Black Adam: The Hero We Needed, and Deserved

Luke Vore, Video Editor

When I was at Comic-Con this year, I waited hours to get into Hall H, a ballroom that holds 6,000 people and where the big guns like Marvel and DC come to show off their new stuff. After a sleepless night and an early morning, I was greeted with the first sneak peek of Black Adam.

I remember the presence and showmanship of Dwayne Johnson– he came out in full costume and had an “electrifying” entrance (smoke, thunder, and lighting effects around him). But once he sat down to talk, you could see that this project, which he was also producing, meant a lot to him.

Black Adam, played by Dwayne Johnson, was a slave in 2600 BC to a king in his hometown of Kahndaq, Anh-Kot. After gaining superpowers, Adam begins to get revenge and set his people free. However, the rage behind his powers was too strong; thus he was sent to a tomb and imprisoned inside. Jump to the present day, and a group of archeologists discover the tomb and set him free.

Adam awakens to an unfamiliar city that is now oppressed by a crime syndicate known as the “Intergang”. Adam, still with rage in his heart, has to decide if he wants to help these people, or if they are merely a waste of time to a God like him.

When the Justice Society, which is made up of another group of superheroes, hears about the awakening of Black Adam, they feel he is too much of a danger and must stop him. It was around this point that I began to feel my “superhero fatigue”, a term for something I have felt for a while with Marvel.

We get non-specific characters that will all be expanded on within the DC universe, lots of CGI fights that can either look great or horrible (skinny Dwayne Johnson looks weird), and a generic villain with a generic plot twist.

I was looking forward to the idea of an antihero, who has every right to be mad, and decides to take his anger out on people who don’t understand where he is coming from. And while that idea is the initial central point, it does begin to stray away and focuses more on “teamwork”.

The focus on Black Adam, rather than side-characters, helped the film not feel overstuffed with ideas for sequels and character spin-offs , something every Marvel film does now.

What’s lacking in writing is made up for with action. The film is essentially two hours of Black Adam kicking ass, and I am all here for it. I appreciated that they never tried to make the plot overly sappy or too serious. They were aware that the plot wasn’t anything special, so they cranked the fight scenes to 11/10.

I always say that if there is passion and care that goes into a movie, it shows, and this is the case for this film–Dwayne Johnson cared. While it’s not going to win any awards, it does make for a great popcorn flick.