Shazam! Fury of the Gods: a Disappointing Sequel to its Hit Predecessor

Fans of the DC Extended Universe can rejoice as the much-anticipated sequel to 2019’s Shazam! has finally come on the big screen. Titled Shazam! Fury of the Gods, this action-packed movie promises to deliver more humor, heart, and thrills.The first film introduced us to Billy Batson, a teenage foster kid who gains the ability to transform into a powerful superhero named Shazam by simply uttering the magic word “Shazam.” In Shazam! , Billy and Shazam teamed up with his foster siblings to take down the evil Dr. Sivana.The sequel sees the return of our favorite characters, including Billy’s foster siblings, Freddie, Mary, Eugene, Pedro, and Darla, and the powerful wizard Shazam. But this time, they face new challenges as they go up against the evil Hespera and her daughter Kalypso, played by Helen Mirren and Lucy Liu.Shazam! Fury of the Gods promises an even more epic and action-packed adventure, with stunning visuals mixed in with a bit of humor and heart that made the first film so famous. Zachary Levi returns as the adult superhero Shazam, while Asher Angel plays his teenage alter ego, Billy.However, despite all the hype around the new DC movie, it had a disappointing opening weekend at the box office, only earning an estimated $30.5 million domestically and $65.5 million worldwide. This marked a significant decline from the first film’s $53.5 million domestic opening in 2019, making it one of the worst opening weekends ever for a major superhero movie or a DC Cinematic Universe release. In addition, the film received a B+ CinemaScore from audiences, down from an A for the first movie, and its 53 percent critics score on Rotten Tomatoes was a far cry from the original’s 90 percent.To some extent, Fury of the Gods has been impacted by the significant reboot at DC. The film marks its debut released under the new leadership of James Gunn and Peter Safran, who has charted a new course for the superhero franchise. While the filmmakers have been cautious not to completely rule out the possibility of any previously established DC hero returning (except for Henry Cavill’s Superman), fans are beginning to anticipate a shift in the overall direction of the franchise.The most exciting thing that came out of the movie is the cameo appearance of Gal “Wonder Woman.” In “Fury of the Gods,” the first tease of Wonder Woman comes in Billy Batson’s dream, but when she turns around, she appears as The Wizard. It’s not until later in the film that the real Diana Prince makes her grand entrance, accompanied by a Hans Zimmer soundtrack, which feels like a deus ex machina.”The Flash” will be the next film to be released in the DC Extended Universe (DCEU) and will serve as a conclusion to the franchise while setting up the new DC Universe (DCU). This would have been acceptable if it was not followed immediately by “Blue Beetle,” which is intended to launch a new film series, and the Aquaman sequel, which was initially planned to be the second part of a trilogy. To further complicate matters, Peter Safran has stated that Jason Momoa may play a different character in the DCU, but not two characters, which contradicts Momoa’s claim that he will always be Aquaman. This situation has led to the simultaneous end of one cinematic universe and the birth of another, potentially using elements from the former if it proves financially feasible. Even for comics fans, this is a highly confusing predicament that presents too many complexities to unravel.

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