Black Adam. (2022) Review.

There’s a moment during the second act of Dwayne Johnson’s gestating DC antihero movie where the character played by James Guns’ wife Jennifer Holland from Gunn’s ongoing Suicide Squad run gets a one-line cameo. Is this blatantly nepotistic? Sure. That said this viewer was blatantly more invested in what these characters might be getting up to, than anything in this perfunctory effort. This viewer isn’t entirely convinced that Johnson would be willing to do a choreographed dance title sequence to a song that sounds like a rebirth for hair metal produced in 2010 that was unearthed by Gunn and his team 11 years later. that said Peacemaker has a great first season and Black Adam feels devoid of any redeeming qualities. that was before Gunn got effectively handed what looks to be the keys to the Kingdom in terms of DC visual media.
Johnson has been trying to get this vehicle off the ground for many years at this point. To the extent that when one sees the final film it feels like a project from the first wave of Johnson’s movie career before studio executives unlocked his natural charisma. This brought up a broader question for this viewer? If Johnson feels subjectively miscast in his vanity project why did he invest so much time in getting this thing over the line regardless Yes Johnson has an appropriately imposing physique to play the part from a physical perspective. The stoicism required deliberately robs him of any personality the character or his performance might possess. As a viewer not familiar with the character beyond knowing he originated as a Shazam villain it was somewhat crazy to see the power set and origin elements of both characters mirrored pretty much exactly on screen. Except DC already gave the world a pretty good that earns its quality precisely because it leans into the silly but wish-for fulfillingly earnest the character and his power set are. The sequel has been sitting on the shelf for over a year at this point. regardless of the final product will likely only be remembered as part of Hollywood’s Who major 2023 attempts to turn the slightly manic theatre kid energy of West Side Story remake breakout Rachel Zegler into the next major star The only thing Black Adam can offer Is an embarrassing po faced flip on the same material.
This barely scratches the surface of what other strains of embarrassing the film has to offer. After delivering one of the worst performances of all time butchering the ABBA songbook anytime Pierce Brosnan chews the scenery will look tame by comparison. Aldis Hodge is far too good an actor for a role like Hawkman. Even Noah Centineo appears to be building a solid niche for himself in 15 Netflix teen and tween movies that look functionally identical.
The finished product feels like a commemorative choose-your-own-adventure narrative from across the 30 years of modern superhero blockbusters where every choice made is incorrect Namely fusing the pantomime theatrics within the majority of the pre-MCU superhero efforts with the trend-changing shared universe attempt of post-MCU superhero entertainment. That’s not even touching the desperate feeling mid-credits scene that was getting spoiled by the creative team days in advance in an attempt to drum up any potential interest in this failed bellyflop of everything wrong with bad genre movies in 2022
Dwayne Johnsons Black Adam is terrible. this sort of painfully forced studio embarrassment can trip up the careers of everyone involved. the fact that Johnson is miscast in a project he fought so heavily for is just the icing on a cake that has been going stale for far too long. Director
Jaume Collet-Serra’s previous collaboration with Johnson was the Disney Jungle Cruise movie. That was arguably just as generic as Black Adam but it at least had a sense of fun knowing exactly what it was and how to pull it off most effectively. Black Adam faceplants when attempting to clear the same rather low bar

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