Black Adam (2022) Review

So I saw Black Adam today, and I enjoyed it. Black Adam is a DC movie starring Dwayne Johnson as Black Adam, Aldis Hodge as Hawkman, Pierce Brosnan as Dr. Fate, Noah Continuo as Atom Smasher, Sarah Shahi as Adrianna Tomaz, and Quintessa Swindell as Cyclone. Black Adam to me is a really fun movie. It is surprisingly brutal at times and had some great action. One thing too keep in mind before going into this is that this is basically The Rock’s movie. I mean, he has a hand in the production of the movie, and is probably the reason this was actually made. You can tell he is passionate for the character and the material you can use the character in. But I can say from now you can see the age in how long this movie has been in development for. So let’s get into it.

The story and plot are pretty standard. The characters are looking for a macguffin that creates the big bad and can end the world. Where the interesting stuff is in the character interactions, especially between Black Adam and the Justice Society. Their interactions are fun and brought a lot to the movie. The constant debate about which way is better is fun and Hawkman and Adam’s rivalry is fun. The characterization and performances of the Justice Society are great. Aldis Hodge did a great job as Hawkman, a great interpretation staying truthful to the character while also leaving more to be wanted. Pierce Brosnan was a perfect Kent Nelson Dr Fate. He had the right amount of experience and wisdom brought to the role. Their relationship is a strong point of the movie.  Noah and Quintessa are great in their roles.

 The only performances I had issues with were Dwayne Johnson as Black Adam and Adrianna’s son Amon. Dwayne isn’t bad in this role, I just wish he gave a bit more in a lot of scenes. We don’t really get much of the comedic timing, and a lot of it is calm rock throughout. It doesn’t help that a lot of his lines we’ve heard in marketing a lot. Though in context they aren’t as weird as they are in marketing. I don’t hate it but I think we’ll get some more fun stuff with him in the future now that his history is established. Although characterization wise it is a good adaptation of the modern version from the comics, but not as hardcore to keep the heroic side to him there. His arc throughout the movie is great though, learning to move past his anger and rage to control himself and become the champion Kahndaq needs as its protector. Amon was iffy throughout, a rebellious teen fighting against oppression, while also being the Freddy to Adam’s Billy. Other than that the movie can be formulaic and a little derivative, but still doesn’t take away from my enjoyment of the movie.

 The movie looks pretty good, a good adaptation of Kahndaq and the abilities of the heroes. I like how Dr. Fate’s powers are shown throughout the movie, keeping it magical while keeping it different than Dr. Strange. The action was great, surprisingly brutal at times and loads of fun. I like how it showed how powerful the users of Shazam’s empowerment can be. The effects are for the most part pretty good, some stuff could have used a second pass and the head replacement stuff is off proportionally. An issue I do kind of have though is that it loves to use the Zack Snyder slowdown during action in the movie. It shows up a lot. The score is great, good use of music as well throughout. Although at times the choices of songs feel like they were made when Johnson was first announced 15 years ago. I liked the villains, making Intergang the invading force on Kahndaq is a great choice that can establish stuff for the future of the universe. Making the big bad be Sabbac is a great choice for me, it keeps him in the family of Shazam villains and I never thought I’d see him in live action. It’s a great adaptation of the modern version of the character and has some good action. I do kind of wish we got to see more of him in action against more characters. I do wish there were mentions or easter eggs related to Billy and his stuff throughout considering their history together in other media. One thing I didn’t mind was using this movie to introduce the Justice Society characters as I highly doubt we’ll get singular movies for them in the future, especially with the current Warner Brothers Discovery situation. I also enjoyed the costuming in the movie, Black Adam’s costume being a great adaptation of the classic suit while also updating it and texturizing it for modern movies. Hawkman is perfect, and Dr. Fate is a great adaptation playing up the alien elements of the character. Atom Smasher and Cyclone are perfect as well. Over-all I’d say Black Adam is a good, but flawed super-hero movie with some great action. It’s iffy in areas but over-all a great watch, Two-Thumbs up !

Also THAT MID CREDIT SCENE IS AMAZING. Sure it’s now the worst kept secret in movies, but it’s still great and the music sting was just awesome. 

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