DC antihero falls short of top spot


Warner Brothers

Black Adam prepares to fight. ”Black Adam” has amazing action scenes, but suffers from a predictable plot.

DC’s newest movie ”Black Adam” delivers a brand new antihero to its universe in a less-than-great package.

Set in the fictional city of Kahndaq, the movie focuses on the awakening of Black Adam after a 5,000 years rest. Kahndaq has been taken over by a group of mercenaries known as the Intergang. 

The people of the city call on Black Adam to liberate the city. Once awakened, Adam is tracked by the Justice Society, tasked with detaining him for the government.

The movie consists of Black Adam fighting against both forces for most of the runtime, while repeatedly declaring that he is not a hero. It focuses on the Intergang attempting to obtain an artifact, the Crown of Sabbac, which will spread their control around the world. 

The leader of the Intergang receives the crown and turns into Sabbac, leading to a battle between Sabbac and Black Adam.

The movie feels rather generic. Multiple times throughout, I could predict exactly what was about to happen. For example, after Adam hurts a kid he has built a bond with by accident, he flees the situation and then tells the audience about his backstory. 

This is something that has been done repeatedly throughout this genre.

— Staff Writer Micah Freeman

This is something that has been done repeatedly throughout this genre. It never really has any surprises or story beats that are unique.

The pacing in the movie is also odd. There are constant flashbacks to the beginning of the movie to explain Adam’s origins. The entire Sabbac plot shows up in random intervals. 

There are parts where it focuses on how Kahndaq does not have a hero, which is interesting. However, that is not really brought up again until the ending. 

There also is a scene where the city comes together to fight Sabbac’s army, which would be a hopeful point in the movie if the city’s residences were ever the focus. This leaves the movie feeling unfocused with many ideas they did not have time to refine, which is somewhat common in DC movies.

Most of the other characters do not have enough screen time to gauge their performances. 

— Staff Writer Micah Freeman

The character writing and directing are a mixed bag throughout. Black Adam’s dialogue is just the same tiring drag about how he is not a hero. Dwayne Johnson’s performance is just as monotonous, every line read sounds the exact same. 

Noah Centineo’s character, Atom Smasher, felt like an imitation of Ezra Miller’s Flash. They both have the same nervous energy to them, and it makes Atom Smasher feel redundant. 

Most of the other characters do not have enough screen time to gauge their performances. 

There are two standouts, however. Aldis Hodge as Hawkman showcases a hero who while wishing to do good, sees the world in a black-and-white way. The other stand-out is Pierce Brosnan as Docter Fate, who advises the main characters and has a character arc of his own, trying to change fate.

One thing that redeems the film is the action. The battles against Intergang soldiers and Black Adam vs the Justice Society have an intensity that is lacking in many hero films.

Apart from the fighting and some ancillary characters, nothing makes this film unique. Between this and “The Batman” as far as DC’s movie offerings go, I really hope they take more from the latter than the former.