'Black Adam' Review: Good, but Generic Comic Book Film
Courtesy of DC Studios
Black Adam is the newest film in the DCEU, starring Dwyane Johnson, Aldis Hodge, Pierce Brosnan, Noah Centineo, Quintessa Swindell, Sarah Shahi, and Marwan Kenzari. It’s been fifteen years since Johnson was cast as Black Adam, so this film took a long time to finally get made, even before the Pandemic was delaying movies. The DCEU has been a roller-coaster since it started almost ten years ago. Some films got mixed to negative reviews from critics and even fans. Some films have been well-received by critics and audiences. Actors have been in and out and certain characters like Batman and Superman have uncertain futures. Does Black Adam change anything for DC?
Black Adam is a lot better than what critics are saying. Having said that, it’s also nothing special. It’s been hyped up as a new start to the DCEU, but it doesn’t move the needle or change things. It’s a good comic book movie that has some moments audiences might feel like they’ve seen in other comic book films. The tone of the film feels like a combination of tones from the previous DCEU films. At times, Black Adam had the tone of a Zack Snyder DC movie. Other times, it had the tone of a film like Aquaman and Wonder Woman.
Dwyane Johnson shines as Black Adam in this film. Johnson has been very open about how much he loves DC, and it’s obvious this was a big passion project for him. Pierce Brosnan as Doctor Fate and Aldis Hodge as Hawkman were the other standout performances. It’s great to see these legacy DC comic book characters appear on the big screen for the first time. Audiences will likely compare Doctor Fate to Doctor Strange, but Doctor Fate was written in the comics before Doctor Strange ever was.
The two things that stand out the most in Black Adam, besides some of the performances, are the action and special effects. Black Adam has a lot of action, some of which is on the PG-13 to R rating border. It’s some of the best and most entertaining action in recent years with a comic book film. The special effects are way better than the special effects in the MCU films we got this year.
The villain Sabbac was one of the weakest parts of the film. The way Sabbac was handled felt similar to how Doomsday was handled in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. There was more build-up to Sabbac than Doomsday, but the similarities were still there. I also wish the film made references to the hero Shazam since it references the powers of Shazam and The Wizard from Shazam!, played by Djimon Hounsou, appears again. The film does set up an interesting future for Black Adam, and the mid-credit scene brings back Henry Cavill as Superman.
All in all, Black Adam is a solid entry into the DCEU, but is not a big game-changer. Dwyane Johnson, Pierce Brosnan, and Aldis Hodge gave the best performances in the film. The special effects looked incredible. The action was some of the best comic book action in the last couple of years. It was also nice to see Cavill return in the mid-credit scene and I hope he appears in more projects in a bigger role. Recently, it was announced that a new Superman movie is being written. I hope the Justice Society members appear in more projects down the road and even have their movies. I recommend you check it out, especially if you are a DC fan.
Final Grade: B
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