the references to the pre-Gunn-and-Safran DCEU, is this film ultimately meaningless to what’s in store? There’s still so much potential to explore in the mythological side of this growing cinematic universe, so here’s hoping Gunn and Safran are open to a Shazamily reunion in the future.
Read this next: Every DC Movie Made Prior To The DCEU Ranked From Worst To Best
The post Shazam! Fury of the Gods Moments That Make No Sense appeared first on /Film.
/Film – Shazam! Fury Of The Gods Moments That Make No Sense
Author: Joe Garza
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March 19, 2023