Black Adam: A Review

On October 21 of this year, the long-awaited film adaptation of “Black Adam” saw release. Though far from DC’s best work, it makes both a solid standalone superhero film and a taste of what’s to come next in the DC Extended Universe.

After a prologue set in the year 2600 BCE, the bulk of the story takes place in the present day nation of Kahndaq. When a group of treasure hunters awaken the ancient being Teth-Adam, better known as Black Adam (Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson), a new breed of antihero is unleashed on the world. Adam’s rage clashes with the villainous organization “Inter-gang” as well as the Justice Society of America. This film’s lineup of the JSA includes the Hawkman (Aldis Hodge), the Cyclone (Quintessa Swindell), the Atom Smasher (Noah Centineo) and Kent Nelson taking up the role of Doctor Fate (Pierce Brosnan, “Goldeneye”).

While the film may not be the same breath of fresh air that 2019’s “Shazam” was, director Jaume Collet-Serra makes an overall satisfying action blockbuster he definitely knows how to play to Johnson’s strengths as a performer (the two had previously worked together on the 2021 Disney Theme Park adaptation “Jungle Cruise”). By that same token, while Black Adam may not be a role model in the same manner as Superman (a credits scene with Henry Cavill reprising his role is a standout), the character is anchored by Johnson’s natural charisma from his work in the WWE and previous film roles. Johnson has been open about his fandom for the character, and it shows in each scene he’s in. The supporting cast also is more than a welcome compliment to the title character, with Pierce Brosnan as Doctor Fate being a great example.

With the film making over $200 million worldwide to date on its $175 million budget, “Black Adam” marks an imperfect yet ultimately enjoyable superhero movie and an enticing blueprint for the future of the DC Extended Universe.

Directed by Jaume Collet-Serra

Starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Pierce Brosnan, Noah Centineo, Aldis Hodge and Quintessa Swindell

Rated PG-13