Title – Black Adam (2022)
Director – Jaume Collet-Serra (Jungle Cruise)
Cast – Dwayne Johnson, Aldis Hodge, Pierce Brosnan, Bodhi Sabongui, Sarah Shahi
Plot – Freed from 5000 years of imprisonment, the godly Teth Adam (Johnson) finds his old city of Kahndaq overrun by crime lords as he looks to take back what is his and fight off the advancements of the Justice Society who are looking to stop him from more violent acts.
“Force is always necessary”
Review by Eddie on 04/11/2022
For a while here there’s a sense that DC, on one of its few and far between occasions, has managed to deliver a feature film product worthy of its source material (and extensive budgets) with director Jaume Collet-Serra managing to start Black Adam in a fun and exciting fashion that seems to suggest audience goers were going to be treated to something a little unexpected, something just slightly amended from the usual playbook of initial superhero adventures but then all hope and excitement is extinguished by a teenage boy and his ever-present skateboard.
More on that later.
A much-hyped production that its leading man has been championing for the better part of the last few years, Black Adam presents DC with one of its greatest chances yet to bring one of its more complicated creations to screen and while his natural charisma (that you either love or hate) is mainly squashed in a role that brings to mind Arnie from Terminator 2, Dwayne Johnson fits the bill to be our anti-hero Teth Adam but despite some impressively staged early action scenes and a narrative that doesn’t always play to the rules set out for large blockbuster origin stories such as this, Black Adam is unable to keep the foot on the gas as some questionable narrative decisions and character inclusions halt much of the films progress in being a silly but fun popcorn munching ride.
There are times here when you forget you’re watching a Black Adam film with Bodhi Sabongui and Sarah Shahi’s Kahndaq natives Adrianna and Amon Tomaz joining Adam’s journey as he awakens from a 5000 year slumber to all of a sudden be battling unknown forces and Aldis Hodge’s Hawkman led Justice Society, with these two characters playing large roles in proceedings to an extent they become a genuine annoyance and by the time Amon is rallying local citizens in one of the most cringe-worthy battle cries committed to celluloid before leading a charge on his beloved skateboard you know that Black Adam has failed to hit the mark.
These glaringly non-important characters and plot diversions do in some ways mask other problems that become more apparent as Black Adam’s runtime wears on with Collet-Serra’s insistence on including either a blasting musical score or Spotify 101 pump up songs in all of his abundant slow-mo action scenes or a collection of underdeveloped characters that includes the films main villain and Justice Society members Atom Smasher and Cyclone other reasons why the film fails to go on with its various moments of promise, with one almost wishing we were allowed more time to get to know Adam or even Pierce Brosnan’s Dr. Fate/Kent Nelson, who steals many of the films best scenes with one hoping the veteran screen actor gets a chance to shine in a solo outing in the near future.
To be fair to all involved, Black Adam is far from the worst DC movie to come our way but in regards to promise and potential verses the final outcome, this loud, colourful and soulless outing is equivalent to the likes of Man of Steel and Suicide Squad as features that seemed to be set to shine only for poor decisions and weak directive decisions hampering any chance they had of shining on the big stage.
Final Say –
Not without its moments, Black Adam is hampered by an increasingly painful plot-line and even worse supporting characters that take away from the films early signs that it is looking to do something a little different than the usual origin story run-through.
2 1/2 skateboards out of 5
Yeah, it’s interesting – I was excited to see what they’d done but it’s so overblown and so generic BUT it’s because of the excessive characters that just aren’t needed. Strip all that away, and you’ve got some good stuff but run of the mill scripting, I could have easily got rid of Cyclone and Atom Smasher – who bring nothing but feel like they’ve been accidentally shoved in from an X-Men movie in this context – and just get to the story in the middle.
It’s a pity, again, from DC but hopefully Black Adam will get stronger stories in the future.
NB: I still really like Man Of Steel, revisit it if you haven’t for a while, it’s basically Nolan – hence a little bit of cohesion!
I didn’t hate Man of Steel, but gee I felt like it was so close to being something so much more ha. A little frustrating.
But yes this one was just so jam-packed with random characters and little side plots that were entirely unneeded. There’s a really strong blockbuster film here somewhere.
Here’s hoping Wakanda Forever nails it.
You just reminded me there was a trailer for Wakanda Forever before Black Adam and the vibe… so good!
And yeah, the side plots and characters could easily have been removed, just a pity, but at least Dwayne Johnson has the power to go again, hopefully!
I am very keen for this Thursday mate, I have no idea how their going to pull it off but I have faith in Coogler.
Good review. Definitely agree with you. Johnson was probably the only good thing about the movie. The rest of it felt rushed, half-baked, and dated for a superhero film. With so much hype placed on the movie, it surely was a disappointment.
DC are really good at that mate, lots of hype and not much delivering outside of the Batman world.
I’m not much interested in Black Adam, though I can’t wait to see your review of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever!
Hopefully have the review up this Friday mate. Looking forward to it.
I’m not much interested in what DC is doing – not because I dislike the characters but because i dislike what is being done to them.
Couldn’t agree more, even if I loved this years batman take most DC stuff is hugely disappointing.