Black Adam – Movie Review
Yet Warner Brothers continues to struggle with these legendary fighters for justice. With each step forward, this team takes a few steps back. Shazam! brought a breath of fresh air into the franchise, and The Batman finally proved that someone else could wear the black suit besides Christian Bale. Then there was the Justice League debacle, and Ezra Miller proved that one man can stop the fastest man alive. Yet despite COVID delays, there was hope that Dwayne Johnson could take on the Herculean task of lifting this extended universe out of the murky depths with his take on the antihero, black adam.
The story of this superhuman will take audiences back five thousand years to the Middle Eastern-inspired land of Kahndaq. As a slave who took a stand against the tyrannical regime, he was chosen by the wizards behind the legend of Shazam. Yet interpretations of his heroic exploits have been translated differently over the years, and in this modern age only a few people can read the ancient text.
While all the ancient writings speak of the tomb of the supposed hero lying somewhere in the ancient ruins of the city. As the famous city remains under an oppressive regime in the future, Adrianna Tomaz (Sarah Shahi) believes she has the secrets to freeing Teth Adam, the defender of the people of this land. After securing his freedom, the Justice Society of America is sent to contain this potential threat before he causes more chaos in the world.
The originality of this whole project was to have a superhero in the Middle East and to have a man who could fulfill the costume convincingly on screen. Dwayne Johnson has been working on getting this project to screens for years, but constant delays and COVID have put this project off several times. Still, now that it’s here, the aforementioned elements are the only innovative offerings in this latest entry in the DCEU.
Excerpts from films by Jaume Collet-Serra from X-men, Avengers, and even The Mummy deliver a familiar story that most viewers should be able to predict every step of the storyline. Despite having one of the most beloved and recognizable stars in the lead, this production failed to capitalize on the elements that made Johnson one of the most bankable actors on the planet. black adam leans into the dark, brooding side of this character instead of using The Rock’s charisma to make this anti-hero appealing.
Not to mention the set that makes up the Justice Society, all of which feel like an afterthought and needed more development for us to care about their existence. Aldis Hodge is compelling as Hawkman and the leader of this mob. Yet, as one of DC’s most obscure characters, few know they can’t tell him apart from Marvel’s Falcon.
Noah Centineo (Atom Crusher) and Quintessa Swindell (Cyclone) were fun additions, but they felt like X-men rejects who sometimes struggled to fit into this team. Pierce Bronson as Dr. Fate was the most intriguing addition to this motley crew and fills the role of Professor X well, but he still suffers from minimal character development. Due to the mad rush to get their part in this storyline, most audience members might wonder why we should cheer for this team. Everyone has something to add, but there isn’t enough time to get to know them.
Absence of a substantial villain
Interestingly, the lack of character development wasn’t the main problem with this film. The two areas that derailed this project can be attributed to tone and the lack of a substantial villain. The darkness of Zack Snyder remains in the general mood of these DC productions. However, unlike The Batman Where Jokerwhich relied convincingly on the violent sides of the central characters, this storyline remained dark and dark with no explanation for its violent tendencies.
Teth Adam is an anti-hero, but it takes too long to find out why he kills all his enemies and the reason for his constant gaze at the horizon. Then comes the component that weakens the effectiveness of this story, the adversary. Every great hero needs a fearsome and compelling enemy and that character wasn’t revealed until the final act. Naturally, the Justice Society is trying to figure out if Adam is the antagonist, but no one really believes Dwayne Johnson could be the villain. This leaves the viewer with the frustration of not knowing who to cheer against in this film. When the antagonist finally arrives, it feels like they’ve decided to bring all of the The Scorpion King add one more reference for good measure.
It’s hard to know what went wrong black adam in the theatre, but it might have been better to include it in the Shazam! movie instead. At least there he could have been allowed to use his humor while remaining on the darker side of this universe. This will be the biggest movie for a week or two, at least until Black Panther arrives, then it will return to the forgettable sands of Kahndaq.
Are there multiple gods?
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. John 1:1-2
black adam provides multiple talking points for conversations about God. Are there many gods who are ambivalent for society? Does magic play a role in people’s faith? Are there many roads that lead to one God?
Fortunately, the Bible gives us the answers to these questions and more. After seeing the comic book adventure, it might be worth picking up a copy of the Bible and searching for the answers to the questions left unanswered in the film.