Black Adam : a super-hero film review by Mark R. Leeper

‘Black Adam’ is another addition to the DC Universe. For viewers more familiar with this universe, the film may be easier to follow, as it assumes a certain level of familiarity with its characters and their powers. Those unfamiliar may find the powers to be deus ex machina in nature.

The film begins with a scene strongly reminiscent of the opening of ‘Spartacus’, taking place in Kahndaq, a city-state in the Middle East located between Egypt and Palestine/Israel, according to Wikipedia. Set thousands of years ago, this location choice results in some anachronistic and historically inaccurate details, such as the use of cuneiform writing. In the present day, Kahndaq is occupied by the Intergang, with the plot centered around the Crown of Sabbac, an artifact made of Eternium that is deemed ‘too dangerous for anyone to have’.

Casting Dwayne Johnson as Teth Adam adds a layer of fun to the film, although it may distance it from realism. As the story unfolds, the audience may question the labels of ‘good guys’ and ‘bad guys’ assigned to the Justice Society and Teth Adam.

One notable issue with the film is the inconsistent application of the laws of inertia, which is a common problem in many super-hero films. Instances where super-heroes grab falling characters by the arm or shirt collar would likely have disastrous consequences in the real world.

The editing can be frustrating at times, with scenes that appear to be continuous but are actually not. Additionally, a line referring to Black Adam as something ‘darker’ than a ‘white knight’ comes across as potentially offensive rather than clever.

‘Black Adam’ was released theatrically on 21st October, 2022.

With a rating of high +1 (-4 to +4) or 6/10, it offers an entertaining experience for DC fans, but may leave others feeling somewhat lost or confused.

News update for this film:

In ‘Black Adam’, a post-credits sequence that would have shown Zachary Levi’s ‘Shazam’ getting accepted into the Justice Society of America was reportedly privately denied by Dwayne Johnson. In ‘Shazam!’, this sequence was eventually included to the mid-credits. Wrath of the Gods, even if the recruiters are distinct DC characters. The Justice Society was originally supposed to participate in the sequence, but it broke apart a few days before production, according to ‘Shazam 2’ director David F. Sandberg.

The post-credits sequence in the theatrical edition of ‘Black Adam’ shows Henry Cavill’s Superman rising from the fog and advising that he and Dwayne Johnson’s eponymous character should chat.

Johnson’s attempts to recast Cavill as Superman look to have been in futile, however, since recently hired CEOs James Gunn and Peter Safran have shared divergent ideas for the DC Universe’s upcoming installment. Cavill won’t soon be playing the Man of Steel again since their forthcoming movie, ‘Superman: Legacy’, will centre on a younger Clark Kent and examine his childhood.

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