review by Bobby Blakey
For years we heard the Dwayne Johnson was going to be taking on the role of Black Adam, but it appeared this would not ever happen. Finally after the success of Shazam! things slammed forward and were back on the fast track with Johnson making the announcement it was back on. Now after all the time and delays due to the pandemic the film is finally here with Johnson reteaming with his Jungle Cruise director Juame Collet-Serra and co-starring Noah Centineo, Aldis Hodge, Quintessa Swindell, Pierce Brosnan, and Marwan Kenzari. Could this film do the legacy of Black Adam justice or should he have stayed locked away?
Black Adam follows nearly 5,000 years after he was bestowed with the almighty powers of the ancient gods—and imprisoned just as quickly—Black Adam is freed from his earthly tomb, ready to unleash his unique form of justice on the modern world.
As much as I love all things comics the idea of Black Adam getting his own film instead of showing up to directly face-off with Shazam! always baffled me. After seeing the film now I get it and glad they did. Sure the film is a bit all over the place at times and moves at a sometimes too fast pace getting to the next action sequence, but I would be lying if I said I didn’t have a damn good time.
The story here is simple and does a decent enough job at keeping the lore in place for the character. I loved all those elements, but did feel like it kind of rushed through it at times and ever really gave the impact it thought it did. It didn’t hurt the film for me, but there was so much more depth there that could have been achieved if they had just slowed it down a bit. This is where
the issue is though as too many fans complain about lack of action, but here I can already hear the trolls complaining about too much.
Johnson clearly was all in on this project and does a great job as Black Adam. This is not the usual charismatic Johnson fans know and love, but and angry dangerous stoic man that is not here to do anything other than destroy. There are some lighter moments with the fish out of water element that works well, but overall he does a great job with the tone of this character and never straying from that.
My biggest excitement was getting to see Hawkman on the big screen in all his badass glory played perfectly by Aldis Hodge. They nailed this version of the character giving him the right attitude to be the perfect advisory for Adam along with the rest of the JSA. Brosnan as Dr. Fate is another perfect casting as he brought the class, swagger and intelligence to the role that made him stand out across the board. While they are both fun to watch both CEntineo and Swindell as Atom Smasher & Cyclone were kind of pointless to me. They added some comedy and are fun to watch in action, but beyond that not sure why they were there.
The action itself is all kinds of fun. There are tons of fights, destruction and excitement that will no doubt entertain. Every character gets their moment to shine and it is just another visual treat seeing all these characters hope off the comic page and into the real world. I applaud them for really letting the violent chaos ensue because it really slams the impact to these characters power home especially for Adam and Hawkman.
There are a couple of issues that got to me with one being the over use of slow motion. It looks awesome, but it felt like they tried to do it as much as they could and were doing a homage to 300. The final villain which almost felt crowbarred in with everything else going on that I thought could have just kept with the conflict with the JSA which was enough. The character is pretty cool looking, but never really felt liked that much of a threat with everything else going on leading up to it and seemed more like and afterthought.
Despite some issues I really did love this movie. Getting to see so much chaos and destruction from these awesome characters pleased the comic nerd that is housed inside me. Having it firmly planted clearly in what came before while still doing its own thing was a lot of fun and gives hope to the future of DC. Johnson was not kidding when he said that things were about to change in the DC cinematic universe and I cannot wait to see what’s next.
There is a fun mid-credit scene that sadly will be leading to nothing with the current retooling of the DCU and its already been announced that there was no Black Adam 2 on the horizon, but looks like we will see him eventually in some capacity so let’s hurry up and get the Shazam! vs Black Adam train rolling as it should be!
In addition to the film this release offers up bonus content including numerous featurettes showcasing how they brought this iconic DC character to life and so much more. Grab your copy of Black Adam available now on digital and then on 4K, Blu-ray and DVD on January 3, 2023 from Warner Bros Home Entertainment.