It’s taken 15 years and several pandemic-forced delays, and now Black Adam has finally arrived in theaters. Dwayne Johnson’s been attached to the film since 2007 when his star power was nowhere near what it’s at today. The idea of this movie getting made, much less coming out, seemed impossible as Johnson continued to build his star power through various films, shows, and wrestling gigs, to say nothing of how the state of DC’s theatrical films seems to change every few weeks. So how is the film itself? Well....eh.
Reactions to the film are mixed, at least for critics. As is often the case, the ones who’ve been able to groove with the film have really taken a shine to it, and those that haven’t have made their dislike (either mild or spicing hot) for it pretty clear. Audiences seem to be grooving with it a little more, though, and that appears to be the main metric of success for Johnson. (Beyond the box office, obviously.)
Having seen the film on Thursday, Black Adam could be worse, but it could also stand to be a lot better. (Honestly, it would probably be more fun if it was willing to be worse.) For all the memes there’ve been about the hierarchy of power in the DC Universe changing, the film itself doesn’t have anything new to offer that you couldn’t get anywhere else, either in this era of DC movies specifically or the superhero genre in general. There’s no rule stating superhero films have to be transcendent, and while Johnson is good in this, he’s been better in other things, and the film honestly feels like it’s trying too hard. A movie that puts such an emphasis on its lead character being different from other superheroes via killing would probably carry more weight if one of this year’s biggest shows didn’t involve superheroes casually crushing spines and lasering people to death.
But hey, maybe you feel differently. Let us know in the comments below what you think of Black Adam. I’d say to be mindful of spoilers, but the only real one that the film has is one that WB’s had no trouble all but outright admitting these last few days, so...
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