Not bad, but not great either.

If there was ever a more border-of-the-line, safe superhero story, this would be it. Shazam 2: Fury of the Gods suffers from writing that doesn’t feel new or interesting even though it proceeds to attempt “bolder” set pieces and sequences.

It’s been two years since the first film, so the Shazam family has grown up. With different personalities, there are other wants and needs. At the center of it all, an almost 18-year-old Billy Batson is afraid of aging out of the foster system (an idea that is never really explored further). While they have fun (attempting) to save the world straight from the comfortable confines of Philadelphia, it’s clear the end is coming.

But that’s all there really is to it.

The comparative deadness of the latest film in what has been a sad string of DC Extended Universe superhero films is hinted at by the generic, self-important subtitle, “Fury of the Gods,” which is not meant ironically. At this point, the name “DC Comics” on a picture is practically a sign saying, “Stay Away.”

If there is a standout this time around, it’s the one good action scene. However, it comes near the start of the movie. It presents a devastating but small-scale problem that is easy to care about — the collapse of the Benjamin Franklin Bridge. But that’s the last superhero-type scene in the movie that is of any quality.

I love the director David F. Sandberg and I don’t hold him at fault for what he was given. Story is everything and with a story like this, there’s only so much that you can do.


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