Despite overreliance on CGI and a convoluted storyline, Black Adam is still a fun watch.
Black Adam (Film) Synopsis
Kahndaq has long suffered under oppressors, for example, during the tyrannical rule of the diabolical Ahk-Ton in ancient times. Legend, however, tells of Kahndaq once having a champion named Teth-Adam; the champion is believed to be the one who vanquished the evil Ahk-Ton. Jump forth to modern times, Kahndaq is occupied by the ruthless Intergang, an international crime syndicate bent on recovering Ahk-Ton’s magical crown. When archaeologist Adrianna Tomaz is cornered by Intergang mercenaries in a cavern, she reads an incantation that awakens the mighty Teth-Adam. Little does she realise, though, that the ancient champion is hardly the righteous hero everything believes him to be.
‘Right, finally had the zest and energy to write this review of the latest DCEU movie to hit the big screen. Something that I was unable to do so for two weeks.
A fortnight of delay “no thanks” to contracting COVID and then returning home from isolation to discover … my SSD had gone kaput!
Life always hits you with double whammies, doesn’t it!!!
But anyway … Got down to watching this superhero flick on Thursday and I found it reasonably entertaining in a video game kinda way, and because Dwayne Johnson was hardly as awful as some people predicted him to be. I doubt the Rock is going to win any acting awards for his depiction of Teth-Adam, but everything considered, he’s suitably solemn throughout. Of course, he absolutely rocks when bashing evil human mercenaries too.
Supporting him are also admirable deliveries by Pierce Brosnan, Aldis Hodge, and the young Bodhi Sabongui. On the teen, I wonder whether we’d get to see more of him in the upcoming Shazam sequel? It would be so great to see his spunky Amon up against Billy and Freddy. Would they end up buddies or rivals, or bitter enemies?
Coming to effects, well, I feel there are many missed and misinterpreted opportunities here. The slo-mos, dished out with a vengeance in every fight, initially dazzled and are reminiscent of comic book panels. Beyond a point, though, they just feel too many and too flashy. A classic case of CGI overreliance CGI that ended up depleting the zest from the fights.
The story, in several ways, doesn’t make sense too. For example, why are Amanda Waller and the Justice Society so concerned about Teth-Adam but, as the movie itself keeps stressing, completely tolerant of Intergang? The latter, a criminal syndicate craving a demonic crown? Read: Demonic crown.
Where was the Justice Society too, during previous DCEU crises?
Come to think of it, this version of Teth-Adam doesn’t feel like an antihero, let alone some sort of dangerous supervillain. He’s more accurately a jaded ex-freedom fighter who has long decided certain morals/fights are meaningless. So what’s Waller’s real concern?
Future DCEU entries might provide the answer, and for some fans, I suppose this lead-in of sorts is the best part of the show. (And that mid-credit cameo) For me, though, the possibility of answers in a sequel doesn’t particularly excite as I don’t see how things could coherently gel together.
However, if there’s indeed a follow-up, I guess I wouldn’t mind watching either. Convoluted story and characterisation aside, Black Adam was one enthusiastic superpowered bash. Watching it somewhat made me feel a little better after a fortnight of COVID misery.
Check out my other snappy movie reviews.