starring: dwayne johnson, sarah sahi, aldis hodge, and pierce brosnan
REVIEWER: lyall carter
Nearly 5,000 years after he was bestowed with god like power -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.
In ancient Kahndaq, Teth Adam was bestowed the almighty powers of the gods. After using these powers for vengeance, he was imprisoned, becoming Black Adam. Nearly 5,000 years have passed, and Black Adam has gone from man to myth to legend. Now free, his unique form of justice, born out of rage, is challenged by modern-day heroes who form the Justice Society: Hawkman, Dr. Fate, Atom Smasher and Cyclone.
Is Black Adam the latest DC film since this year's smash hit The Batman? It’s kinda hard to tell with Batman, even though it's a reboot of sorts, as it exists in its own little world and then again it's been a long time since The Suicide Squad, another quasi reboot, so it’s hard to really tell where Black Adam fits in the scheme of things. Confused?
This confusion bleeds into the narrative of Black Adam with characters thrown at you with very little back story in an attempt to create a similar depth to proceedings that Marvel has. This leads to an audience disconnect that is further exacerbated by the character of Black Adam. While the filmmakers attempt to use humor to make him seem more accessible as a character, there seems that something is just a little standoffish and not entirely unique about Black Adam.
There are plenty of intriguing narrative avenues for the filmmakers to explore from the backstory that feels a bit Scorpion Kingish to the supporting characters and the themes of colonization and oppression that are briefly touched on. But it all just feels like we’ve seen it all before. Still, Black Adam is an enjoyable film for two reasons: the action is relentless and Dwayne The Rock Johnson.
From opening to ending scene this is an action stacked affair. From hand to hand combat in ancient Kahndaq to a full scale aerial and ground assault as Black Adam emerges from his 5000 year slumber, this film does not stop.
Then there’s The Rock. You’ve gotta love this guy. From his beginnings in WWE to one of the most beloved and bankable Hollywood stars, there’s a reason why this guy is so popular. Not only is he extremely likable (which is kinda hard to do in this role) but charisma oozes from every pore of his skin.
While we’ve seen this kind of superhero story before, Black Adam has two cards up its sleeves: relentless action and Dwayne The Rock Johnson.