Never underestimate teens and their ability to act heroically.
These are the themes in two similar films that have been released this year in 2023.
WARNTING: Mild spoilers
Shazam! Fury of the Gods
Billy Batson is an abandoned teenager who is given magical superpowers by a grumpy disgruntled Wizard.
In FOTG Billy and his adopted family whom he shared his magical gifts with in the first Shazam movie
fight some disgruntled Greek goddesses who want to destroy humanity cause the Wizard took magic away from them in the past.
The old lady Greek goddesses and the teenage looking Greek goddess have a change of heart part way through the
film and then want to help the kids defeat the nasty middle-aged looking goddess.
Jack Dylan Grazer as Freddy Freeman gets the most screen and storyline as a kid outside of his super ego persona.
His character allows a disabled individual to be a hero without any superpowers and even has the 6000 year old young looking goddess
having a thing for him. I guess she was really lonely for all those millenniums.
In addition to greek goddesses the superpowered kids fight bad PR, an golden apple that might destroy the world, future decisions, a collapsing bridge, along with a big giant Dragon, Cyclopes, Harpies, Manticores, and Minotaurs, with the help of some unicorns.
Unicorns usually want to stick their horns into humans but can be apparently calmed by colorful tasty skittles.
Shazzam 2 points out its own plot holes, makes reference to the previous film and sets up a sequel which will never happen due to lack of people flocking to see this one. He is called Captain Marvel by someone at some point and your left with the question of why their is a Justice League and a Justice Society. Which is a shame as I found S!FOTG quite an enjoyable, fun, fantastic and funny film. There is also a great Wonder Woman cameo that actually weaves its way into the plot. Whenever she enters a DC film, her theme music automatically plays. This is part of her superpower.
The film highlights the value of sacrifice, the importance of family and adoption.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem
The four turtle brothers named after Renaissance painters have no magical powers.
But they did learn highly skilled martial arts from watching videos.
They are also mutant teenagers and developed into anthropomorphism creatures from baby turtles.
They are adopted by a mutant rat and fight against other mutants
who want to destroy humanity because some angry evil militaristic humans killed their
dad who gave them life.
Part way through the film some of the mutants who don’t want to destroy the humans
team up with the turtles to fight the evil bad guy disgruntled mutant fly and eventually
a giant mutant rampaging across the city like Godzilla.
The film places its moral core on the value that doing the right thing
cause it is the right thing regardless of how you feel and if people like you for it or not.
If people hate and despise you, protecting and helping them is still a good thing cause love
is willing the good of others and it is good to love your enemy but you still punch them in the other check.
The film has some good edited back to back fight sequences of the Turtles beating up thugs.
It has an animation style that explodes with visual wonder much like Across the Spider-Verse.
Even as an animated rat, Jackie Chan still gets to have a cool kick-ass fight scene where
he does Jackie Chan style fighting.
It pays tribute to its past in comics and film even having Vanilla Ice’s Ninja Rap playing in the background.
I’ve read that this is the first TMNT film to actually have actual teens play characters who are in fact teens.
They suffer from identify issues, depression and fitting in.
Unlike real teens they actually dream about going to school.
April O’Neil the human friend of the Turtles tries to come up with a cool title to call the turtles.
She doesn’t quite land of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
There is a hint of what is to come next if there is a next film.
Overall another fun action packed film with teen protagonists