Shazam! Fury Of The Gods

Learning how to juggle the superhero powers that were bestowed upon them at the the end of 2019’s Shazam!, Billy Batson (Asher Angel) and the rest of his foster siblings (Grace Caroline Currey, Jack Dylan Grazer, Faithe Herman, Ian Chen and Pedro Peña) are enjoying their alter egos (Zachary Levi, Adam Brody, Ross Butler, D. J. Cotrona and Meagan Good) while looking after the people of their hometown. But when the Daughters of Atlas arrive on Earth in search of magic that was stolen from them long ago, the Shazam! team will be tested more than ever before.

I was a huge fan of first Shazam! film. To this day, I think it is one of the stronger entries in the DC universe with its found family trope, funny one liners and great ensemble cast. I remember wanting to be a part of this group and couldn’t wait for more. With many delays, the sequel Fury of the Gods finally hit theatres this weekend and I can say that it was mostly worth the wait.

Where the film excels is once again in the aspects that I appreciated so much the first time around. The cast, helmed by Levi, is top notch delivering many laugh out loud and heartwarming moments. As for the kids, while the focus was more on Freddy this time around, I feel like it fit with the overall story. We already know a lot about Billy, so it made sense for us to learn more about some of his siblings. I also really liked having Helen Mirren, Lucy Liu and Rachel Zegler come to play as the villains. They completely owned their roles and Zegler, in particular, was a welcome treat that I hope we will have more of in the future.

With some pretty good CGI and never ending action, Shazam! Fury of the Gods is a good time for the whole family. Sure, they try to cram in too much into the two hours and ten minutes and there are a lot of characters to keep track of this time around, but it is still true to its predecessor. The future of DC may be up in the air at the moment, but I do hope this isn’t the last we will see of these characters that we have come to know and love.

Rating: ♥️♥️♥️

Black Adam

It has been 5,000 years since Teth Adam (Dwayne Johnson) became a demi-god and was imprisoned for misusing his powers. When Adrianna (Sarah Shahi) frees him from his tomb, the anti-hero must learn how to cooperate with the good guys if it means saving the world.

What worked for me here was Johnson’s performance as our protagonist – or antagonist – ? I thought he was perfect for the role. He had the look and the right attitude, though I wish we could have seen him grow more throughout the course of the film. Origin stories never give us enough time for that. I also liked the inclusion of the Justice Society. The casting for Dr. Fate (Pierce Brosnan) and Hawkman (Aldis Hodge) were genius, however, Cyclone (Quintessa Swindell) and Atom Smasher (Noah Centineo) were very one dimensional and didn’t get nearly enough screen time. It was as if their characters were an afterthought more than anything else.

I must admit that for once the CGI effects were impressive. This franchise is notorious for having struggled in that department in the past so I am glad that they are getting better. Not only that, but I really liked the soundtrack choices too.

Unfortunately that’s about it as far as my enjoyment goes. In true DC style, it seemed like the story took ages to get going. I didn’t find the script to be particularly groundbreaking and the scenes that didn’t involve any action were pretty lacklustre. Plus, the jokes, few as they were, did not make me laugh at all.

I heard many claim this was a turning point for the DC universe. While I want to agree with them, I still think that a lot of work needs to be done. Was it the worst I’ve seen out of the bunch? No, it wasn’t. And while I have always and will continue to defend DC to my dying day, there was that spark missing for me with Black Adam that had me yearning for more.

Rating: ♥♥.5

The Batman

When serial killer The Riddler (Paul Dano) starts targeting political members of Gotham City, leaving behind a trial of clues in his wake, Batman (Robert Pattinson) takes it upon himself to find out why. Striking up partnerships with James Gordon (Jeffrey Wright) and Selina Kyle (Zoë Kravitz) to unmask the culprit and bring justice to all, Batman soon realizes that The Riddler’s motivations are much more personal than he thought.

I was so, so hesitant to check out this latest venture into Batman’s story. The Dark Knight is one of my all time favorite films and it is what got me into the superhero genre to begin with. I didn’t understand why the story needed to be redone. When I say I went into this cautiously, that was an understatement. I really didn’t know what to expect, but I have to say that I wound up being pleasantly surprised.

