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Today’s Prayer Focus
MOVIE REVIEW

Shazam! Fury of the Gods

also known as “¡Shazam!: La Furia De Los Dioses,” “Šazam! Bes bogov,” “Shazam 2,” “Shazam! Az istenek haragja,” “Shazam! Cơn Thịnh Nộ Của Các Vị Thần,” “Shazam! Fureur des dieux,” See more »
MPA Rating: PG-13-Rating (MPA) for sequences of action and violence, and language.

Reviewed by: Raphael Vera
CONTRIBUTOR

Moral Rating: Offensive
Moviemaking Quality:
Primary Audience: • Young-Adults • Mature Teens
Genre: Superhero Action Adventure Comedy Fantasy Sequel
Length: 2 hr. 10 min.
Year of Release: 2023
USA Release: March 17, 2023 (wide release)
DVD: May 23, 2023
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Featuring Zachary LeviShazam
Asher AngelBilly Batson
Jack Dylan GrazerFreddy Freeman
Rachel ZeglerAnthea
Adam BrodySuper Hero Freddy
Ross ButlerSuper Hero Eugene
D.J. CotronaSuper Hero Pedro
Grace Caroline CurreyMary Bromfield / Superhero Mary
Meagan GoodSuper Hero Darla
Lucy LiuKalypso
Djimon HounsouWizard
Helen MirrenHespera
See all »
Director David F. Sandberg
Producer New Line Cinema
DC Entertainment
See all »
Distributor Distributor: Warner Brothers Pictures. Trademark logo.Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company

Prequel: “Shazam!” (2019)

Shazam (Zachary Levi), as well as the rest of his family of superheroes have been labeled by the media as “The Philadelphia Fiascoes” due to their almost childlike naiveté in handling crisis situations. They may save lives, but they also cause a lot of property damage. Little does the world know that this is because they are all, on the inside, really just teenagers who were given their powers only a few years ago as seen in “Shazam!” (2019).

Due to Shazam’s unwitting destruction of the wizard’s staff, the barrier between our realm and the one of Greek mythology has vanished. This mistake allows Kalypso (Lucy Liu), Hespera (Helen Mirren) and Anthea (Rachel Zegler), also known as the ‘daughters of Atlas,’ to visit Earth and wreak death and destruction. But what are the ‘goddesses’ ultimate goal? Will the family of super-heroes become be able to thwart their sinister plans. And what will happen to Shazam’s alter ego or rather the teen within him, Billy Batson (Asher Angel), as he is about to turn 18 and must leave his foster family?

The plot of “Shazam! Fury of the Gods” is straight forward and all sub-plots, few that they are, tie back to either Shazam’s family or the aforementioned ‘daughters of Atlas’. Similar to DC films of late, the movie showcases the barest amount of exposition needed in order to transition to the next lengthy fight scene and features much material worth mentioning.

Objectionable Content

LANGUAGE: Moderate— God’s name is taken in vain 7 times with an additional two (2) “g*d-d***s” within the extra credit scenes. The expletive “Oh my G*d” was used 3 times and twice the subject of a “true god” was discussed, neither of which was referring to the actual Almighty. In the context of mythology talk of ‘gods’ and ‘goddesses’ appeared 19 times. Cursing included; “Taste the rainbow, motherf…”, “sc***w” (1), h*ll (4), a** (3), a**-h*le (1), sh*t (4), holy sh** (1), s**ks (2), d*cks (1), s**ks b*lls (2) and b*lls (2). In summary, both infantile and adult cursing was used throughout.

VIOLENCE: Very Heavy— While “Shazam! Fury of the Gods” is a bloodless film it features a heavy dose of mindless and sometimes graphic violence. People are seen bludgeoned, crushed, squeezed, burnt, stabbed, thrown from great heights, and although no people are shown inside the cars many vehicles are shown falling into the bay or are tossed, thrown or crushed during the film’s climax. One kid screams bloody murder as he fights off his possession by Kalypso. Two scenes, one depicting a long splinter being pulled out from under a fingernail and the other showing a character being impaled, were both unnecessarily long and suggest a sadistic intent by the director.

SEX/NUDITY: Minor— Freddy attributes a sexual disease to some bullies at school. When the kids walk in on their sleeping foster parents their dad is in boxers and their mom is in tight-fitting pajamas. Kissing is minimal, although a character rightly points out that because of the huge age difference of one couple, it is inappropriate. Later one of the parents asks, “what is it with our boys and older women?”

WOKEISM: Moderate— The film begins with an openly effeminate male tour guide and later one of the heroes, Pedro, admits he is Gay. The Philadelphia bridge that falls apart during heavy traffic suggests the ubiquitous need for government spending to fix all of society’s problems. The infinite floating doors in the cavernous superhero lair is another nudge by Hollywood to consider alternate realities (i.e. Marvel’s multiverse and recent Quantumverse). Superhero Darla chooses to save some kittens before saving their human owners. Age-inappropriate couples are presented as acceptable, if it is consensual. Drawings eerily similar to occultic symbols are shown in Sivana’s prison cell and during the end credits.

