I finally saw Black Adam this weekend. Now I want to start by saying that my expectations for DC movies are astoundingly low and that story accuracy isn’t important to me, but characterization accuracy is. That said Black Adam led by the Rock was one of the worst pieces of mindless, braindead media I’ve ever sat through in my life.
Let's start with the fact that Black Adam has been a part of several of DC’s reboots and retcons and the movie we were presented with didn’t even vaguely resemble a single shred of any of those origin stories. Starting him off as an anti hero was the biggest mistake they could have made as Black Adam is and has always been a villain first. They left him with nowhere to go. That said there was no character development because there was no character establishment. Not a single character was established, you left the movie having no sense whatsoever of who anyone was, what their purpose or motivation was. Dr. Fate and Hawkman claimed to have history but absolutely nothing in their interactions even alluded to that.
Next up we have their poor attempts at humor. DC has their own brand of humor most of the time but in this movie it was a poorly executed Marvel imitation. Certain characters this works for, in particular Flash and Shazam. Black Adam is not a quippy character and reducing him to one was not just an injustice to the character but it was atonal in the film.
Now let's get to the fact that introducing Hawkman without Hawkgirl was ridiculous, sexist and misogynistic. Their stories are intrinsically intertwined and literally can not be separated. Not to mention that if we track Black Adam’s interactions with Thangarians he has interactions with Hawkgirl twice before he ever interacts with Hawkman.
The idea of giving Black Adam his own origin story independent of Shazam is one thing but creating a dark version of Black Adam as the antagonist in this film when Black Adam IS the antagonist to Shazam was a sad, pathetic grasp for an original thought.
The film relied on formulas and tropes proving DC’s inability to carry a story on their own. The movie was surface level and hollow and contained nothing but mindless, braindead, poorly constructed cgi action sequences. The director shit in the same bed as Snyder and used far too many slow motion sequences, the camera work and visual style was messy, chaotic and not well thought out overall.
Unfortunately it seems that Ryan Reynolds and his hard work to get Deadpool made has set off a feeling in actors that they can simply do whatever the fuck they want with characters they know nothing about. The difference here is that Ryan knows who Deadpool is, The Rock heard the name Black Adam and decided it was his life’s calling without so much as having an intern wikipedia the character. And let's just slip in there that he has no business playing an Egyptian character whose powers are bestowed upon him by Egyptian gods…He used his power, money and racial ambiguity to play a character he had no right to play.
Overall the movie was insufferable; it lacked structure, character development, any sort of emotion of weight, and the plot was formulaic and entirely inaccurate to any version of his comic book counterpart. I have personal beef with The Rock now and I am literally begging the people who produce comic book movies to pick up a fucking comic book or at the very least hire someone to do it for you. I am available to be a comic book consultant.
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