Black Adam Review: Don’t judge Dwayne Johnson’s film by the first half, sit through the climax

Black Adam Movie Review: The DCEU film not only introduces Dwayne Johnson as the titular character, but also Aldis Hodge as Hawkman, Noah Centineo as Atom Smasher, Quintessa Swindell as Cyclone and Pierce Brosnan as Doctor Fate.

Vaishali Jain Vaishali Jain Updated on: October 21, 2022 8:48 IST
Black Adam movie review
Black AdamPhoto:INDIA TV
  • Movie Name:Black Adam
  • Critics Rating: 3 / 5
  • Release Date: Oct 20, 2022
  • Director: Jaume Collet-Serra
  • Genre: Superhero film

Black Adam Review: While it is often argued that DC Extended Universe's arch nemesis is Marvel, Black Adam will make you re-think. Because it appears to be a film that has picked everything good from the X-Men franchise. But it’s different. At a time, when most superhero films want to achieve a lot in a short time, Black Adam wants nothing of that sort. It positively wants to place a new character on the block that can flourish the franchise with multiple sequels. However, DCEU apparently overlooked the word ‘new’ here. Just because young Billy Batson in Shazam stated that he picked a champion years ago that unleashed the Seven Deadly Sins on Earth doesn’t necessarily imply that the audience would recall who he was talking about.

Black Adam not only introduces the titular character, but also the Justice Society of America (JSA) which includes, Aldis Hodge as Hawkman, Noah Centineo as Atom Smasher, Quintessa Swindell as Cyclone and Pierce Brosnan as Doctor Fate.

For some, it might be a satisfying watch to see a personality like Dwayne Johnson bouncing off choppers on the go, charring enemies with bare hands and mouthing some weighty dialogues (with no context). For others, it could be a little frustrating to see unknown superheroes flying in spandex with golden helmets.

It has been a thing with DCEU, it somehow expects its audience to know about the characters. Unfortunately, it’s not. For an origin film, that could be a major drawback. 

At most, you blink, scratch your head and ask ‘what just happened?’, ‘who is that?’ Sadly, nobody knows or has a reference point to explain. Unless you’re familiar with comics. 

More than a Black Adam’s origin film, it appears to be 'Black Adam Part 2'.

But that’s the story until the first half. Don’t give up and sit through the interval. Because the second half does make things better. The Rock is in his elements and the complementary characters unite to make a star team. Also, once Sabbac, the villain is introduced, things start to make sense. But until then, don’t run out of patience. 

Black Adam will instantly remind you of two superhero origin films – Wolverine and Black Panther. Wolverine, because of its overt assertion of Black Adam's status as an anti-hero. The difference is the audience has seen Logan in so many X-Men films and has heard about James Hewlett, all it had to do was link the dots. But in the case of Black Adam, these connecting points are missing. 

Whereas, Black Panther, over the years has become a benchmark for all superhero origin films. While narrating Black Adam’s history, the film also comments on imperialism and military enforcement and echoes the theme of ‘war begets war’ loudly.

Black Adam is not unwatchable. But it’s disappointing to see how cliches make it predictable. Especially, when you have an actor like Dwayne Johnson, The Rock, who is cut out for a superhero image. His massive figure, baritone and impeccable ability to spew hilarious one-liners with a stoic impression will make you think, why movie franchises running for decades didn’t cast him. Director Jaume Collet-Serra has given the actor ample scenes to shine.

He’s effortless when it comes to action sequences, but when you see him throwing off men and tearing apart limbs after every five minutes, it gets a little exhausting. The CGI and VFX of Black Adam without any surprises are impressive. And so is the music and background score. From Rolling Stones’ ‘Paint It, Black’ to Ennio Morricone's 'The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: The Trio' and Kanye West’s ‘Power’, all these seem to be fabricated for this film solely.

But a film that can only be appreciated by fans, how will it draw a new audience?