Black Adam Review | A Harmless Addition to the Uneven DCEU

The new DCEU movie Black Adam starring Dwayne Johnson as the title character, works fine as a film that gives the universe a future that looks exciting. As a stand-alone film, this Shazam spin-off is an okay entertainer that never bores you, even though the trajectory is very familiar. With a predictable story not becoming excessively dark or excruciating in terms of length, Black Adam is a harmless addition to the uneven extended universe of DC.

The story revolves around this ancient city named Kahndaq that was at its prime 5000 years ago. But when it fell into the wrong hands, a hero came to dethrone the one in power, but it resulted in the collapse of that city too. In the present day, Kahndaq’s fate is no different, and the people of Kahndaq are struggling to fight against the modern-day invaders called the Intergang. The return of that hero who saved them once and the mysteries behind that character is what we see in Black Adam.

Post Age of Ultron, MCU underwent a transition where it started to address the repercussions of specific actions from the commoner’s perspective. In Black Adam, there is an attempt from the writers to explore the geopolitical nature of the world in DCEU. The justice society got criticized by the people of Kahndaq for not showing up when they really needed them, and the movie even puts the superheroes in that guilty space. But the generic feel of the script is constantly restricting the film despite having occasional moments of whistle-worthy fun.

The filmmaking and the assembling of events feel like a collage of certain successful set pieces or scripting tropes. The introduction fight of Black Adam felt like a scaled-up version of the QuickSilver action set-piece in X Men Days of Future Past. The final battle somewhere reminded me of the Battle of Sokovia. Certain character traits of our hero have those Deadpool vibes. I am not saying they copied all this stuff from various films. The familiar beats of scenes make it look like a watch-cheer-forget kind of film. Well, even Marvel movies are nowadays struggling to find a unique voice.

Dwayne Johnson underplays his signature “smoldering intensity,” which gives the character an emotional layer and makes him a hero for whom you will root. Aldis Hodge as Carter was fine, and there is that similarity with Falcon in the way they have incorporated humor around that character. Sarah Shahi, as Adrianna, played her role as a resistance fighter convincingly. Pierce Brosnan, as Doctor Fate, gets to play the veteran with wisdom and wit, and he delivered a nice performance.

Black Adam may not be that unique in terms of treatment or script. But this Jaume Collet-Serra movie hints that the future can have some interesting conflicts. Dwayne Johnson’s screen presence and the crowd-pleasing bits make Black Adam that standard superhero film that is fun, yet there is nothing much remarkable about it.

Final Thoughts

Dwayne Johnson's screen presence and the crowd-pleasing bits make Black Adam that standard superhero film that is fun, yet there is nothing much remarkable about it.


Green: Recommended Content

Orange: The In-Between Ones

Red: Not Recommended


By Aswin Bharadwaj

Founder and editor of Lensmen Reviews.