After being woken up from a 5000 year slumber, Teth-Adam must fight the JSA who see him as a threat.
Spoiler Level: Mild
I have been waiting nearly my entire life to see two of my favorite DC characters, Doctor Fate (Pierce Brosnan) and Hawkman (Aldis Hodge), in a serious big screen movie, and I was not disappointed. Although this is definitely Black Adam’s (Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson) story, the JSA is a dominant force within the film and to me, they were infinitely more interesting. The plot of the story is pretty basic. The middle east country of Khandaq is oppressed by Intergang (criminal mercenaries), and Adrianna Tomaz (Sarah Shahi) is in search of the crown of Sabbac, an ancient artifact that gives the wearer great demonic power. She finds it but is ambushed and in order to save herself and her brother, she summons Teth-Adam, the champion of Kahndaq who has been entombed for 5000 years. Teth is not a happy camper and carnage ensues. This draws the attention of Amanda Waller (Viola Davis reprising the roll) and the JSA, which consists of new members Cyclone (Quintessa Swindell) and Atom Smasher (Noah Centineo) and veteran members Carter Hall / Hawkman and Kent Nelson / Doctor Fate. They see Teth-Adam as a world threat and challenge him with more carnage ensuing. But another villain appears, and the foes must join forces to defeat it.
First and foremost, this is an action film. In fact, it is probably 90% action and about 10% story, which works well for The Rock, as he isn’t the most accomplished of actors. He isn’t bad, but he does action / comedy better than a serious drama storyline. This balances out with Pierce Brosnan who makes the perfect sophisticated and sentimental Doctor Fate. The interaction between Cyclone and Atom Smasher is cute and Noah does a great job as the main comic relief, a bumbling giant on his first real mission with the JSA. Even with it being light on story, there are some great themes that are hit upon. The political upheaval and enslavement of the Kahndaqian people was intriguing. It also addresses that the world is not black and white and sometimes you don’t need a hero, but someone willing to do the things heroes can’t.
I enjoyed this movie immensely! Overall it was just fun with a great combination of comedy, action and sentimentality. We don’t get to see a lot of Carter and Kent’s backstory and how they forged such a strong association, but the fact that they were long time friends was conveyed quite well and their witty banter was well portrayed by the two actors. Dwayne does an adequate job as the lead and does have some great scenes. He was less the “goofy guy” we have seen in other movies and a lot darker, but still humorous. I liked the cinematography and there were some great visuals created with clever camera angles and movements. The story flowed well, but the dialogue felt clunky and forced in some scenes as well as some plot points being a bit sloppy and unnecessary (not going to say what since I am trying to keep the review spoiler friendly).
I was a bit disappointed at a few things. First of all, can we please get more JSA! I want to see more Hawkman and Doctor Fate. They were so fun to watch, but we got so little back story about them that I really want a follow up movie (prequel or sequel, I don’t care). Some of the CGI, specifically of Sabbac was not especially realistic, and a couple other scenes, the special effects weren’t as good as they could have been. Finally and most of all, this bothered me. Adianna Tomaz is the name for a DC character called Isis who is based on an old 70s Saturday morning live action series called The Secrets of Isis. The show alternated with and took place in the same world as the 70s series Shazam! In the movie she is wearing an ancient amulet that looks like the one that Teth-Adam’s wife wears in a flashback, but this was never addressed. When she first finds the crown, her amulet glows a little as well. I feel like either near the end or in an after credit scene we should have seen her discover her powers or Black Adam should have at least mentioned something. I suppose this could be a set up for a storyline if Black Adam gets a sequel.
I may be in a minority amongst reviewers, but I enjoyed this film immensely!
Black Adam: You Cannot Change Fate!
- Writing - 8/108/10
- Storyline - 9/109/10
- Acting - 9/109/10
- Music - 9/109/10
- Production - 9/109/10
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