Sunday, November 6, 2022

Black Adam - Movie Review

The Movie: Black Adam

The Director: Jaume Collet-Serra

The Cast: Dwayne Johnson, Aldis Hodge, Noah Centineo, Sarah Shahi, Marwan Kenzari, Quintessa Swindell, Mo Amer, Bodhi Sabongui, Pierce Brosnan

The Story: Nearly 5,000 years after he was bestowed with the almighty powers of the Egyptian 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.

The Review:
When The Rock makes a movie, I'm going to be there regardless. Drama, comedy, action, super hero. For me, he's that big of a movie star that I just want to see him knowing I'm going to see The Rock as opposed to being immersed into the character he's playing. For a character like Black Adam, who I knew nothing about before watching the movie, this works nicely because I don't have any built in conceptions of who the character should be. I will say that the disadvantage to this is that, because The Rock is The Rock, it's hard to fully immerse his Black Adam into the surrounding DC universe although not a complete deal breaker.

Adding a character of this caliber and someone so powerful into a world already over stuffed with insanely powerful super heroes seems like a bit of overkill and creates even more problems for Warner Brothers and DC when it comes to compelling and relatable stories. Of course, this is an origin story, so there's plenty of room here to at least create a space for the character and the movie does a decent enough job of accomplishing that at least. We also get to meet the Justice Society which consists of Aldis Hodge as Hawkman, Pierce Brosnan as Dr. Fate, Quintessa Swindell as Cyclone, and Noah Centineo as Atom Smasher, the latter sort of filling the space that the Wonder Twins occupied back in the classic Superfriends cartoon series from the 1970's and 80's.

Bonus points to Warner Brothers along with the creative and casting teams for putting together a diverse roster of talent which is highlighted by the inclusion of Swindell who is the first nonbinary actor who identifies as gender-nonconforming to play a superhero in the DC Universe. Also on board is Sarah Shahi who plays Adrianna Tomaz, a long time DC character who, in recent DC comic lore, is the alter ego of Isis although within the DC universe, there is also the Egyptian Godess Isis and, as I read up on these characters, I get more confused so I'm not going to try and explain any further. Just know that Shahi's version of Tomaz does not have any powers in this movie although that is probably going to change as the franchise moves along.

Okay, so what you really want to know, is the story any good, how is the action, and is the movie worth watching? I will say yes, yes, and yes to those questions although with only a fair amount of enthusiasm. It's pretty much everything you expect the movie to be and the story plays out without any major surprises. The special effects are very special effectsy and the creative team throws everything they can onto the screen to create the type of epic spectacle movie goers might expect. The overall look and feel of the movie sticks to the DC formula of dark, overly dramatic visuals so if you are a fan of all the previous DC stuff, this should fit right in as far as that goes.

There is a post credit scene that blows the doors wide open for future Dc movies and, while I know everyone is already talking about it and you probably know what happens, I won't get into any specifics here. If you are still in the dark, just know that it is very much worth sticking around for.

The Verdict:
Black Adam gives The Rock every opportunity to go all in as the super-anti-hero he has been trying to put on screen for about a decade and yeah he definitely does that. The movie is entertaining and worth watching on the big screen even if the story isn't one you will remember much about as time goes by.

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