Review: Shazam! Fury of the Gods

t like several other superhero franchises in recent times, some of the male superhero characters in this film too cut a sorry figure.

Shazam review

Film: Shazam! Fury of the Gods
Director:David F. Sandberg
Cast: Zachary Levi, Asher Angel, Jack Dylan Grazer Adam Brody and others
Cinematography: Gyula Pados
Music: Chritopher Beck
Duration:130 minutes
Rating: 2 stars

Looks like Hollywood directors and production houses these days are all too eager to please feminists.

Production houses seem to be particularly cautious about the fact that no female character in their films come across as being weak.

More importantly, they ensure that there are no situations in their films wherein a female character requires the help of a male character.

These have become some of the unspoken rules that production houses now adhere to and director David Sandberg seems to have religiously stuck to this rule book while making his latest film ‘Shazam! Fury of the Gods’ .

In his bid to make his female characters appear strong, director Sandberg runs down his male characters showing them as being immature, stupid, weak and in constant need of help from his film’s female characters.

Some of the male superheroes appear so weak that one cannot but help look at them as mere specimens and not so much as superheroes.

Before we get on with the analysis any further, here is a brief synopsis of the film.

‘Shazam -The Fury of the Gods’ is a sequel to ‘Shazam'(2019). The 12th instalment in the DC Extended Universe (DCEU) continues the story of Billy Batson, the teen who turns into a DC superhero when he utters the all-powerful word Shazam. Billy returns in this instalment of the Shazam franchise to stop three goddesses who are out to seek revenge on humans. Billy Batson’s friends at the foster home, whom he considers family, join him in his mission to take on the Daughters of Atlas — Hespera, Kalypso, and Anthea.

Why do the daughters of Atlas want revenge? How are the Shazam superheroes going to stop them? The film answers these questions and more…

Glorifying female superheroes at the expense of men…
Just like several other superhero franchises in recent times, some of the male superhero characters in this film too cut a sorry figure.

Let me substantiate my point with instances from the film.

Take for instance a sequence involving Shazam (played by Zachary Levi) and Super Hero Mary (played by Grace Caroline Currey). Shazam constantly turns to Mary for advice every time he has a challenge to overcome.

In fact, there are instances when his statements give the impression that he considers her intelligence to be far superior to his!

Seeking suggestions is one thing but depending on somebody else to make your decisions for you isn’t what one would expect of a superhero.

In other words, the hero of the film, ‘Shazam’, comes across as a simpleton who is dependent on a female superhero to help him decide his next course of action.

The second example involves Freddy Freeman (played by Jack Dylan Grazer) who is totally smitten by Anne, (played by Rachel Zegler) when he meets her at his school. Freddy, despite being a differently-abled person himself, looks to defend her from bullies in school.

Eventually, Anne returns the favour to Freddy a few minutes later. However, after having saved him, she makes it a point to underline the fact that she did not need his assistance or help in the first place when it came to protecting herself at school. She goes on to explain how she was more than capable of protecting herself. This particular dialogue seems to have been written just to please feminists.

A leisurely analysis of the sequence shows that while Anne (who is actually goddess Anthea) does not require the assistance of Freddy, Freddy’s character is showcased in such a way that it very much requires Anne’s assistance to stay alive.

Strangely, while directors and production houses seem to be careful about not suggesting, even inadvertently, that women require help from men, they have no problem showing men as a weaker sex, being constantly dependent on women.

The film has some wonderful performances to offer. Rachel Zegler as Goddess Anthea is just charming and steals the thunder. She comes up with a scintillating performance and scores handsomely.

Young Jack Dylan Grazer who plays Freddy Freeman is equally captivating and comes up with a fine performance.

The others in the cast too come up with reasonably good performances.

The CG department seems to have done some stellar work and that works in favour of the film.

In short, ‘Shazam! Fury of the Gods’ is bound to come across as a decent entertainer, if you choose to ignore the bias against its male characters.