BLACK ADAM (2022)
Superhero flick takes place in the fictional country of Kahndaq, which is overrun by mercenaries. They are searching for the Crown of Sabbac to grant their leader Ishmael (Marwan Kenzari) great power. When resistance fighter Adrianna Tomaz (Sarah Shahi) beats them to it and is cornered, she is forced to unleash the occupant of the tomb in which the crown rested. That occupant is Teth-Adam (Dwayne Johnson) a former slave who was gifted the powers of Shazam and imprisoned for his vengeful use of them. Now free, the newly dubbed Black Adam violently reacts to his home’s occupation and catches the attention of Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) who sends the heroic Justic Society to stop him. Now the newly awakened Black Adam must battle Ishmael and fend off the Justice Society.
DCEU flick is directed by Jaume Collet-Serra from an uneven script by Adam Sztykiel, Rory Haines and Sohrab Noshirvani. The makers want it both ways, as at times it’s a darker flick in the Snyder-verse vein with Black Adam gleefully killing those that attack him, and comic book fun another with the antics of the Justice Society heroes like the comical Atom Smasher (Noah Centineo). The tone shifts back and forth with it being dead serious one minute and a bit goofy the next. The action sequences are good and plentiful, though once again a DC film chooses a CGI monster as its eventual main villain and in its human form, Marwan Kenzari is a rather dull and routine bad guy as Ishmael. As our anti-hero, Johnson does portray Adam a bit too stone-faced to make him a really engaging anti-hero, although he does convey his strength and power very well. It’s Pierce Brosnan who steals the film as the dry humored and wisely Doctor Fate and Aldis Hodge is solid as Hawkman. Shahi makes a strong heroine as Adrianna, though we could have done without Bodhi Sabongui as Adrianna’s super annoying son Amon. So, while the flick is a mixed bag, it’s not the worst superhero flick in recent memory, though far from the best. Also stars Quintessa (Trinkets) Swindell as Cyclone.