Black Adam

15 4K UHD, Blu-ray, DVD

No one draws a crowd quite like Dwayne Johnson, which is why the former pro wrestler is one of the highest grossing and highest paid actors today.

It’s been a hard slog, in and out of the ring, but the fifty year old, whose films have earned over $10.5 billion dollars worldwide to date, now has the career weight to pretty much green light his own projects.

He’s made no secret that he’s been a comic book fan all of his life, and one character has always been dear to his heart, DC Comic’s Black Adam. And although the character can fly, the project itself has taken nearly ten years to get off the ground. But finally, Johnson gets to slip into a tight Lycra outfit and kick ass. Just like the old days.

boom reviews Black Adam
So you thought this was a fancy dress party? Dude, it's a funeral.

In the ancient city of Kahndaq, 2600 BC, a power hungry king is forcing his people to work as slaves in an attempt to mine a very rare and powerful gem, which will help create an all powerful crown.

A young boy finds the courage to stand up to him, and in return, is given special powers by a Council of Wizards, that will allow him to defeat the king, which he does.

Present day, and someone has decided to search for the powerful crown, which in turn will bring the king back to life. Archaeologist Adrianna (Sarah Shahi) and her son Amon (Bodhi Sabongui), are keen for that not to happen, so Adrianna summons a powerful being from the past too - Teth Adam (Johnson), to once again destroy the king.

But Adam’s appearance sets off alarm bells on the superhero front, in particular those belonging to the Justice Society, led by Hawkman (Aldis Hodge), who see his return as more of a threat than a help, so concentrate their efforts on taking him down. They are unaware however, of the full powers at his disposal, which really do make him a threat to everyone who crosses his path.

boom reviews Black Adam
I don't think so big guy, you had garlic at lunch didn't you.

Black Adam is going to go down in history as the cinematic result to the cautionary saying ‘be careful what you wish for’. Johnson has been so pro-active over the years in his attempt to bring the story to the screen, that he may well have put one too many eggs in his basket.

The result is that the film underperformed at the box office, despite more than making its budget back. To that end, as it currently stands in a fairly volatile market as far as Warmer Bros is concerned, it means that there will be no sequel, which is bound to hurt Johnson. The question is though, is it a bad film?

The answer is far from it. In fact it’s a highly entertaining spectacle, that brings to the screen a refreshing number of superheroes that haven’t been seen before. This is a huge bonus, especially when there’s more than a little superhero fatigue setting in, with a myriad of rebooted origin stories, told over and over.

There’s also an interesting ambiguity surrounding Black Adam himself, who doesn’t necessarily qualify as a superhero, as he appears to have his own agenda. This alone makes him an interesting figure, but you can also visibly see Johnson relishing playing the part, such is his love for the character.

And considering this is director Jaume Collet Serra’s first stab at a superhero film, he does a sterling job in balancing story with character development. He’s also helped by a fun script that certainly has its moments comically.

He’s also fortunate to get a great performance from Pierce Brosnan, who no doubt had very little clue as to what was going on around him most of the time, but it doesn’t prevent him from being superb as Dr. Fate.

The DC arm of Warner’s has been a real mess for some time, which is no doubt why they’ve brought in James Gunn to navigate the superhero waters from hereon in. One of his first statements of intent is to squash the post credit tease of this film, which is disappointing, as it hints of a possible match up between Black Adam and a serious heavy hitter in the DC world. But sadly, that is unlikely to happen now, which will no doubt be a further kick in the balls for Johnson, who has been very vocal about having a certain actor in a certain super role.

The home release of Black Adam will hopefully give it a second chance, even though it actually made money for the studio, as audiences get the opportunity to re-view it in the comfort of their own home. And so they should, and possibly come to the same way of thinking as Johnson himself, in that there’s an uniqueness to Black Adam that really should allow him a regular seat at the DC table, as he’s a far more entertaining proposition when compared to the likes of Aquaman and Wonder Woman.

Black Adam is unlike any other DC superhero film that has come before it, much of which has been pretty mediocre, and therefore should be commended for that alone. And who knows, maybe there is a multiverse that sees his return, and on this thrilling effort, he deserves it.

we give this four out of five

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