As Billy Batson and his foster siblings use their newfound powers to aid the citizens of Philadelphia, three sisters descend to Earth to take up the legacy of their father, the god Atlas.

Lots of kids love superheroes, but there aren’t that many superhero movies for kids. Shazam! and its new sequel, Fury of the Gods, both by David F. Sandberg, are aimed more at younger audiences. Especially since the main characters are between 10 and 20 years old… although Zachary Levi, 42, takes the leading role. Before we go any further, let’s go back to the beginning.

In Shazam!, Billy Batson (Asher Angel) is a young teenager. Without being evil, he moves from one foster family to another and inherits the ancestral powers of Shazam when he has just moved in with his new parents, who are already hosting three boys and two girls. Billy only needs to shout “Shazam” to get the wisdom of Solomon, the strength of Hercules, the endurance of Atlas, the lightning of Zeus, the courage of Achilles and the speed of Mercury – which forms the acronym SHAZAM. Also, his appearance changes to what he would look like at his full potential, that of a man in his late thirties – huh? In the end, the young superhero in the body of Zachary Levi manages to defeat the villainous Dr. Sivana with the help of his siblings, who have also been granted superpowers.

La Presse didn’t review the release in 2019. Here’s a quick one: it’s average, say 5/10. The action is tentative, the quality of the acting is uneven, and the humor is simplistic. But, as we pointed out, this film is for young people. It fails, however, to entertain adults the way most of Pixar’s work does so well.

In this regard, Fury of the Gods does better. The addition to the cast of the excellent Helen Mirren and Lucy Liu certainly has something to do with it. Along with Rachel Zegler (revealed in West Side Story), they form a trio of sisters with very different personalities. Their dynamic is one of the strengths of Henry Gayden and Chris Morgan’s screenplay.

The children have now grown and their personalities have developed. Schoolyard conflicts gave way to the joys and sorrows of adolescence. Jack Dylan Grazen, who stood out as Freddy Freeman in the first chapter, inherits a bigger role this time around; a good decision.

Among “adults”, Meagan Good is particularly fun as the youngest of the family, Darla. Zachary Levy remains the best at playing 15-year-olds. Through his energy and enthusiasm, the actor we saw for a long time in the Chuck series manages to convince us that his family is really close to his heart and that being a superhero is not easy.

The need for attachment and affirmation are among the beautiful messages conveyed in Fury of the Gods. At least it’s not too heavy. However, the main issues of the story are uninteresting. It’s also hard to believe that three goddesses and their dragon wouldn’t crush a handful of youngsters in an instant.

The action and fight scenes are more numerous than in the first part, although they are more comic than spectacular. About humor, precisely, some dialogues make you smile, nothing more. But laughter is contagious, so might as well see Shazam! Fury of the Gods with children.

Finally, note that Montrealer Jean-Christophe Beck signs the music, as he did for Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania.