Shazam! Fury of the Gods Parent Guide
More nuanced than the original film, this instalment delivers lots of action and violence, some laughs, and plenty of character growth.
Parent Movie Review
When Billy Batson (Asher Angel) unexpectedly gained superpowers at fourteen years of age, he and his foster siblings saved the world from a demented super-villain, but their actions unexpectedly opened the gates for future mayhem. Four years later, Billy anxiously anticipates aging out of foster care, but bigger problems lie ahead.
The three daughters of the Greek Titan, Atlas, are determined to restore magic to their divine realm and wreak revenge on the wizards and humans they blame for their long decline. To succeed, they must steal the wizards’ staff to regain their powers and then find a magical golden apple so they can plant the Tree of Life on earth. Since it’s not intended for terrestrial soil, the Tree will unleash terrifying destruction and will eventually end life on Earth.
It looks like humanity’s only hope will be an angsty Billy, lovesick Freddy (Jack Dylan Grazer), unicorn-obsessed Darla (Faithe Herman), and ambitious Mary (Grace Caroline Currey). Pedro (Jovan Armand) is hesitating to come out about his sexual orientation and Eugene (Ian Chen) is obsessing over video games and the nooks and crannies of their superhero lair. Will this motley crew be able to step up against three Greek goddesses whose specialties are chaos and violence?
Parents should be warned that violence is a defining feature of this movie. There are frequent scenes of people being punched, kicked, thrown into walls, impaled, and turned into stone or vaporized to dust. In one scene, a man’s mind is controlled and he jumps off a roof. Main characters die – and sometimes stay dead. A dragon terrorizes people and gruesome legendary monsters roam the streets of Philadelphia, killing and injuring the residents. On the non-violent end of the spectrum, adults may be unenthused with the movie’s product placement for Skittles. It’s not every day a corporation can get its product and advertising tagline into a movie, so this is a win for the Mars Wrigley company. Parents might feel like they are losing out when their kids start demanding to “eat the rainbow”.
The 2019 Shazam! release succeeded thanks to its over-the-top goofy vibe. It got lots of comic mileage out of challenges faced by kids and teenagers who suddenly found themselves in adult bodies with superpowers. There were lots of laughs and moments of growth. This sequel has fewer laughs and the goofiness is toned down. That doesn’t make the film boring, but it is more nuanced. The foster sibs are now dealing with the challenges of growing up in the real world as well as trying to save it. Their journeys deliver strong positive messages about love, loyalty, courage and self-sacrifice. The best part of the film, however, is Helen Mirren as Titan’s daughter, Hespera. Dame Helen is British acting aristocracy and she takes complete command of the movie anytime she’s on screen. She manages to imbue her mythical character with believable emotions and changes of direction, reminding us that no person is one-dimensional. The superhero movie market is heavily over-saturated but the Shazam! series thus far manages to stand out in the field by succeeding in the difficult balancing act of being sincere and tongue-in-cheek at the same time.
Directed by David F. Sandberg. Starring Zachary Levi, Asher Angel, Lucy Liu. Running time: 130 minutes. Theatrical release March 17, 2023. Updated March 16, 2023
Watch the trailer for Shazam! Fury of the Gods
Shazam! Fury of the Gods
Rating & Content Info
Why is Shazam! Fury of the Gods rated PG-13? Shazam! Fury of the Gods is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for sequences of action and violence, and language.
Violence: People are punched, kicked, tossed around, thrown into hard objects, vaporized, and turned into stone. Mind control is used on people, causing fights, and forcing one man to jump off a roof. A woman tortures people with her mind control skills. A bridge collapses, putting people into situations of extreme peril: many are saved by superheroes. A gigantic tree grows at a tremendous rate and spreads roots and vines throughout a city. Mythical creatures erupt from the tree’s nodules and attack city residents. A giant force field traps people inside a city. A person uses powers to spin and move large buildings: no injuries are shown but a significant number of people would inevitably be killed or injured in this kind of event. A dragon destroys a house and attacks people with claws and fire. Main characters die on screen; one is seen with serious injury detail. A person’s hands are cut by shards of glass.
Sexual Content: A teen boy and girl kiss. A character announces, with no detail, that he is gay.
Profanity: There are sixteen uses of profanity or crude language in the film, including three scatological curses, a half dozen crude anatomical terms, three terms of deity, and four minor profanities.
Alcohol / Drug Use: A character is apparently hungover, but she is never seen drinking and the cause of her discomfort is discussed in coded language.
Page last updated March 16, 2023
Related home video titles:
Shazam!, the first film in the series, introduces audiences to the wizard, Billy Batson, and his stepsiblings.
Another light-hearted take on the superhero genre is Spider-Man Homecoming. Younger superhero fans can enjoy the animated adventures of the web-slinging hero in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.
Another superhero fights a dragon in Shang-Chi and the Ten Rings.
A main character sacrifices himself for the sake of his friends in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, A scene from this movie is referenced in Shazam! Fury of the Gods.