“Black Adam” zaps into theaters


Photo utilized IMBb

Can you smell what The Rock Is cook’in? “Black Adam” is the latest DCEU (now known as DCU) movie since “The Suicide Squad” debuted on August 9, 2021. “Black Adam” is 2 hours of The Rock blowing things up, fighting the Justice Society of America (JSA), having PTSD, and learning what it means to be a protector. It’s dumb fun, and that’s okay. 

The Rock has been pushing for this film, this character, for close to 15 years and you see it in his performance. The movie itself may not be groundbreaking, but it’s made as much as “Aquaman” in its first weekend so that’s something, and you can see the passion put into it by The Rock and that passion in his performance. Even without seeing the movie, you see his pride about the film in the promotional material the Rock does for it. He plays a broken character, dealing with the anger of his son’s death and blaming himself for that. His powers are a great example of that, it isn’t until the end that his lighting is controlled through his anger and the rest of the time it spirals out, hitting everything in his path.

The supporting cast is good–not bad, not great. The JSA needed more backstory and more time to develop some of the characters. The main supporting cast includes Sarah Isis (Shahi), who frees Adam from his imprisonment and is one of the only people he trusts throughout the film. In the comics, she becomes a love interest, so there is room for that in any follow-ups. Isis has two friends that help her on her journey, her brother Karim (Mohammed Amer) and Ishmael (Marwan Kenzari) but Ishmael isn’t all he seems. Isis’s son Amon Tomaz (Bodhi Sabongui) becomes Teth Adam’s (The Rock) emotional link to the present and the reason for his growth throughout the film–he reminds Teth of the son he lost 5,000 years ago. 

The JSA members that try to handle the movie’s villain themselves include Hawkman (Aldis Hodge) who does not give enough knowledge to the audience about who he is, how he became a hero, why he is working with the government, and even which version of the character he is. Dr. Fate (Pierce Brosnan) is the most intriguing character of the JSA. You only see a fraction of his power in the film and he makes a comment about being Dr. Fate for 100 years, which makes him a very intriguing character. The other members of the JSA, Adam Smasher (Noah Centineo) and Cyclone (Quintessa Swindell) need more time to develop, until then they are bland characters. 

The story is a bit cut and dry, with some hints of bigger plot elements and world-building. It establishes some history for the Shazam and Black Adam movies moving forward, making it feel connected to a wider story. The visuals for Kahndaq are pretty good, it hits a good balance of historical and ancient with some more modern styles keeping with a middle eastern tone.

The main conflict is mostly a disagreement between Adam and Hawkman about their philosophies and Adam’s reluctance to be a hero. The actual villain is the faceless organization “Intergang.” They have taken over Kahndaq and have been plundering its resources. 

The music in the movie does not play a huge role in the film. The only time it matters is at the very end of the end credit scene. I won’t spoil it (even though that’s not possible at this point) but a famous John Williams theme is used. 

I would rate this movie a 9.5/10. I am very excited to see what comes next in the DCU, and when The Rock returns.