Nearly 5,000 years after he was bestowed with the almighty powers of the Egyptian gods—and imprisoned just as quickly—Black Adam is freed from his earthly tomb, ready to unleash his unique form of justice on the modern world.

So, another superhero movie. But this time, it holds some personal baggage since this critic has had a rocky relationship with the DCEU from the start. I find the whole “Universe” endlessy compelling for all the wrong reasons. It’s a glorious carnage of piss-poor management, terrible carnage and endless frustration. Although I do like some of the swings the DCEU has given us, it’s the equivent of a drugged out terrier with road rage. Pathetic from a distance, but if you get close enough, you’ll soon be a headless shell of a man (or a headless horseman, who knows, it’s the season.) Now, the reason that I was interested in the movie was the director; Jaume Collet-Serra, a helmer that for years has been stuck doing B level movies but has enough flair and visual panache that made me always go “You deserve so much better than what they’re giving you.” So when I found out he was helming his first superhero piece, it was intriguing. Dwayne Johnson was a distant second reason, but a reason nevertheless. Call me a dweeb, but I always found him one of the most charisismatic actors of our generation and same as our leader Jaume, making drivel for years (Fast and Furious movies notwhistanding) smothering his incredible presence. Reading about the project was exciting, seeing that Dwayne wanted to portray this character his whole life (And was cast in the role 15 years ago!) and with that said I was ready for a good time.

It was not a good time.

Loud, dumb, stupid and incoherent, this is the bottom of the barrel of what counts as “studio” entertaiment. A product which has been test marketed within an inch of it’s life, pleasing everyone but no one. Although to be honest, there’s some things that I found enjoyable. First, The Rock itself. He’s 150% committed to this, and you can sense his passion for the role. This is a road that he eventually would fall upon, a larger than life superhero, punching evil beings in the face. And he does that really well. Second, I’ll admit that my inner 15 year old was quite pleased watching things go BOOM for the first 20 minutes. Black Adam’s resurrection was pretty cool to watch and visually interesting. Third; the score by Lorne Balfe was really catchy (a rarity nowadays). Using cranked guitars, a screeching choir and a trip-hop beat, Balfe outdoes himself here and it has been an earworm ever since.

Oh, and the worst kept secret in Hollywood appears at the end. It’s fine.

The rest is really, really bad. I didn’t find the movie painful to watch, it’s over rather quickly, but everytime the movie has a smidge of humanity or anything interesting, it gets bogged down by action. Over and over and over and over and over…Since there’s no tension because Black Adam is indestructible, the beatdowns get old really quick. You have such a cool cast of characters and they are written either cringeworthy or barely resembles a character sketch. The humor is so unfunny, I was stunned. Three “writers” penned the script. With the creme de la creme being a character with a gun in his head and the bad guy says and I SWEAR this happened: “Any last words?”

“Any Last Words?”


IN 2022?!

That’s the kind of writing throughout the movie. Lame and derivative.

At the end of the day, it’s a “meh” time waster. Just another exhausting and derivative superhero flick, another “origin” story you’ve seen so many times, you can instantly pinpoint the moment things happen. And I really wanted to like this so much, but I cannot in good conscience recommend this. It’s sad how the superhero genre has fallen.

There’s something interesting that happened while I was at the screening. So, I head over to the non-descript and bleached white bathroom, depleted. Washing my hands, I overhear a tough street kid say something to the effect of: “Man, that movie was so boring, it was just The Rock punching time and time again.” And my heart soared. Cause if a normie can say that, maybe, there’s hope that people would just get tired of this. And so it goes.

P.S – The screening I went to in Mayaguez at the Western Plaza looked great, since they installed new projectors (Thank James Cameron for that, no 4K HDR projectors, no Avatar in December) but the sound was really terrible. The entire row of the right side of the speakers was completely damaged, meaning that everytime sound exploded from the right of the screen, it went dead quiet. So, can someone fix it someday? Cool.


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