Black Adam is a project Dwayne Johnson has been trying to get off the ground since 2007. Unfortunately, DC Comics has not been putting out a lot of great movies lately (looking at you SnyderVerse). The film should have been seen as a passion project, but it comes off as a vanity project and is the first movie I really didn’t like Johnson in at all. He’s lucky he has a great supporting cast in the members of the Justice Society, because it should have been their movie, not Black Adam. It’s action packed for sure, but it’s all action and very little substance.
Black Adam Review
Unlike Eddie Brock/Venom, Black Adam isn’t an anti-hero; he’s a villain, plain and simple. Does he have a tragic backstory? Absolutely, but it’s not enough to make the character likable in any real way. Johnson’s charisma has served him well in his career, but Black Adam has no charisma at all; what felt like half of his dialogue was repeating what other more interesting characters were saying. Johnson also can’t commit to doing an accent for the full movie, which takes away from the character coming from the Middle Eastern country of Kandaq (along with the supporting cast members Sarah Shahi, Marwan Kenzari, Mohammed Amer, and Bodhi Sabongui). It’s unfortunate that by trying to make Black Adam the star, he took away the chance for the other characters to truly shine.
The movie should have had Black Adam as the villain going up against the Justice Society, who are the saving grace of this movie (along with the score by Lorne Balfe). Pierce Brosnan steals every scene he’s in, and he’s fantastic as Doctor Fate. Aldis Hodge is also fantastic as Hawkman; he has great chemistry with Brosnan as you truly believe in their friendship. The other members of the Justice Society, Cyclone (Quintessa Swindell) and Atom Smasher (Noah Centineo) are great as well, but they don’t have as much to do.
Overall, this isn’t a movie I’d recommend spending your money on to see in theaters; you should wait for it to arrive on HBO Max if you really want to see it. Dwayne Johnson kept talking about “hierarchy in the DCEU changing”, but it’s just more of the same by clinging to the SnyderVerse. Honestly, if you want to watch a good DC movie with Dwayne Johnson, you should watch DC League of Super-Pets instead; if there’s one thing that DC actually does well, it’s animation.