Black Adam Review: No CGI Used

Madeline Becotte

Spoilers Ahead

On October 21st, 2022, DC released its newest superhero film, Black Adam.

Starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, the film centers around a dictator-run country full of people that yearned for a hero to save them from their oppressors. The female lead, played by Sarah Shahi, accidentally releases a former slave, Black Adam, who was a hero, most well known for standing against his own oppressive king.

Honestly, the plot is kind of all over the place.

At first, you assume the story is about Black Adam (who doesn’t even go by that name during any part of the movie) freeing the country from its oppressors. Then, it becomes about heroes from the Justice Society (which I believe was introduced for the first time in this movie) trying to capture Black Adam, and work through their own struggles. Then, it became about them trying to steal a mystical crown from a descendant of an evil king. Then the movie ends. Except, it doesn’t actually end, and all of these different plots are brought together for the ending.

I liked Black Adam. I enjoyed the characters; The heroes were never presented as truly good or bad and were even criticized for their hypocrisy and sense of duty. The humor was apparent, but not in your face. Dry, subtle, sarcastic comments were threaded throughout. The political sentiments were well done, coming from someone who recently wrote a five-page essay on monarchs.

Dwayne Johnson is one of my favorite actors, and I was happy to see him finally become a superhero. My favorite part of the movie was to see him in his CGI, pre-super soldier serum Steve Rogers stage, and realizing that even made two-sizes smaller, he was still bigger than every other actor.

Of course, the film had its flaws.

Just like with The Batman (2022), Black Adam felt too long. It was only about two and a half hours, but the sheer amount of plot lines and information that they stuffed into that time frame felt almost jarring to watch.

I think that DC has gotten better with their lighting and special effects, however, just like any superhero movie, it was sometimes hard to track everything happening on screen. That being said, the special effects that they gave Cyclone and her powers, were cinematic excellence.

In order to understand certain parts of the movie, you will need to view, or at least have a basic understanding of Shazam! (2019). I, myself, wouldn’t have understood certain aspects of the film if the trailer for Shazam! Fury of the Gods (2023) hadn’t aired right before.

If you do end up watching, please note that there is only one end-credit scene waiting for you, so you don’t have to wait an additional ten minutes before having to exit the theater.

Black Adam was an enjoyable film, and definitely, my favorite that DC has released thus far. If the streak continues, I may just have to change allegiances from Marvel to DC. Of course, I can’t say anything for certain until I watch Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (2022).