There is a famous backstage story in pop culture that the black Adam would be, originally, the villain of Shazam! (2019) before being winged the fans of a movie of his own. This episode serves to illustrate both the growth in popularity of Dwayne Johnson as for the collapse of the DC Universe at the movies. Fifteen years after being cast in the role, The Rock becomes the central figure of a production that seeks to make peace with the past and point to a hopeful future for the franchise.
Black Adam tells the story of the Main character, who returns after missing millennia. A slave who gained magical powers in the ancient era of the fictional Kahndaq country, his destructive potential draws the attention of the Justice Society, a group of heroes who take on a mission to prevent the vigilante from becoming a threat.
At the end of the exhibition, it is curious to note how the film tries to reconcile different elements of the DC Universe of cinemas. as if trying to please, all at once, those who were enchanted by the drama of the Wonder Woman (2017), connoisseurs of the morally ambiguous heroes of Zack Snyder and even those who were pleased with the reflection on the posture of the USA and its superheroes in the face of external conflicts, shown in The Suicide Squad (2021).
Ambitious, this collage made under the film filter of The Rock, the typical adventure centered on the actor’s charisma. On the one hand, this is the way the production finds to clash with what is done in the superhero genre, to the point of curiously having similarities both with 300 (2006), as with the saga Fast and furious. On the other hand, it throws away any pretense of depth in favor of a story devoted almost exclusively to action.
It is no exaggeration to say that in the fight that Black Adam meets. in the direction of Jaume Collet-Serra (Jungle Cruise) proposes Grand combats that really seem straight out of the pages of the comics. and photography of Lawrence Sher (joker), the filmmaker shines in making conflicts plastically beautiful and exciting, which gives the characters, not so familiar to the general public, a chance to shine.
It is a pity that the care taken with the action is not the same as that given to other aspects of the production. Written by Adam Sztykiel (Rampage: Total Destruction) in partnership with Rory Haines and Sohrab Noshirvani (the Mauritanian), the script relies on a combination of clichés that make the story predictable, and on a humor that often sounds out of place when interrupting serious or emotional moments.
Frustration increases thanks to the trio’s execution of good ideas to bring a depth that the film lacks. As an example, it is possible to cite the entire conflict over the participation of the Justice Society in the story, which seeks to use the old parallel between the fictional Kandahq and Iraq in the real world to criticize US interventionist policies.
Simply put, this debate weakens the theme, reflected in the truncated dynamics of the characters, who end up repeating redundant interactions for a good portion of the story. In the end, a bittersweet taste remains, as the production shows courage to put its finger on the wound, but does not fully reach its potential.
Another Achilles heel black adam the inability to arouse emotion in the audience. It’s a problem caused in part by driving, which strives for every little moment to have an epic aura that sometimes feels unnatural. An issue that wouldn’t even be a problem if the production itself didn’t bet so much on dramatic moments that never get enough attention in the rush to set up the next clash.
To be fair, this shows in practice how the film’s true commitment is to fun. Although that doesn’t give carte blanche for its constant slips, the fact is that the production is even interested in rewarding the audience that seeks entertainment in a popcorn movie loaded with captivating characters and grandiose fights.
Black adam refuses the title of savior of the DCEU, but promotes a celebration of that universe. a blockbuster powered by the charisma of Dwayne Johnson, which emerges comfortably in a story exactly the kind he has been used to telling throughout his career. If that’s enough to get the production off the ground, it’s up to the fans. But considering how messed up this universe is from time to time, maybe two hours of shallow, unrestrained brawling might not be the worst of all worlds.