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"Black Adam" Movie Review

Nathan is a film critic and aspiring author with a true passion for the film industry who hopes his writings will help launch his career.


Let's face it. The DCEU hasn't exactly been thriving. The powers that be over at Warner Bros don't really seem to know what they're doing or where they're going. The end credits scene in Black Adam is a good attempt at righting the ship and getting back on course. But before we get to that point, let's look at the movie as a whole.

The film starts us off 5,000 years ago in ancient Kandaq. The king was searching for Eternium, obsessively in fact. So much so that he enslaved his own people and forced everyone to dig until they found it. Once it was found, the king took it for himself and betrayed his people, forcing them to keep digging for more. A young child, Hurut, had enough and decided to lead a revolution. Of course, things didn't pan out very well. But, the Council of Wizards interfered, endowing Hurut with the powers of SHAZAM. After a brief battle, the king and the temple were destroyed and the savior of Kandaq disappeared. Over the years, the story turned to legend. It was said among the people that when Kandaq needed him, the Savior would return and free the people. The people were still waiting. At last, by sheer luck, an explorer found the spell that would unleash the savior, although he's very different from the stories she'd heard. He was full of rage and anger, not mercy and justice. This was Black Adam.

Did I make you want to go see the movie? Let's just say yes. Okay, you're back? Good. So, let me start by saying that, yes, I did enjoy the film. Black Adam was a lot of fun and very cathartic. It's one of those films where, after working in customer service all day, you can come home and relax and just watch Black Adam tear shit up. There's not a whole lot of story to it, which I was a bit disappointed about, and zero emotion displayed whatsoever, although a good effort was given by Pierce Brosnan. The film is basically Rock dressed as an anti-hero taking out a bunch of bad guys with the help of some long-awaited characters, one of which also disappointingly meets their untimely end. Not telling who, though.

I don't think I have shed a tear in a Dwayne Johnson film since Gridiron Gang. Somewhere along the way, he reverted back to the 'look-how-tough-I-am' schtick from when he first started in The Mummy Returns and The Scorpion King. Nothing against the man, he's a good guy and he's hilarious when he wants to be and he can kick some serious ass, but somewhere along the way he lost his sentimentality and sensitive side. I know he's capable of it because I've seen him do it. He just chooses not to and that's a real shame.

I loved the inclusion of the Justice Society. Hawkman, Cyclone, Atom Smasher, and one of my favorites - Doctor Fate. I hope we get to see more from the Justice Society later on down the road. Doctor Fate is just too cool of a character to be a one-off and Atom Smasher's chemistry with Cyclone is something that's been lacking in DC films lately. I want to see more of them and Hawkman too. Maybe a Justice Society/Justice League team-up against Darkseid? Are you listening, Warner Brothers?

So, let's break this down. Lovable characters, check. Lovable side characters, check. Root for the anti-hero, check. Awesome sequences, check. Great music choices, check. Good balance of humor, drama, and action, questionable. Lack of emotion and very little story/character development leads me to rate the film a wobbly 3 out of 4. It had a lot going for it and, actually, the Justice Society being included is what saved the film more than anything. Though I will admit, Black Adam's entrance paired with Pant It Black was genius.

In conclusion, I'm happy rating it a 3 out of 4. I don't agree with Rotten Tomatoes (can anyone say 'shocker' with deep sarcasm). I Don't think it should get the hate it's getting. Audiences, don't listen to Rotten Tomatoes anymore. They're hacks. Go see this for yourselves. You won't regret it.

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© 2022 Nathan Jasper

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