Black Adam is the next installment in the DC Extended Universe. It directly follows the events of Shazam. Dwayne Johnson portrayed the antihero of this film.
Leading up to this film, Johnson put a lot of effort into the marketing of Black Adam. On numerous occasions Johnson has stressed his love for the role, and his excitement to support the DC fan base. In his love and excitement, Johnson gave a very energetic and refreshing performance. In every scene, viewers can feel that Johnson is having fun, playing a “Dirty Harry” style “super hero,” where the villain is actually the main protagonist.
The chemistry between Johnson and Pierce Brosnan as Doctor Fate was amazing, and the cameos in this film showed Johnson had chemistry with everyone in every scene. Brosnan is a skilled actor, and his portrayal of Doctor Fate was exactly as expected, but he ran with those expectations and over-achieved. Doctor Fate should almost have his own film after being in Black Adam. Let’s hope that we see more of Doctor Fate in future DC movies.
Other than the actor’s performances, audiences were left with a mess of a story. Black Adam essentially had three major plot points. It also introduced the Justice Society of America. (explain further what the justice society is) Additionally, Black Adam’s origin story was all pushed into a two hour and seven-minute run time, making a crammed, unorganized mess of a film.
If you have no prior knowledge of Justice Society of America, you will have a hard time getting to know these characters. The story is packed and didn’t give enough time to Hawk Man, Doctor Fate, Atom Smasher and Cyclone for the viewer to gain an emotional attachment to these characters. Doctor Fate and Hawk Man had the most emotional impact throughout the film even more than Black Adam. Being a Black Adam film, this was a little disappointing. Black Adam is a villain no matter how he is depicted,but his motivations and character arc shows that Johnson’s character is the least relatable. It’s hard to connect to an emotionless character.
All in all, this film is exactly what you’d expect, when you hear “Dawyne Johnson is playing Black Adam…” a lot of special effects, over the top action and Johnson out seeking revenge and destruction, fueled by his protein powder and magic. This film was made for the fans, but being an introduction for so many new characters, it squalored the story.
This Film suffers from the same problem Amazing Spiderman 2 had, where the plot became less of the point and the future of the universe became priority. Warner Bros has the same problem as Sony did with Amazing Spiderman 2, getting way too ahead of the game. Sony introduced 3 villains and overloaded the story and left certain characters underdeveloped.
Fans wanted more with the characters featured in that film. It’s as if Warner Bros made the same mistake. The development of Hawk-Man in Black Adam suffered because they didn’t have nearly enough time to properly develop such a loved character. Hawk-Man was not the only character who suffered from the lack of screen time. Just about every character suffered from the lack of screentime, as well as the story suffering from being overloaded.
If the film had more screen time or less plot points to cover, it would have been a lot more focused and that would have helped shape a solid film. With the lack of focus and too many plot points, it overall felt very underwhelming and took value away from the main story. If you are able to put that aside and just want to watch Johnson obliterate bad guys, then you’ll enjoy Black Adam.