Jeri Jacquin

Currently in theatres from director Jaume Collet-Serra and Warner Bros. Pictures is the DC antihero is none other than BLACK ADAM.

The city of Kahndaq is being taken over by the gun toting repressors called the Intergang. Living in the city is archaeologist Adrianna Tomaz (Sarah Shahi), son Amon (Bodhi Sabongui) and brother Karim (Mohammed Amer). She is looking to obtain the Crown of Sabbac along with colleague Ishmael Gregor (Marwan Kenzari). When they are ambushed, Adrianna is close to being killed when she utters the words that awaken Teth-Adam (Dwayne Johnson).

Now her enemies are about to be in for a world of hurt because Teth-Adam does not take prisoners – literally. Trying to explain to him that it has been 5,000 years since he was last seen, the antihero tries to make sense of what is happening. It is Amon that seems to be able to reach him and explain quickly.

Government official Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) hears about Black Adam and calls in reinforcements to get him under control. First, Carter Hall aka Hawkman (Aldis Hodge), Kent Nelson aka Doctor Fate (Pierce Brosnan), Maxine Hunkel aka Cyclone (Quintessa Swindell) and Al Rothstein aka Atom Smasher (Noah Centineo) get together to discuss a plan to contain him.

In the meantime, the Intergang want what Adrianna has, the Crown of Sabbac. They want it bad enough that kidnapping Amon is the next step to getting it. Teth-Adam can not get along with the Justice Society gang as its clear he and Hawkman have serious issues. It is Doctor Fate that tries his best to make the men understand they have to work together.

It is Teth-Adam that realizes he might have more of a problem with his anger than he can control. Being put on ice might be the only way to save those he has come to care about – but it isn’t as over as everyone thinks. The world just might, once again, need Black Adam!

Johnson as Teth-Adam/Black Adam is the only reason I wanted to see this film. I enjoy what he does because it is the reason I have always gone to the movies. Being entertained is what he does and, lets face it, he does really well. From comedy to a bit of drama, he has taken his name and put it to some very good characters.

Shahi as Adrianna is not only an archeologist but a mom to an equally curious son. Together they are a force to be reckoned with. She also has the opportunity to bring the city she loves together while making sure Teth-Adam and Hawkman behave themselves. Sabongui as Amon just loves having Teth-Adam around. Getting the chance to update him on the world and know that he truly is good deep down, there is a connection between them and Sabongui makes that happen.

Kenzari as Gregor has a secret or two of his own and gives us just enough good and evil to keep us guessing. Amer as Karim is the brotherly comic relief and gives it in full measure.

Hodge as Hawkman is fine but I don’t know his back story other than he has a huge chip on his shoulder. Its hard I know going from the BMOC then dropping down to a mere-superhero up against a god. Brosnan as Dr. Fate also has a back-story, I don’t know but he does step aside when Hawkman and Teth-Adam get into it which cracked me up.

Swindell as Cyclone is cute as a button and that’s about all I get out of that story. Well, that and she obviously likes being a colorful wind that throws things. Centineo as Al is a young man who is clearly not use to working with his powers and can not get out of his own way. He’s sweet so there’s that.

Shout out to Jalon Christian who plays Teth-Adam’s son Hurut. He is a boy who understands how the world worked then and now, well done young sir!

Other cast include Djimon Hounsou as Shazam wizard, Jennifer Holland as Emilia Harcourt and Henry Winkler as Al Pratt. There is also a special moment between Black Adam and another beloved superhero! 

Now this is probably where I’m going to get blowback but (she cringes as the keyboard), I was not that impressed with the film. First of all, it is confusing and although I’m sure the comic book readers are up to speed on all this, I felt like it was just thrown at me and I was supposed to go along for the ride? Yea, well I am not made that way. I got Teth-Adams story clear enough and it was well defined and Johnson won me over with his portrayal.

Who is Dr. Fate? Where did he get Magneto’s helmet and have it dipped in gold? Who is Cyclone and what’s her deal? How did Atom Smasher figure out he can be as big as, oh, I don’t know, Ant-Man? What, for gawd’s sake, are Hawkman’s issues? Does he realize he isn’t the only superhero who has wings? Asking for a friend.

Also, if Teth-Adam says Shazam and has god-like powers, what does this do for Billy Batson’s Shazam? Sloppy seconds? Did he get the sub-dose of superpowers because he got them from the same place as Teth-Adam. More importantly, do I have to read to get these answers? See why I’m confused?

Look, I get that this film is a set up for other films but man this one took everything I had to stick with. It is quite possible that I don’t see superheroes anymore, I see destructors of cities because, seriously, you can not tell me those buildings they crash into don’t have people inside them that get hurt or die. When Hawkman is giving Teth-Adam grief about ‘killing’, I’m sitting in my seat shouting out, ‘what do you think you do dude?’.

Man, it was exhausting as the conversation in the car with my family had me asking even more questions. BLACK ADAM has its moments and that’s thanks to Johnson but it might take me a moment to get past the questions.

That being said, it was nice to see Johnson and another beloved superhero have a moment – you will see!

In the end – it is power born from rage!



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About the Author

Jeri Jacquin

Jeri Jacquin covers film, television, DVD/Bluray releases, celebrity interviews, festivals and all things entertainment.