A new superhero, or anti-hero as he’s referred to, has entered the DC extended universe. Black Adam, directed by Jaume Collet-Serra (Jungle Cruise, Orphan), serves as a spin-off to Shazam! and introduces us to new faces and familiar ones.
Based on the comics of the same name, the movie follows Teth-Adam, aka Black Adam (Dwayne Johnson), a former Khandaq slave turned God who is awakened after 5,000 years, and the only thing on his mind is to exact revenge on those who executed his family. The Justice Society (JSA) is quickly alerted as soon as Black Adam awakes, and Hawkman (Aldis Hodge) and Dr. Fate (Pierce Brosnan) enlist Noah Centineo’s Atom Smasher and Quintessa Swindell’s Cyclone to help capture and lock up “the loose cannon.”
Sarah Shahi plays Adrianna Tomaz, the woman responsible for saying the magic word and releasing Teth-Adam. Along with her son Amon (Bodhi Sabongui), their paths cross with the anti-hero, and they bond through their common goal: to see Khandaq free from its oppressors once and for all.
Black Adam is the formulaic action flick you can expect, but it is backed with some incredible performances. There is no one more fit (literally) to play Teth-Adam than the wrestler-turned-actor himself. Dwayne Johnson was born for this role. It’s well stacked with Brosnan as the older, wiser one among the group down to Centineo as the giant charming himbo.
While it meandered a bit during the second act, Black Adam starts and ends strongly. It’s a visually stunning film with refreshing fight sequences, most notably during the final sequence. Cyclone’s action sequences were a delight because, through the chaos of Black Adam vs the JSA, everyone slows down around her as she works her magic, capturing audiences in this whimsical fairy-esque moment. BAFTA-nominated composer Lorne Balfe created the vigorous soundtrack that ties it all together.
DCEU fans are in for a treat with Black Adam, especially the end-credit scene. Dwayne Johnson played a crucial role in developing this film, and his efforts were not in vain.
by Kadija Osman
Kadija Osman is based in Toronto, Ontario and is currently completing her undergrad in journalism at Ryerson University. She enjoys writing about film and TV. When she isn’t watching Timothée Chalamet’s filmography, she is probably reading romance and thriller novels or ranting about the disappointing cancellation of E!’s The Royals. Her favourite films include Kingsman: The Secret Service, Lady Bird and Ready or Not. You can find her on Twitter: @kadijaosman_ and Letterboxd.