DC's Black Adam leaves more to be desired
Black Adam attempts to bring forth a new era in the DC Extended Universe. The passion behind the film is there and it was clearly constructed with the fans in mind, but the resulting product leaves more to be desired as its heavy focus on action makes its plot and characters less endearing in the long run.
The cinematography of Black Adam was particularly well done. Compared to a lot of superhero films which have come out in recent memory, its atmosphere is a bit different.
Perhaps the best thing about the film is its action sequences. They do not try to reinvent the wheel here, but I believe that some aspects are done better than others. This movie tries to stress the might of Black Adam, and the action scenes manage to convey that exuberantly. However, while the action might be the film's biggest merit, it also serves to its detriment.
This movie essentially goes from one action scene to another leaving very little room for character growth. The characters lack real depth and are just there to progress the plot which itself is not that unique to begin with.
Black Adam introduces a rather disappointing rendition of The Justice Society to the DCEU. With the exception of Doctor Fate (who I believe is the best part of the film), these characters did not receive sufficient backstory to flesh them out and make us actually care about them. As a result, they felt like a B-list Justice League who were only there to mildly annoy Black Adam.
Other supporting characters and even the villain of this film fail to be compelling. The motives and story revolving around the villain are all too predictable, though that could be applied to almost everything about the film.
The lack of character depth applies to the titular anti-hero too, unfortunately. Teth-Adam has an interesting enough backstory but there is a lot more that could have been done with him. One thing in particular I think could have been explored is the culture shock he should have experienced after waking up in the modern world after thousands of years. It is shown for a brief moment but as it is with this movie, they just want to shove him straight into the fights.
Not to mention there is no real threat to the character throughout the film which could have made him more endearing. By the end, perhaps the only takeaway one might get from him is that he is just Shazam with the absence of an actual personality.
The film plays with some interesting themes such as the oppression of a country by foreign powers and the morality of superheroes but fails to address them completely as all these concepts get lost amidst the chaos.
The Justice Society is meant to contrast Black Adam, with the idea of real heroes refraining from killing. However, that idea gets mitigated by the fact that in the DCEU, even heroes such as Superman and Batman do in fact, kill. So, Black Adam is not all that different from the top-tier heroes of this world.
Black Adam is a decent start to a new DCEU, with the post-credits scene setting up an exciting future for the franchise. While it manages to expand the world well, it fails to stand solid on its own in terms of story and character. It is an enjoyable movie if you want to watch it solely for the superhero action, but if you are looking for an engaging storyline with great character writing, you might end up disappointed.
Sabil spends most of his time trying to stay as hopeful as possible. You can contact him at [email protected]