Movie Review: Black Adam



Black Adam promotional poster. Protected under Fair Use

Shiven Jain, Staff Writer

In the fictional Middle Eastern country of Khandaq, where the first civilization was born, there have been a string of political dictatorships that control the resources of the country and suppress the voices of the people. The latest, Intergang, has been searching for an ancient relic of unfathomable power, the Crown of Sabbac, buried somewhere in the capital city.  The story of the crown starts in 2600 BC, when the tyrannical king Ahk-Ton has it forged after his millions of slaves find him the rare ore needed. At the same time, Teth Adam, one of the numerous slaves, stages a revolt; because of his bravery, he is granted the powers of Shazam from the Gods, which he uses to defeat Ahk-Ton before he has taken the power of the crown. In the present day, Adrianna Tomaz finds the relic to keep it from Intergang but also awakens Teth Adam, who has been immortalized as the country’s eternal savior. The people rejoice as Adam dismantles Intergang’s control, but forces from the Justice Society intervene because they see Adam as a threat. The entire interaction exudes mystery, so do they know something that the audience does not?

Overall, the movie had an air of trying too hard. It’s like the producers read a Wikihow article titled “Details in Good and Funny Movies” and decided to incorporate every single suggestion. Most of the comedy was strained: there were too many plot lines and diversions to create a consensus whole, the world-building had little entertainment value, and everything distracted from what could have been a great commentary on international decay.
Dwayne Johnson’s acting is forced; stereotypes are thrown at the audience blatantly (and who even decided that Noah Neck was a good fit for a superhero?). Whether it be nepotism or bad viewer appeal, this movie was a string of bad decisions driven by even worse motivations.

The only thing the movie did correctly was its characters; whether they be international superheroes, war criminals, or citizens of a failing government, every single person was created to embody the spirit of change. Ideals clashed, morals were questioned, and repairs were made. The people kept the movie from being a complete waste of time.

Overall, DC needs to focus on creating stories that are impactful, instead of trying to create an endless slew of blockbuster films. Riding on the back of their success from the first Wonder Women in 2017, DC has continually refused to adapt their methods. The studio desperately needs to reevaluate what they hope to symbolize in the modern era.