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Shazam! Now that Fury of the Gods is in theatres, critics and fans are slightly disappointed. The response is much less favorable than it was for the first movie, and there’s one big reason for that. Unfortunately, this is a problem that almost all superhero movies have.
Fury of the Gods is full of jokes and childish humor, most used at the worst times. This trend took off with the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but the formula is getting old even there. Since the comedy keeps bringing down the movie, the dramatic parts could be clearer.
Shazam! The Gods’ Fury Can’t Stop Making Bad Jokes
Several scenes in Fury of the Gods are so funny and full of jokes that it almost seems like the movie is trying too hard to make people laugh. The city of Philadelphia makes fun of the Shazamily by calling them “Phillie Fiascos” and acting like they are total failures. Even though his alter ego acts very differently, almost every line Billy Batson says as Shazam is an attempt to make people laugh. Sometimes the Daughters of Atlas are used in jokes, which doesn’t make them any less dangerous.
Even Shazam, the wizard, is turned into a funny part of the story. Because of this, he rarely seems wise or almost divine. In the same way, essential scenes that should be serious are often mixed with too much humor. For example, when Billy changes back into a human in front of Rosa and Victor Vásquez, his adoptive parents, the scene is almost ruined when his dad asks him if he’s the reason the house keeps getting hit by lightning. It’s a problem that keeps coming up, and it’s the main reason why the sequel feels so fake compared to the first one. But, as a rival studio discovers, the problem isn’t just with the second Shazam! Movie.
In the 2010s, superhero movies became more and more popular. This was primarily because of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which took off after The Avengers came out in 2012. This movie, which the funny Joss Whedon directed, set the tone for many MCU movies to come: it was a borderline action comedy. Some of these movies are so full of jokes and cutesy lines that some would say they ruin their best scenes. Iron Man 3 and the most recent Thor: Love and Thunder are two examples. Even when things needed to get serious, these movies always made jokes and did silly things, which took away all the stakes.
The superhero movie genre goes in cycles. People who made fun of the Snyderverse for being “dark and gritty” are now bored and even annoyed by how other superhero movies try to be too funny. Much like Fury of the Gods, even Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantum Mania shows this. Both films try to make their franchises more serious, but the comedic parts are still obvious. This makes the stakes less important and makes even the best jokes seem annoying. Now, it seems that trying to copy the style of the MCU when it comes to comedy isn’t quite the sure thing it used to be. It’s just one joke, too many for Shazam! Fury of the Gods.
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