Black Adam Strikes Theaters


Photo Property of Warner Bros. Pictures

Diego Blanco, Entertainment Editor

Since 2008, Teth-Adam, also known as Black Adam, has been a character many DC fans have been waiting to see on the big screen.

On October 21, 2022, the wait was finally over. Black Adam had his cinematic debut in the movie “Black Adam”. The man bringing this beloved character to life on the big screen is the charismatic Dwayne Johnson.

Dwayne Johnson has been attached to the character since it was first in talks with Warner Bros. Pictures. “Black Adam” got teased for years, with the first announcement being that Black Adam would arrive as a cameo in Shazam (2018). Unfortunately, these plans got scrapped and changed to have Black Adam be in his own solo movie instead of being in a cameo.

This film follows the story of Black Adam, who gains the powers of Shazam, which are The Wisdom of Solomon, The Strength of Hercules, The Stamina of Atlas, The Power of Zeus, The Courage of Achilles, and The Speed of Mercury after a tragedy befalls his family. Once he gained these abilities he went on a revenge murder spree which led him to be entrapped in a sleep-like stasis.

Black Adam then awakes 5,000 years later and shows why he is a danger to the world by committing heinous acts of violence. Black Adam’s actions capture the attention of Amanda Waller (Viola Davis.) Waller sends the Justice Society of America, also known as the JSA, to deal with him, which includes the heroes Cyclone (Quintessa Swindell), Atom Smasher( Noah Centineo), Doctor Fate (Pierce Brosnan), and Hawkman (Aldis Hodge.)

The second half of this movie is a cat-and-mouse chase between Black Adam and the JSA. This changes at the end when Black Adam and the JSA have to team up to save the world from a new and more dangerous threat.

The simple storyline is what makes Black Adam such a great movie. It is not overly complicated or stretched out, a problem that many other superhero movies have. The film is perfectly-paced from start to finish which makes this a great movie to watch.

Along with the great pacing is the incredible acting. Quintessa Swindell and Noah Centineo give great performances despite being minor characters in the overall movie. However, the true star power comes from Aldis Hodge and Pierce Brosnan, who adopted their characters and made them distinctly different from any other characters they played before. Every actor in the movie is talented and brings something valuable to the characters they play. However, the acting delivered by Dwayne Johnson lacks depth. Dwayne Johnson has, for a long time, been considered a good actor. However, in every film he is cast in, he always plays a different version of himself. His role in Fast Five and Black Adam have no difference other than the fact that Black Adam can fly and shoot lightning. Dwayne Johnson is a good actor, but he does not add anything new or different that audiences have not seen before, which should have been the plan for this film since they changed Black Adam into an anti-hero who suffered a tragic loss.

A spectacular aspect of the film is its cinematography and visual effects. This film looks incredible, and it especially shines with Doctor Fate and Cyclone, each followed by stunning visuals amplified with the stunning fight choreography and VFX work. Slow motion is used a lot in the movie. Unlike films like “Justice League”, it is not overdone. The slow motion in this film is used to give multiple angles during a fight, whenever a character uses their powers, and other times it is used to show the sheer brutality in attacks.

Black Adam was originally going to be an R-rated movie due to the violent nature of the kills in the film. However, the scenes that caused the R rating got removed from the film lowering the R rating to a PG-13 rating. The signs of the R rating are still there, such as Black Adam disintegrating a man. The cutting of scenes and moments leads the movie to feel incomplete. Sometimes scenes will end abruptly when it feels like more should have happened.

As previously mentioned, there are multiple characters in the movie. The chemistry between them is perfect. They feel like close friends instead of just a team working together. Cyclone and Atom Smasher may be minor characters, but they have a romantic relationship which makes the characters already more likable and leaves the audience hoping they will be alright. Doctor Fate and Hawkman have a brotherly relationship. The best moment is when Hawkman is fighting Black Adam, and Doctor Fate watches and throws remarks toward Hawkman. These characters all feel real; this makes their story of going from distrusting Black Adam to being able to trust him even better.

Black Adam is also an interesting character. Throughout the film, he claims he is not a hero. However, he is enacting justice on bad people and those who attack him. Throughout the movie, we see this dilemma over and over. It is interesting to see him compared to the JSA, who tries to contain threats instead of killing them. The actions of both the JSA and Black Adam are used to question the methods of both sides and if they are wrong. The best part is the ending and post-credit scene, where after the entire movie’s credits Black Adam decides what he wants to be. This post-credit scene sets him down a path that he considers best, a bringer of his version of justice.

Black Adam is an incredible movie, and it is clear that the team making the film understood what audiences would want from the character, which led to a very passion-filled movie that thankfully led to financial success and a critically adored movie by fans.