This version of our beloved vigilante is much darker and that sets the tone for what’s to come. This paved the way for the Riddler which is by far one of the most intimidating villains I’ve ever seen. Paul Dano’s performance was out of this world; I really commend him for taking it as far as he did. The casting in general was on point. I loved what Zoë Kravitz did with Selina Kyle and Jeffrey Wright is brilliant as Gordon. I also can’t forget Colin Farrell who portrayed the Penguin. I didn’t even realize it was him!

As for Robert Pattinson, when news broke that he was casted as the lead, I really did not know what to think. Like many before me, when they think of him, their minds automatically go to Twilight. I really wasn’t sure if he’d be the right fit for this. I appreciate that he put his own stamp on the role and think he did well with it, however, I can’t say that I prefer him to Christian Bale.

Overall, The Batman was much better than I expected it to be and for that I am glad. In spite of the nearly three hour run time, the first chapter of this new story ticked all of the right boxes and I cannot wait for more.

Rating: ♥♥♥♥

The Suicide Squad

Our favorite supervillains are back in a sequel/reboot to 2016’s Suicide Squad. When the government decides to send Bloodsport (Idris Elba), Peacemaker (John Cena), King Shark (Sylvester Stallone), Ratcatcher 2 (Daniela Melchior) and Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) etc. to the remote island of Corto Maltese, they soon realize that their mission will not be an easy one. Dealing with the various obstacles thrown in their wake, their biggest test of all will be not coming to blows with one another.

The Suicide Squad directed by James Gunn was quite possibly the movie I had been looking forward to the most all summer. It is certainly one that I was very excited to see this year. Unlike many others, I actually liked the first Suicide Squad, but even I have to admit that this version takes the cake. The stakes were higher and it was just completely epic.

I loved the over the top battle scenes and the blood and gore. They were brought to a whole new level and didn’t let up once! I was losing my mind in the cinema at how crazy some of the scenes were. Pretty sure had I been watching at home that I would have yelled multiple times out of pure excitement.

Additionally, the humor was on point. I was laughing out loud the whole way through and that was all thanks to the incredible cast. So many notable names and the characters they played. Honorable mentions go to Ratcatcher 2 and King Shark, however I can’t leave out my girl Harley. She was brilliant in this.

With fabulous music and a fast paced storyline that kept me on the edge of my seat, The Suicide Squad more than exceeded my expectations. Dare I go as far to say that it is DC’s best film to date?

Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥

Zack Snyder’s Justice League

It’s no secret that I am total DC trash. I have always preferred DC to Marvel and it’s not just because Batman was my favorite character growing up. Despite the fact that they still need to find their footing, I am constantly looking forward to the newest installments and I believe they have a lot of potential. So, when I heard that Zack Snyder was releasing his cut of Justice League, I was stoked. Even I can admit that the 2017 Joss Whedon version left a lot to be desired. This was a chance at redemption and I loved absolutely everything about it.

Following Superman’s (Henry Cavill) self sacrifice, Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck) enlists the help of Diana Prince aka Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) to put together a team of superheroes in order to save the planet from new foe Steppenwolf (Ciaran Hinds). Arthur Curry/Aquaman (Jason Momoa), Victor Stone/Cyborg (Ray Fisher) and Barry Allen/The Flash (Ezra Miller) are recruited to form The Justice League. If they want to be successful, they need to get Superman back – and that’s just the start of their problems.

This movie is long. At a whopping four hours and two minutes, I think it is the longest superhero movie I have ever seen. But that is how it needed to be. Having all this extra time really allowed for storylines to be fleshed out more. Details here are vital and that is something we missed out on the first time around.

Not only that, but every single character had a strong backstory. This change gave us better insight into characters that we didn’t know much about before, like Cyborg and The Flash, for example. Nobody was left out and it was great to see more interaction between everyone too. The Flash in particular was an absolute stand out. He brought some much needed comic relief in the otherwise dark setting and I really hope he gets his solo film now.

The effects seemed like they had stepped up a notch and the overall atmosphere was much darker. I liked that because it fit the story and overall DC feel that way. I also loved the music choices throughout. They weren’t overdone, however when they were used, fit perfectly.

I truly believe that Zack Snyder’s Justice League is a masterpiece. I’m forever grateful that he decided to give the fans this gift. He really does have an amazing understanding on the DC universe and I hope there is a sequel (with him on the helm) in the future.

Rating: ♥♥♥♥.5