Dwayne Johnson‘s passion project Black Adam sees the star jumping into the DC Universe with a departure from his usual smooth heroic roles as his character walks the line between good and evil.
Awakened nearly 5,000 years after helping a tyrant and freeing his people, the magically empowered Black Adam returns to the modern world to find his homeland, a fictional North African country called Kahndaq, under the occupation of mercenaries with a shoot-first mentality. Naturally, this does not sit well with the antihero, and he brutally dispatches the interlopers. This puts him on the radar of Amanda Waller (Viola Davis), who sends the Justice Society after him to bring him in.
Knowing that a 5,000-year-old with god-like powers are not going to go easily, Waller dispatches Hackman (Aldis Hodge), Doctor Fate (Pierce Brosnan), Atom Smasher (Noah Centineo), and Cyclone (Maxine Hunkel), to convince him to say the word which will remove his powers and come along to detainment. This is a terrible idea, and the Society knows it. None the less, the group pushes forward with their mission and this results in some protracted combat with moments of attempting to reason with Black Adam.
It turns out that a professor named Shirt (Odelya Halevi) has recovered an ancient crown, placing her and her son in great danger from the occupying mercenaries, who will stop at nothing to obtain it. Fans of comics and adventure movies likely will see where this is heading. The Fate of the Free World Hangs In The Balance, and the heroes (and one antihero) must join form uneasy alliances to save the world from chaos and evil.
While the film was better than it looked in the trailer, it suffered from pacing issues and never really offered up much in the way of twists or standout content from the story. The saving grace was Johnson’s all-in performance, which compensated for some of the flaws.
While it does not reach the heights of many of the MCU films, Black Adam is an enjoyable adventure and a great introduction to the character. As long as you are willing to work with the issues of the film and simply enjoy the great cast and action, you will likely have a good time,
There were reports that the film had to be edited from an R- rating and some scenes do imply darker and gorier sequences were originally planned.
Make sure to stay through the credits for a bonus scene. Here is hoping that we see Black Adam back soon — perhaps with some better writing.
3 stars out of 5
Gareth is the mastermind behind the popular pop media site Skewed and Reviewed. He lives in Arizona with his wife Em McBride.