• Ken Silvers

Black Adam


Black Adam is a comic book character many in the general public may not be familiar with, but the character first appeared in the comics in 1945. He was one of the archenemies of Captain Marvel/Shazam, but later was altered to be a corrupted antihero. In present day DC comic books he is now a member of the Justice League. The character is now on the big screen in the film "Black Adam", starring Dwyane Johnson, who finally saw his dream come true of portraying Adam. In fact before the first "Shazam!" film came to be, he was pegged as the villain in said film, but then producers decided to give the character his own film. This was actually a great decision as both Shazam and Black Adam needed time to have their character origins presented and developed before their eventual showdown. The film also introduces some of the members of the Justice Society, further adding to the excitement around the project. The film begins in 2600 B.C. by introducing the fictional desert kingdom of Kahndaq, and its corrupt and tyrannical King Ahk-Ton. The king has created a corrupt crown, which gives the wearer great power. Meanwhile, ala the "Shazam!" film, the Council of Wizards give a young slave boy the powers of Shazam (a great old wizard), making him the champion of Kahndaq, who is able to end the reign of the evil Ank-Ton. Guess what? The boy in question just happens to be the son of Johnson's character, which plays a pivotal role in the creation of Black Adam, which I will not reveal here. The film moves forward to present day Kahndaq, which is being oppressed by the Intergang ( an organized crime syndicate appearing in DC comics). We then see a group of archaeologists, led by resistance fighter Adrianna Tomaz (Sarah Shahi), on a trip to retrieve the evil crown in order to keep it out of the hands of Intergang. When they find the crown, the group is attacked by Intergang, and in an effort to save their lives, Adrianna reads the incantation that awakens Black Adam, first known as Teth-Adam. Adam immediately proves to be unbeatable and begins taking down all of the present members of Intergang. The awakening of Adam is discovered by US government official Amanda Waller (Viola Davis), who deems Adam a threat and contacts some members of the Justice Society: Hawkman (Aldis Hodge), Atom Smasher (Noah Hodge), Cyclone (Quintessa Swindell), and Dr. Fate (Pierce Brosnan) to take Adam in custody. When the JS arrives in Kahndaq, they are able to prevent Adam from furthering his destructive actions in his country, but have a hard time convincing Adrianna and her son Amon( Bodhi Sabongui) that Adam is not the hero they hoped for but a madman who was actually imprisoned. The battle to capture Adam is very exciting, and doesn't end in the favor of the JS, as they realize the mighty power of who they are dealing with. The story also involves several betrayals, more fights between the JS and Adam, and a revelation that surprises the JS, as told by Adam to Hawkman. Eventually everything in the story calms down until a new threat emerges in the form of Sabbac, a newly formed demon via one of the human characters, who is out to claim the throne of Kahndaq. This sets up the final battle of the film pitting the powerful Sabbac against the JS, and later Adam, who had agreed to be taken into custody by Waller's order, but is needed to help take down Sabbac. The film has almost continuous action, and the dialogue between the ancient Adam and Amon is great. All the characters are great, with Johnson leading the way with his commanding performance as Adam, but the one revelation for me was Hodge as Hawkman. Hawkman needs a stand-alone film now! Hodge was mesmerizing as the character, and was never overshadowed in his interactions with Johnson. In addition, Brosnan's Dr. Fate was also a standout, with the character's mystical powers combined with Brosnan's acting chops equalling a great cinematic experience. I was able to see the film on a super large screen, and was glad I did, as this was a film that deserves the format. "Black Adam" is far from a typical superhero film, and that is what I liked most about it. I really enjoyed the introduction of the Justice Society, and I hope we see more of them. The film has a great post credit scene you must stay for, and you may have already seen it online. Johnson has finally been able to see his dream project a reality, and I, for one, am glad he did. Now playing in theaters. (Rated PG-13)

5/5