Black Adam misses mark by a mile

27 Nov, 2022 - 00:11 0 Views
Black Adam misses mark by a mile

The Sunday Mail

Film Review
Tinashe Kusema

UNPOPULAR opinion: Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is not really a good actor!

I have received massive pushback every time the issue to do with The Rock’s acting abilities comes up. However, I would like to think that I have finally identified where I usually get my wires crossed with his fans in this discussion.

Many people seem to confuse the 50-year-old’s marketability with his actual acting ability.

A Dwayne Johnson movie is also guaranteed to break the bank at the box office, with the former wrestler’s movie estimated to have grossed over US$3,5 billion worldwide.

This simply means the guy has a legion of loyal fans.

However, these numbers say nothing about the quality of the movie(s) in question (cue in “Tooth Fairy”), or his performance.

I do not remember ever hearing someone — movie critic or otherwise — raving about a particular Johnson performance.

Take his latest release “Black Adam”, for instance.

The movie has grossed roughly US$367 million since its release on October 21 but the figure and the quality of the production do not tally.

It is possibly the worst and biggest flop in the DC Extended Universe (DCEU) and that means something considering movies like “Wonder Woman: 1984”, “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” and “Justice League” belong to the very same canon.

“Black Adam”, the eleventh movie in the DCEU, follows Johnson as the titular character Black Adam, a former slave, who, upon receiving powers from various Egyptian gods, goes on a killing rampage when his son is executed for inciting revolt against a tyrannical ruler.

This is back in 2600BC in ancient Kahndaq.

As a result of the said killing spree, Black Adam, or Teth-Adam, which is his original name, is put into 5 000-year slumber, only to be awoken in modern-day Kahndaq, which is now under a different form of oppression by a crime syndicate known as the Intergang.

Adam ploughs through the Intergang mercenaries, who are themselves looking for an ancient artefact that is believed to bestow immense power on its owner.

However, Black Adam’s awakening and subsequent killing spree catch the attention of government official Amanda Waller (Viola Davis), who then assigns the Justice Society of America (JSA) to track and apprehend him.

What ensues is an all-out battle between Adam and the JSA — represented by Hawkman (Aldis Hodge), Doctor Fate (Pierce Brosnan), Cyclone (Quintessa Swindell) and Atom Smasher (Noah Centineo). All the while, a big threat looms on the horizon.

At face value, it really is a simple plot to follow.

The problem arises in the lousy computer-generated imagery in which slow motion is used for the majority of the fight scenes, the subpar performances and the JSA itself.

As far as DC superhero teams go, the Justice League of America is right at the bottom. In fact, there has been no mention of the team since the DCEU’s creation back in 2013, and Adam Sztykiel and his writing team make no attempt to introduce both the team and its character.

Were it not for Davis’ Amanda Waller, one would have a difficult time connecting the movie to the DCEU.

In terms of performance, Hodge tries too hard, Brosnan does not even have material to sink his teeth in and the duo of Swindell and Centineo are literally bystanders throughout the movie.

Much like its competition Marvel, DC seems to have a very big villain problem.

Johnson adds nothing to the role except his frame, presence and name.

It says everything you need to know about the movie that its biggest draw-aside from The Rock is a post-credit scene that sees Black Adam come face-to-face with Henry Cavill’s Superman.

The scene was leaked prior to the movie’s release and makes many sit through the movie’s 125-minute runtime just to see these two iconic characters meeting for the first time.

That said, I also have a problem with the movie’s tone, which is rather bleak. This could become a huge problem when Black Adam finally meets his arch-nemesis Shazam.

Unless things have changed in the last year or so, Shazam, and not Superman, is the endgame for Black Adam.

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