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Film: “Black Adam”
When the demigod Teth-Adam (Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson) is awoken by citizens of Kahndaq who are in dire straits, he sets off on a warpath of revenge against their oppressors.
The fate of Warner Brothers’ DC Extended Universe (or DCEU) has been a bit of a hot topic among film and comic book fans for a while. Many foundational actors and directors who played key roles in getting the franchise off the ground have left. The new induction of creative overseers at Warner Brothers has resulted in a lot of potential projects getting delayed or cancelled entirely to fit whatever grand design they have concocted. While there are a lot of questions that still need to be answered, the release of the next chapter in the saga, Black Adam, might help shine a light on where exactly the series can go from here.
Black Adam is the next chapter in the ongoing story that is DCEU. When the demigod Teth-Adam (Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson) is awoken from thousands of years of slumber by citizens of Kahndaq who are in dire straits, he sets off on a warpath of revenge against their oppressors. This forces the Justice Society to mobilize and head out to prevent him from causing any serious damage.
Black Adam is by no means a film without flaw. I do believe the movie has its fair share of issues, which I will explain below. However, I do believe the film works as a whole-primarily because it zeroes in on why its audience paid for a ticket to see it in the first place: the action. This movie easily could have played it safe and given us very safe, straightforward fight scenes that don’t take many risks. However, it goes the extra mile by infusing the fights with a true sense of weight, using style and incredibly fluid camerawork to convey what is happening in a unique way. Every blow landed on a character feels like it is doing actual damage to him or her, which adds to the gravity of the scene and the film. All of this, combined with gritty, beautiful cinematography and a truly epic score, makes for a seriously entertaining viewing experience that allowed me to have a great time watching the film.
Dwayne Johnson is an actor who has built his name from playing himself in these kinds of movies, and Black Adam is no different. There are a few moments here and there where he offers a slightly more layered performance, but for the most part, I don’t feel his character ever rises above everything we have seen from him before. Pierce Brosnan, however, knocks it out of the park as Doctor Fate. I found his character to be incredibly cool, both in terms of his appearance and in how Brosnan carries himself in the role. There’s a lot of creative visual appeal that plays into how he is used in the action scenes, which I thought was awesome. Aldis Hodge, also brings a very collected sense of moral stoicism to his role as Hawkman, which I felt was a welcome addition to this film.
As much fun as I had with Black Adam, there are still a couple of things that I felt could have been improved. Apart from the action intros film, I personally found the story to be a bit predictable. A lot of the dialogue felt very cheesy, and I don’t think it quite meshes with the otherwise self-serious tone of the movie. Additionally, the villain- when we eventually do meet him-felt very unnecessary to the story, and the CGI surrounding him didn’t always look as good as I feel it should have.
If you’re in the market for a big, loud, fun movie that you don’t have to think about too hard, I don’t think you could go wrong with Black Adam. It isn’t perfect, and it absolutely isn’t the kind of movie to win any big awards from this year’s Oscar season, but I had a very good time watching it. It still manages to be perfectly exhilarating, and because of this it felt like a breath of fresh air in the superhero genre-something I think we’ve needed for a good while.
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