Before Black Adam, there was Shazam(2019). The two films are linked together in the DC universe. But Black Adam’s storyline lacks brilliance and it’s opening is rushed. Its strong suit is Dwayne Johnson as the hero and the film is epic with action, but it fell far short of my expectations.
The plot of the film has the hero, Black Adam/Teth Adam (Johnson), coming back after being imprisoned for thousands of years. In the past he had power given to him from Egyptian gods, but he misused the power and was imprisoned. His freedom brings him to the task of unleashing his justice to the present world. His enemy is Ishmael/Sabbac/King Ahk-Ton (played by Marwan Kenzari). The heroes on the good guy’s side are Hawkman/Carter Hall (played by Aldis Hodge), Dr. Fate/Kent Nelson (played by Pierce Brosnan) Atomic Smasher/Al Rothstein (played by Noah Centineo), Cyclone/Maxine Hunkel (played by Quintesa Swindell), Adrianna Tomaz (played by Sarah Shahi), and Amon Tomaz (played by Bodhi Sabongui). They all helped bring Adam back, and they join him in fighting for civilization. But Adam has the strongest powers.
The rushed storyline is where Black Adambecomes unappealing. All the characters enter the action film with little to no explanation. Within minutes the film becomes surrounded with CGI, crazy explosions, and superhero war sequences. These moments are enticing, but confusing. In my view, Black Adam is just out for a blockbuster hit, for the money, but with a poorly written script.
With the many historical references, I found myself confused at times as to whether this is even a superhero movie. History and rituals blended with fiction is inviting in some fragments. But the history and rituals in Black Adam don’t link back to Adam’s history and the DC universe. So there needs to be a stronger foundation. The historical moments are fictional, but there could be much more details and explanations for a more invigorating premise. Black Adam is simply a mess of a setup. The technical aspects are what saves the film from being even more mediocre. Black Adam is cool visually, but not inviting much by its writing. Two and a half stars for Black Adam.