We live in times when movies have to be a masterpiece or a hideous poison. You have to declare yourself very quickly in one place or another on the scale: did you love her or do you repudiate her with all your heart? In an age of extreme social media, absurd polarization seems the only way to get attention. In fact, the promotional campaigns themselves base everything on the almost sectarian team division.
That’s why it’s so nice to see a movie like ‘Black Adam’ in which its intention to be an entertaining hangout is consistent with its end result. The DC tape that is supposed to present the new great character that will turn his universe upside down falls into the mistakes of dozens of tapes before it but his own charisma always saves him from his ineffective bombast.
black is black
‘Black Adam’ has a main character who is charismatic, because It’s not a superhero: it’s Dwayne Johnson in superhero costume. He raises his eyebrows, says one-liners like nobody else and you can see he enjoys his role. The problem is that the writers believe they have invented the concept of antihero and they hammer with it throughout the footage: he’s a hero, but the methods he uses aren’t heroic! Surprise!
From ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ to ‘The Suicide Squad’, the concept of the hero with anarchic attitude that even kills Without a doubt, he is already very worn in the cinema. So much so that the supposed surprise of ‘Black Adam’ is diluted very quickly. Perhaps in 2007, when the introduction of the character began to be planned, it would have been more interesting, but now it tastes like a reheated potato omelette: It’s good, but tastes a bit rancid.
Alongside Dwayne Johnson, the film introduces the Justice Society, a mythical group of DC superheroes in which introduce four characters with unequal narrative fortune. Doctor Fate (Pierce Brosnan) would have deserved a movie for himself: his set of superpowers is unique and striking, in addition to having an intelligent and well-planned development throughout the film, perhaps the best narrated part of the footage. Hawkman, for his part, is Black Adam’s heroic nemesis, and his journey throughout the film is no less interesting because it is predictable, something that cannot be said of his appearance and his powers, which are a replacement of those of Falcon. Together with the two of them, the debacle.
The Atomic Ant
Cyclone and Atom Smasher are characters that leave the feeling of not having had enough scenes. Both are only outlined and their presence does not contribute or take away anything from the work., including some unoriginal powers (although, it must be said, Cyclone’s chromaticism is visually appealing). A pity, because both could give a lot more of themselves, but introduce five new superheroes and many other humans in a film with a clear protagonist is not easy and sacrifices have to be made.
DC seems hell-bent on that in his superhero movies there have to be humans out there to save from time to time, creating a dislike effect on the viewer that does no good. In this case, Black Adam’s wife in the comics, Adrianna Tomaz, her friend and her son manage to get into trouble all the time and clutter up the plot instead of letting the visual spectacle do the work.
‘Black Adam’ has one last serious problem: his own way of telling the plot, which goes in fits and starts and without a clear objective, with a manifest lack of originality. The script twists on Black Adam’s own past don’t work, the villain is so operetta that clearly no one -not even the actor himself- has the slightest interest in making him really threatening and the big decisions the characters make just happen one after another, without anyone thinking much about them. Jaume Collet-Serra, a blockbuster mercenary with the soul of an author, knows that he has to get from point A to point B and he doesn’t worry about making sense of the path, but about crossing off moments.
And yet ‘Black Adam’ is hilarious and has a couple of great moments (Watch out for that massacre to the rhythm of the Rolling Stones). Also, while it would have been much improved by the brutality of that adult montage that we’ve been denied, the fights in which Dwayne Johnson is the protagonist are a joy to watch: The character’s bestiality coupled with the actor’s slyness make it a joy to watch him launching enemies into the air and massacring them in the most imaginative way possible, like a super-powered Jason Voorhees.
The film’s touches of humor also work like clockwork, thanks to an actor who shows that he is having a great time and that he truly believes that this is the beginning of the rebirth of DC thanks to his character, who clearly intends to cross (and break the face of) half a superheroic universe. And, as an example, a fabulous post-credits scene that reminds us of the power they still have beyond introducing new characters or opening plots that will not be closed for another decade. Huh Marvel?
‘Black Adam’ is a good blockbuster, which does not want, can or need to go further. The plot doesn’t work, the duality of the character isn’t the revolution they claim it to be and half the characters are filler, but seeing Dwayne Johnson having a good time is always joyful. And here, between smacks, murders, sarcasm and lightning, we have it multiplied by a hundred. Yes, it will sound like something we have already seen and it will not surprise you, but it is not what it tries to do. Instead, it offers unapologetic fun and top-notch fighting. You can’t ask for more from an honest blockbuster.