When we’re dealing with the classical antiquity as core concept for Shazam! Fury of the Gods, the entire Greek pantheon better show up!
All the DC movies from this year exist in a strange place. Since they’re not part of the new universe, they aren’t necessarily considered ongoing canon. That’s because of Warner Bros/Discovery wanting to revamp everything. After Black Adam (my movie review and commentary can be read here) did not invest enough into the legends and lore, I had trepidation regarding Shazam! Fury of the Gods.
I love the idea of incorporating mythology from ancient cultures into any superhero movie treatment. When done right, some heroes are just modern day updates to classical figures. For example, Horus is the spiritual predecessor of Hawkman. For the titular hero in this franchise, he embodies the best traits from six Greek divinities–Solomon, Hercules, Atlas, Zeus, Achilles, and Mercury.
But when a sisterhood from Greek myth decides it’s time to torment Billy Batson (Asher Angel and Zachary Levi), he’s in trouble. They are targeting his surrogate family to reacquire the power bequeathed to them by Shazam (and The Wizard). The death of the gods and to resurrect them is a big theme.
As a prequel, this film makes for the perfect lead-in to Monsters Inc., but as a standalone product, there’s not much to this film that simply explains how one big eye surrounded by a mound of green flesh and a fluffy blue bear has become bosom buddies.
Expectations were low for some long-time PIXAR fans going in to see Monsters University. In fact, they were smaller than the green imp, Mike Wazowski (Billy Crystal). He has these grand ambitions to be a Scare-a-lot even though he is better suited to be Care Bears material. The joke is on him when he finally arrives at the prestigious Monsters University. He is there to learn how to be scary and that is one tall order for the most tamest beast to grace this monster-verse.
Even James Sullivan (John Goodman) is more about fluff than flights of fancy as he tries to buffoon his way through college life.