My husband and I go see every DC film as soon as it’s released in theaters. I have always been a devoted DC fan even though DC has had quite a few hiccups in creating its own cinematic universe. As far as Black Adam, I completely forgot that this movie was being released this year. For what it’s worth, Black Adam was an enjoyable film, however, I think it emphasizes one of DC’s greatest weaknesses in the way they make their films.
Black Adam opens in ancient times when a civilization attempts to overthrow a tyrannical king. A boy leading the rebellion gets transported to a secretive place where he gains powers. In the present day, archaeologist Adrianna Tomaz (played by Sarah Shahi) leads a team to a mountain searching for the Crown of Sabbac. As her team is ambushed by a rival group, Adrianna whispers a phrase that coincidentally released Black Adam (played by Dwayne Johnson). Black Adam has been imprisoned for some time and is worshipped by the city as a hero. Meanwhile, Amanda Waller (played by Viola Davis) calls in on the Justice Society to stop Black Adam. Hawkman (played by Aldis Hodge), Doctor Fate (played by Pierce Brosnan), Cyclone (played by Quintessa Swindell), and Atom Smasher (played by Noah Centineo) come together to capture Black Adam before he does too much damage.
The film itself was fun to watch. I felt myself coasting throughout the film and not getting bored in the slightest. I think Dwayne Johnson was a perfect cast as he fully embodies Black Adam as a character. I loved seeing Amanda Waller / Viola Davis in this as it helps build this cohesiveness that DC is missing. I was a huge fan of Doctor Fate as I thought he brought reason to the group and helped the group see that there may be another option instead of solely bringing Black Adam to prison. It seemed like Cyclone and Atom Smasher had good chemistry together. Each character served a purpose in this team and I liked watching them come together.
The one flaw in Black Adam and in DC’s movies is being able to bring these characters to life for everyone. I think DC in a lot of ways makes their films assuming that people will know who these characters are. If I were to bring my friend to see this movie with me, she probably wouldn’t be able to fully invest in the story because there wasn’t any backstory brought to the characters. It wasn’t discussed how Hawkman, Doctor Fate, Cyclone, and Atom Smasher came to be. There were a few conversations in passing where Atom Smasher talks to his uncle who used to have the suit or how Cyclone was experimented on. I would have liked to see more backstories or flashback scenes of pivotal moments in their lives. Marvel on the other hand is excellent at this. They build these characters into their own solo movies, so fans start to connect with them. I don’t think the characters in Black Adam are on that level because they weren’t introduced in other live-action films. DC should make these movies that appeal to both fans of the comics and fans of superhero content who may not read comics on a regular basis.
Black Adam by DC film standards was a fantastic film. I’m partial to Doctor Fate as there’s a lot of comic book crossover between Doctor Fate and another favorite character of mine, Zatanna. If you see Black Adam, make sure you stay for the extra credit scene, you won’t want to miss it!