Movie Review: Black Adam (Collett-Sera, 2022)

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Movie: Black Adam 

Production Companies: New Line Cinema, DC Films, Seven Bucks Productions

Director: Jaume Collett-Sera 

Producers: Beau Flynn, Hiram Garcia, Dwayne Johnson, Dany Garcia

Scriptwriters: Adam Sztykiel, Rory Haines, Sohrab Noshirvani

Main Cast: Dwayne Johnson, Pierce Brosnan, Quintessa Swindells, Noah Centineo, Aldis Hodge, Sarah Shahi

Release Date: October 21st 2022 (US)

Running Time: 125 minutes 

Certificate: 12A


Remember when the hierarchy of power in the DC Universe was going to change? Technically the Rock was right about it though not in the way he expected. While Black Adam may not immediately be in the new DC Universe, the film which introduced him was perfectly fine with a couple of great performances. Oh and that cameo which sent Twitter rightfully into a meltdown. So, with James Gunn’s DC Universe being partly unveiled, why not look back at one of the last DCEU films to see how it stacked up? So without further ado let’s get into my review of the film.


Black Adam follows Teth-Adam (Johnson), or Black Adam, as he seeks to free his native Kahndaq from the cruel Intergang by any means necessary. So when he gets awoken by the Justice Society of America (JSA): Hawkman (Hodge), Doctor Fate (Brosnan), Cyclone (Swindells) and Atom Smasher (Centineo) he is ready to unleash his fury to save his homeland. However, the JSA are determined to show Black Adam he can be better than those who imprisoned and tortured him for years.

And yes this is leading to the inevitable heroes and anti hero team up against an even bigger bad in the form of the Devil. And that doesn’t even cover Henry Cavill’s brief return as the Man of Steel in the end credits to set up a showdown film which will probably never happen. So with the synopsis out of the way let’s get into the analysis portion of the review.


Dwayne Johnson’s Performance in Black Adam 

To begin my analysis of Black Adam, I’m going to discuss Dwayne Johnson’s performance as Black Adam. Now compared to some of his other performances, he’s actually pretty decent as the ruler of Kahndaq. Now, while it’s not the true anti hero performance that people might have hoped for, Johnson still delivers a solid performance. An example of this is in the action scenes where he really allows himself and the JSA to shine. More proof of this is that shot from the trailer where Doctor Fate clones himself all while Black Adam is looking to the sky for help all while attempting to throw a car to escape.

Now that is an example of Johnson’s sheer action star qualities as those allow him to show the extent of Black Adam’s power whilst also highlighting the JSA to some degree. And I suppose another great example of his performance is that end credits scene. Just the sheer confidence and charisma Johnson uses to get over the potential fight with Superman is amazing. Oh and also that POV shot of Black Adam looking into the fog as Superman descends is incredible so kudos to Johnson for briefly bringing Cavill back.

The JSA’s Performances in Black Adam

Continuing my analysis of Black Adam, I’m going to discuss the performances of the JSA in the film. Now I’m going to start with Doctor Fate because Pierce Brosnan nails the character. Take for example the scene when he awakens Black Adam for the first time in millennia. Here, Brosnan desperately tries to talk Black Adam down only for him to naturally become more enraged. Oh also any of the Doctor Fate fight scenes also prove this. As Brosnan looks more than a match for Black Adam. Oh also the helmet looks fantastic especially when he’s using it to see visions.

However, take nothing away from the rest of the JSA who all do well with the limited screen time. Take Hawkman who properly shines especially when he’s fighting Black Adam. Or Cyclone who looks badass especially when she’s throwing spears to trap Black Adam. Before I forget as well, the shot of Atom Smasher dropping out the plane then growing in size before throwing a building is great. So basically there’s a lot of solid ensemble performances which enhances Johnson’s performance, especially Pierce Brosnan’s.

World Building in Black Adam 

To conclude my analysis of Black Adam, I’m going to discuss the world building within the film and what that could have led to. Obviously, the plan would have involved him fighting Superman possibly alongside Shazam. Now that sounds very entertaining as it would have been a lot of sound and fury without too much plot. Another thing to consider is the fact Amanda Waller also appeared in that end credits scene. So the fact she hinted she hired Superman to take out Black Adam more than suggests she could bring in plenty more heroes to fight him.

Take the aforementioned Shazam and his family, the Green Lantern Corps, the alien bounty hunter Lobo or possibly Wonder Woman. So really all of those could make solid opponents which all hint at something we suspected with the film. And that’s unsurprisingly Johnson would have wanted to build the DCEU around himself. Oh and the many fights he could have. Now on the one hand Johnson fought for years to bring Cavill back in so fair play to him. However on the other hand it could quite easily have led to a lot of neglected heroes which is what James Gunn addressed somewhat with his slat. So really props for the attempted world building but shame it didn’t come to anything…


To summarise Black Adam, this is a decent enough film which briefly introduces the audience to the JSA and Black Adam. Along with some decent performances, it’s a perfectly fine watch compared to some of DC’s recent films. But it definitely wasn’t the hierarchy changer the Rock hoped for unfortunately….

Overall Rating: 5.5/10 – Above Average

Target Audience: 12+

Content Warning: Moderate Violence and Gore, Mild Profanity, Moderate Frightening and Intense Scenes 

Recommendation: Yes