Lessons

Despite the lackluster narrative, the film managed to touch on a few subjects worth examining including idolatry, possession, the human heart and death.

IDOLATRY. The ‘daughters of Atlas’ wish to revive their long dead kingdom, but in fact Greek mythology as well as so many other myths are creations of man, and many say inspired by God’s adversary, the devil. However, Holy scriptures are clear on this practice:

“You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.” —Exodus 20:3-4

“Pay attention to all that I have said to you, and make no mention of the names of other gods, nor let it be heard on your lips.” —Exodus 23:13

“And exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.” —Romans 1:23

Q & A

About idolatry and false gods in the Bible

About idols in the Bible

Who is Satan, the enemy of God and all people?

POSSESSION. Kalypso is shown possessing people’s will by a mere whisper. While it is true that “your adversary the devil walketh about as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8), there is no instance of a believing Christian being possessed in the Bible. There are many reasons to explain why that is so, including the fact that the Holy Spirit now resides within us and that we have been delivered from ‘who we were’ to ‘what we are now’ as believers. Yes, He has indeed rescued us from this world and this horrible affliction.

“…greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world” —1 John 4:4

“As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient.” —Ephesians 2:1-2

“He has rescued us from the power of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins” —Colossians 1:13-14

Q & A

What are DEMONS?

DEMON POSSESSION and Influence—Can Christians be demon possessed? In what ways can Satan and his demons influence believers? Answer

Is Satan a real person that influences our world today? Is he affecting you? Answer

Learn about spiritual light versus darkness

As for our daily contentions with the devil, the Bible gives us this guidance:

“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” —James 4:7

THE HEART. The ancient wizard tells Billy/Shazam that he has a good heart and Anthea even says, “Your heart is wise.” Our Lord tells us not to rely just on our heart but also focus our mind on God and His ways.

“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? “I the Lord search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds.” —Jeremiah 17:9-10

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” —Proverbs 3:5-6

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” —Matthew 5:8

Q & A

What are goodness and righteousness?

Good works

<[>What is righteousness?

What is LOVE, for a follower of Christ? Answer

DEATH. A particularly blasphemous scene involves the use of a ‘god’s power’ to bring back someone from the dead. I am consistently amazed by the lengths that Hollywood will go to present us fiction that denies God and would suggest we mortals have any control over our fate, let alone our resurrection.

“And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment” —Hebrews 9:27

The Good News is that because of the sacrifice of our Lord Jesus, God’s only begotten son, death should no longer be feared on this side of life, nor on the other.

“I assure you that whoever hears my word and believes in the one who sent me has eternal life and won’t come under judgment but has passed from death into life.” —John 5:24

And so, by believing and trusting in Jesus as our savior, not only is there no judgment for us but eternal life and joy with our Father who art in heaven.

“He will swallow up on this mountain the veil that is veiling all peoples, the shroud enshrouding all nations. He will swallow up death forever. The Lord God will wipe tears from every face; he will remove his people’s disgrace from off the whole earth, for the Lord has spoken.” —Isaiah 25:7-8

Q & A

What is DEATH? and WHY does it exist? Answer in the Bible

What is the FINAL JUDGMENT? and WHAT do you need to know about it? Answer

What is ETERNAL LIFE? and what does the Bible say about it?

What is ETERNAL DEATH?

Observations

Shazam (|Zachary Levi) is as simple-minded as he ever was, and therein is the charm of his character. You root for him because he is a child at heart. The same goes for young Darla (Faithe Herman) whose child-like belief in unicorns is richly rewarded in a comically over the top cultural reference.

Unfortunately, this does not excuse the lack of villain backstory, motivations nor the explanations needed to make this anything more than a ‘business as usual’ comic book film. You have to suspect that not much thought went into developing the story, and you would not be far off the mark.

Final Thoughts

Both 2019’s “Shazam!” and “Shazam! Fury of the God” present heroes that harken back to a simpler, more innocent time and had the potential to be the most kid-friendly superhero films to date. What prevents this from happening is it’s embracing of extreme violence, cursing, woke advocacy, politics, mythology, demonic imagery and use of magic as a stand-in for the occult.

“Shazam! Fury of the Gods” is a sillier than usual superhero movie meant for kids that shouldn’t be seen by kids. A film that can’t decide between being lighthearted or dark, kid-friendly or rated R, and ultimately fails in the process.

  • Violence: Very Heavy
  • Profane language: Moderate
  • Vulgar/Crude language: Moderate
  • Occult: Moderate
  • Wokeism: Moderate
  • Nudity: Minor
  • Sex: None
  • Drugs/Alcohol: None

Learn about DISCERNMENT—wisdom in making personal entertainment decisions

cinema tickets. ©  Alexey SmirnovEvery time you buy a movie ticket or buy or rent a video you are in effect casting a vote telling Hollywood, “I’ll pay for that. That’s what I want.” Read our article

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.


Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Positive
Positive—Not great but not bad. Could have done without the first few moments and the character saying “I’m Gay,’ was pointless. Just the director trying to score “Look how inclusive I am,’ points that added no real value.

Story centered around the ideas of family and unity, and Billy trying to decide if he truly deserves his powers, and his place with his adoptive parents. Three daughters o Atlas trying to resurrect the way things are, only to learn you can’t recreate the past even if you have super powers.

No objectionable language that I noted, but audio quality on what I was watching wasn’t great.

Most viewers issues will be, aside from predictability, the use of magic and some characters identifying as Gods. Which remind me of a lien from the first episode of CW’s “The Flash,” when Weather Wizard calls himself a God, and a cop responds, “Why would God need to rob banks?’ Not too often even in the real world, when you hear those claims challenged.See all »
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 4½
David, age 58 (USA)
Positive—I realize this one has gotten a lot of bad reviews, but honestly, I liked it a lot better than the first one! Be warned of the language and such in the main review up above, but for those who enjoy the DC & Marvel worlds, this one is worth watching!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4
Chrystal, age 46 (USA)
Neutral
Neutral—It is decent compared to Hollywood standards, but Christian standards, that’s questionable. There are people believing they are god other than the one true God. There is a scene where someone raises someone from the dead. Those are some of the objectionable things in this picture. The one character saying he was “gay’ was so out of place and added zero dimension to the story. The villains were not intimidating in any way. The women look like they were standing in front of a screen in the scenes with them riding the dragon. The children were practically missing from the movie. The first one was about a child trying to fit in a foster family. It would have been nice if they continued in that storyline and showed how did they tried to work together. Instead, most of the movie was around their adult superhero version. It should have been the adults reflecting the personality of the children that they are. I did not get to know the children as much as I liked. I don’t know if people noticed, but Billy Batson was hardly in the movie. The magic of the children was just gone. The end credits for the first film would have been a nice story for a second movie. Alternatively, I got “Shazam: Fury of the Gods.”

For me, it was fun to watch, but I would not recommend this picture to young children. I feel that some of the CGI stuff is scary for small children. I would suggest 12 years old and up. There are swear words in this movie. I wanted to give a little tidbit. I found out that Zachary Levi, the adult actor who plays Shazam, claims to be a Christian. It is just a little know fact that I wanted to share.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 2½
Karen, age 53 (USA)

PLEASE share your observations and insights to be posted here.

Secular Movie Critics
…As we pick up Billy/Shazam’s story about four years later, it quickly becomes apparent this is just going to be a by-the-numbers, second-tier adventure with only a few small chuckles and one or two genuinely touching moments. The rest is just noise. …
Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times
…The origin story was the charm, but the sequel is hobbled by a less buoyant hero and bland villains. …more monsters and less joy…
Owen Gleiberman, Variety
0 stars for a teenage train wreck… there is not one halfway decent part of “Fury of the Gods,” and even viewers who are pathologically forgiving of the worst of comic-book movies — and the decline is swift — will find themselves asking why the wise ancient wizard from the first film is now calling an Uber. Or if Philly is really being saved by a unicorn that eats Skittles. …
Johnny Oleksinski, New York Post
…sequel is terrible… The formula is tired, and it’s particularly sad to see Shazam! surrender so completely and pathetically to it, when it might have been DC Comics most human superhero franchise. …t this point, the name “DC Comics” on a picture is practically a sign saying, “Stay Away.” …
Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle
There’s no saving this joyless superhero movie …With scenes of epic destruction uncorked with numbing frequency, the picture drags. It’s two hours and 10 minutes long and you feel every last second. …
Soren Andersen, The Seattle Times
…The film fails to build on the whimsical foundation of the first film in any way.…
Jake Cole, Slant
…it’s another retch-inducing mix of pixels and gibberish… light on ideas and heavy on inanity… involves zipping through grubbily staged action scenes while trading the sort of unrelentingly quippy dialogue that has the rhythm of jokes, but not the jokes of jokes, and therefore starts to grate after around five minutes. …[2/5]
Robbie Collin, The Telegraph [UK]
…A disappointing follow-up… With the story lacking real jeopardy, the feeling this leaves isn’t quite fury, but it’s certainly apathy. …[2/5]
James Mottram, Total Film
…Is it a tragedy of genre saturation, both movie-haltingly flashy and deeply unimpressive. Everything is constantly moving and you don’t feel a thing. …
Jacob Oller, Paste Magazine
…“Shazam! Fury of the Gods” isn’t unwatchable. It’s competent, uninspired swill, undone largely by the fact that it’s following up a superior first movie. …
Bilge Ebiri, Vulture (New York Magazine)
…The experience of watching this new Shazam! is akin to watching an exceptionally wealthy but ultimately sweet and innocent child smash their toys together for 130 minutes. There’s little point in it all, but hey, at least the kid is happy. …
Barry Hertz, The Globe and Mail (Toronto)