Black Adam – movie review

A film for fanboys, Black Adam is mired in mythology, which will be far more meaningful if you’ve read the DC comics. The film tells the story of Teth Adam, the slave who became champion, who becomes Black Adam (Dwayne Johnson).

The action starts in the ancient city of Kahndaq, where Adam is enslaved before being gifted almighty powers and imprisoned. Adam is jailed by mystical wizards deep within the Rock of Eternity, a place that serves as the source of all magic. However, the suspension of time has not weakened him, physically or emotionally. He is still imbued with remarkable powers. Adam possesses unbelievable strength, lightning-fast speed … and anger. Five thousand years later, he’s freed. In the course of the film, we learn why he wields his dark sense of justice on the world.

Adam’s return is quickly noted by Carter Hall, aka Hawkman (Aldis Hodge), who puts out a call to his friend Kent Nelson, otherwise known as Doctor Fate (Pierce Brosnan). Also with the re-formed Justice Society, are Atom Smasher/Al Rothstein (Noah Centineo) and Cyclone/Maxine Hunkel (Quintessa Swindell). The quartet aims to contain the antihero and return him to eternal captivity.

Adam Sztykiel, Rory Haines and Sohrab Noshirvani provide the script for Black Adam. Direction is from Jaume Collet-Serra, who was at the helm of Jungle Cruise, also starring Johnson. Unless you have a decent understanding of Black Adam beforehand, the film will likely seem convoluted. I felt like I was playing catch up most of the way. It’s a visual effects extravaganza, with fight sequence after fight sequence. The big screen is the perfect vehicle for the imagery and sound.

When it comes to the storyline, I can’t say any of it is inspiring. The plot is ho-hum and really no different to the many other superhero films. I found it difficult to understand the narration that kicked off the movie and some of the subsequent dialogue isn’t all that clear either. I know many films of this genre are long, but this one felt particularly so.

Johnson maintains his character’s stern visage throughout and always looks good on screen. I appreciated Sarah Shahi’s performance as Adrianna, the freedom fighter who retains her humanity. Bodhi Sabongui brings plenty of get-up-and-go to her street-smart teenage son Amon.

Black Adam is best suited to those who have historic ties to the superhero. I can’t say it moved mountains for me.

Alex First

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