Black Adam Review

DWAYNE JOHNSON as Black Adam and ALDIS HODGE as Hawkman in New Line Cinema’s action adventure “BLACK ADAM,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release. Photo Credit: Courtesy Warner Bros. Pictures

The DC Universe has not had the greatest record recently. While there have been a few bright spots fans have been vocal about how they feel the direction the DC Universe is going. You either like what they have done so far or you don’t. No matter what the studio will give the fans, there will be something to complain about. Black Adam is sadly going to fall into this category.

What Black Adam has going for it is star power. There are some heavy names here and each character has their moment to shine in all that action in this film and there is a lot of action. The story of Teth Adam is told at the beginning of the movie. I understand that for those new to his character the exposition is needed but it did feel like it ran a little too long. We next cut to 5000 years later where you think it’s a different future due to the flying motorcycles but these cycles are used by Intergang who has taken over the city of Khandaq.

We next meet Amon, played by Bodhi Sabongui, who becomes the John Connor to Teth Adam’s Terminator 2 character. He asks him a million questions about his power and tries to teach him catchphrases and things to say to look cool. This relationship between the two lays the groundwork for Teth’s feelings for Amon and his mother in the final act of the movie. We will cover that a little later. Amon’s mother Adrianna, played by Sarah Shahi, was a college professor but is now working with freedom fighters to save their homeland.

ALDIS HODGE as Hawkman in New Line Cinema’s action adventure “BLACK ADAM,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release. Photo Credit: Courtesy Warner Bros. Pictures

Seeing the destruction that Teth is causing in Kahndaq, the Justice Society is sent to stop him and take him as a prisoner. Just by seeing what Teth is doing to those around him we already know that the Justice Society is no match for him but they do put up a great fight. The action scenes in Black Adam are pretty great. We get to see the strengths and weaknesses of each member. Hawkman and Dr. Fate are the standouts here. Cyclone looks great but there were too many slow-motion effects used to show her skills and Atom Smasher was just there. I think too many superhero movies are trying to replicate the magic from Quicksilver’s slow-motion scene in X-Men: Days of Future Past that it doesn’t feel new anymore. We see an attempt at this earlier in the movie while the Rolling Stones’ “Paint it Black” is playing in the background.

At times it feels like the movie Black Adam is being pulled into multiple directions. It is somewhat of an origin movie but then it turns into a treasure hunt movie due to the Crown of Sabbac. Finally, it becomes a team-up movie when Teth and the Justice Society team up to fight the main villain of the movie. This villain seemed like a late addition but was needed to show that Teth can work with others as a team. Remember what I mentioned earlier about Teth catching feelings for Amon and his mother? Just like the Terminator was able to understand why John cries, Teth’s past helped him realize why he should help Adrianna and her son.

As someone who is new to Black Adam, I felt that they did a great job of introducing the character to the world. Is it a perfect introduction? Not really. There are a few missteps here and there with the plot and some lines that fell flat, but the movie is a lot of fun for what it is. Just like he walked through walls in the movie, Black Adam is going to tear down walls and walk us into the future of the DC Universe.

PIERCE BROSNAN as Dr. Fate in New Line Cinema’s action adventure “BLACK ADAM,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release. Photo Credit: Courtesy Warner Bros. Pictures

Final Thoughts: Black Adam breathes new life into the DC Universe. Dwayne Johnson has the looks of Black Adam down pact but at times it feels like more is needed from his character. The supporting cast and their dynamic are great and hopefully, we will get more time with them in the future. One thing that slowed the movie down was that it was exposition-heavy. Now that we got all the story out of the way, I can’t wait to see what is next for Black Adam. Make sure you stay for the mid-credit scene.

Kid-Friendly: Black Adam is a little more intense than most superhero movies but if your kids have been to other Marvel movies they will have no issues with this. Black Adam does kill more people than your average superhero and some of the killings are a little graphic. There are a few curse words dropped in the movie but no F’ bombs. The army of skeletons in the third act looks more Ray Harryhausen than The Walking Dead. Your kids might be scared or amused by them.

Violence: As stated above there is a lot of action in this movie. We do have scenes of people being shot and disintegrated. Black Adam’s way of getting vengeance is to destroy people and we see a lot of that in the first half of the movie.

From New Line Cinema, Dwayne Johnson stars in the action-adventure “Black Adam.” The first-ever feature film to explore the story of the DC antihero comes to the big screen under the direction of Jaume Collet-Serra (“Jungle Cruise”).

In ancient Kahndaq, the slave Teth Adam was gifted the almighty powers of the gods. But he used those powers for vengeance and was imprisoned. Now, 5,000 years later, he is freed and once again wields his dark sense of justice onto the world. Refusing to surrender, Teth Adam is challenged by a team of modern-day heroes known as the Justice Society— Hawkman, Doctor Fate, Atom Smasher, and Cyclone—who seek to return him to eternal captivity.

Johnson stars alongside Aldis Hodge (“City on a Hill,” “One Night in Miami”) as Hawkman, Noah Centineo (“To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before”) as Atom Smasher, Sarah Shahi (“Sex/Life,” “Rush Hour 3”), Marwan Kenzari (“Murder on the Orient Express,” “Aladdin”), Quintessa Swindell (“Voyagers,” “Trinkets”) as Cyclone, Mohammed Amer (“Mo,” “Ramy”),
Bodhi Sabongui (“A Million Little Things”), and Pierce Brosnan (the James Bond and “Mamma Mia!” franchises) as Doctor Fate.

Collet-Serra directed from a screenplay written by Adam Sztykiel and Rory Haines & Sohrab Noshirvani, based on characters from DC created by Bill Parker and C.C. Beck. The film’s producers are Beau Flynn, Hiram Garcia, Dwayne Johnson, and Dany Garcia, with Toby Emmerich, Richard Brener, Dave Neustadter, Chris Pan, Walter Hamada, Adam Schlagman, Geoff Johns, Eric McLeod, and Scott Sheldon executive producing.

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