Archive for the ‘David F. Sandberg’ Category

The Daughters of Atlas

Shazam! Fury of the Gods

Director: David F. Sandberg

Cast: Zachary Levi, Rachel Zegler, Helen Mirren, Asher Angel, Jack Dylan Grazer, Adam Brody, Lucy Liu, Djimon Hounsou, Ross Butler, D. J. Cotrona, Grace Caroline Currey, Gal Gadot , Meagan Good

Running Time: 2 hours and 10 minutes

Film Rating: 7 out of 10

Swedish director David F. Sandberg returns to the Shazam franchise to make the highly anticipated sequel to the 2019 film, simply known as Shazam: Fury of the Gods.

The Gods in this case are the perilous daughters of Atlas, Anthea played by West Side Story star Rachel Zegler, Kalypso played by Lucy Liu (Kill Bill, Chicago, Charlie’s Angels) and the eldest sister Hespera oddly played by Oscar winner Helen Mirren (The Queen) who is quite surreal in a superhero film. However, Mirren does bring a certain gravitas to a film which is primarily aimed at school kids. The scenes between Mirren and Levi are hilarious.

At the centre of Shazam: Fury of the Gods, is Shazam himself wonderfully played again by Zachary Levi in which his younger 18 year old self Billy Batson is played by Asher Angel, who along with his fellow superheroes including Freddy, the older version played by Adam Brody and the younger version brilliantly played by Jack Dylan Grazer, team up together to fight the evil Daughters of Atlas, who unbeknownst to the human population of Philadelphia decide to wreak havoc on the city.

Instruments of havoc for the Gods include ancient Greek creatures and a fearsome dragon which Kalypso loves to ride, referencing the infamous scenes from HBO’s Game of Thrones and more recently The House of the Dragon. During the epic battle scenes unicorns roam the streets of Philadelphia which elevates the film completely into fantasy.

Shazam tries to negotiate with Hespera at a fast food outlet only to be chucked against the wall, as all three daughters possess enormous unearthly powers. While the two older sisters aren’t looking, the beautiful Anthea wonderfully played by Rachel Zegler falls in love with the younger, slightly awkward teenage Freddy superbly played by Jack Dylan Grazer, who at nearly twenty years old is a talent to watch. The onscreen chemistry between Zegler and Grazer grounds the visual effects heavy superhero film and gives the narrative a positive romantic shine, unexpected in most comic book capers. Then again there is always the crush that Shazam has on a more powerful superhero: Wonder Woman.

Unlike the menacing world of director Matt Reeves’s excellent film The Batman, Warner Brothers Discovery Studio decided to make a brighter superhero film and in that respect Shazam: Fury of the Gods delivers a fantastically entertaining film which is perfect for light entertainment. If viewers don’t take the film too seriously, then they will find it immensely enjoyable.

Shazam: Fury of the Gods gets a film rating of 7 out of 10 and there is a wonderful surprise at the end as the DC Superhero universe continues to expand exponentially. Recommended viewing as a family film.

Fighting the Seven Deadly Sins


Director: David F. Sandberg

Cast: Zachary Levi, Mark Strong, Djimon Hounsou, Michelle Borth, Jack Dylan Grazer, Asher Angel, Adam Brody, Cooper Andrews, Grace Fulton, John Glover

D. C. Comics finally made a feel good superhero film without too many dark undertones in director David F. Sandberg’s hilarious and quirky kid turned adult superhero film Shazam! featuring Zachary Levi (Thor: Ragnarok) in the title role as the grown up caped crusader and the younger boy version whose real name is Billy Batson wonderfully played by Asher Angel.

British actor Mark Strong (Kingsman, The Golden Circle, Miss Sloane, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy) is cast as the evil villain Dr Sivana who unleashes the monstrous Seven Deadly Sins onto an unsuspecting population in Philadelphia and eventually battles Shazam! in a wonderful amusement park showdown. 

Whilst Wonder Woman and Aquaman were real grown up superheroes Shazam is an orphaned kid Billy Batson who inherits superhero powers including super-human strength and the ability to charge cellphones with large voltages of electricity from a mysterious wizard played by an unrecognizable Djimon Hounson Oscar nominated star of In America and Blood Diamond.

Shazam! is not to be taken too seriously but is terrifically entertaining especially when the adult version of the superhero is played with such mirth by Chuck TV star Zachary Levi in one of the dorkiest superhero costumes ever invented. Shazam! is a great family film and will particularly resonate with ten year old boys and teenagers.

Like with Wonder Woman and Aquaman, DC Comics got it right with the light hearted humorous film Shazam! This caped crusader action film is definitely worth seeing and gets a film rating of 7 out 10.

Audiences should look out for cameos by Adam Brody (Lovelace, Mr. and Mrs Smith), Michelle Borth from Hawaii 50 fame and a particularly brilliant performance by Jack Dylan Grazer as the crippled orphan boy with a sharp mouth Freddy Freeman who becomes Billy’s sidekick. 

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