In ancient Kahndaq, Teth Adam was bestowed the almighty powers of the gods. After using these powers for vengeance, he was imprisoned, becoming Black Adam. Nearly 5,000 years have passed, and Black Adam has gone from man to myth to legend. Now free, his unique form of justice, born out of rage, is challenged by modern-day heroes who form the Justice Society: Hawkman, Dr. Fate, Atom Smasher and Cyclone.
The film was both destined to fail and succeed at the same time. For one you had The Rock (Dwayne Johnson), whose vast amounts of wealth and personal team of PR specialists and professional writers ensure that a certain status quo follows around the star for all of the projects he partakes in. Unfortunately, this is also one of the biggest downfalls for the film as well. The Rock plays The Rock playing Black Adam instead of just playing Black Adam. The jokes and incessant need to be the likeable protagonist leave little to no room for emotional confliction does not do justice to the character of Black Adam. While this was not unexpected given the actor, it would’ve been nice to have a bit more effort put into the source material.
Among Black Adam, the main cast was followed by Hawkman played by Aldis Hodge, Doctor Fate played by Pierce Brosnan, Atom Smasher played by Noah Centineo, and Cyclone played by Quintessa Swindell. While none of these characters did notably poor in their portrayals of the characters, they weren’t necessarily vital in any point of the film. More specifically when I say this do I mean Atom Smasher and Cyclone. From what I gathered from the film, they are stick ins for both comic relief and a colorful and dramatic flair (take Atom Smashers kaiju level size and destruction and cyclones vibrantly colored “wind” powers.”)
Simply put, I don’t believe these characters belonged. If it were to be defined to Hawkman and Doctor Fate, the movie would’ve benefited greatly from it. But instead of trusting the fans to be satisfied with two fan favorites, they opted for taking a safe, higher reaching demographic route that hurt the films true stars. Not that I want to take the route that so many ignorant people do, but these two characters seriously did nothing to contribute to the movie
The same cannot be said about the other supporting cast members. Hawkman and Doctor Fates story could’ve been its own movie (and likely a better one than the one we got.) While these characters didn’t innovate much in way of uniqueness, they offered a compelling relationship and set of morals that went so well together in contrast to the black and white nature of this film.
The Point of it all
Was to make an anti-hero film. That is what was positioned and marketed as the difference between this film and the slew of comic book films that we have available to us. However, that’s not really what we got, there was no compelling points that Black Adam had in the film that could be argued whether it was the right or wrong thing. Sure, he killed people, but so does pretty much every marvel character whether specifically mentioned or not. These not being people who didn’t seem to deserve it, but ruthless and nameless mercenaries that the movie threw at the protagonist like fodder.
To end my point, the “villain”. I found the reveal to be a good one, not expected and definitely made some sort of sense out of everything else. But why throw it away for another CGI monster, why not play the villain out and give the audience a moral dilemma of whether or not the fictional nation of Kahndaq deserved a blood righted ruler, or an out of touch superhuman being powered by magic. Everyone appreciated your kind words to DC, and your attempts to resurrect the “SnyderVerse.” But sadly it must die so somehting more worthy can take its place.
If you want to turn your brain off and enjoy non-stop, colorful, and iconic action sequences inspired from the best moments of other films you love. Check this out, if you are a snob who cares for the story and arc like I have to be, probably stay clear.