The Reel Review


Dwayne Johnson stars in this fantasy/action origin story about DC Comics anti-hero Black Adam. After a couple of archeologists free him from his 5000-year imprisonment, the anti-imperialist superhero bestowed with the powers of the Egyptian gods goes on a violent rampage of justice, challenged by modern-day heroes of the Justice Society – Dr. Fate, Hawkman, Atom Smasher and Cyclone.

Dwayne Johnson in Black Adam

Black Adam is a shockingly dull, nonsensical collage of slow-motion CGI, trite dialogue and feeble storytelling – one of the worst comic book superhero movies ever made. Clearly written by a committee (of three, to be exact), the unfocused story features an uncharacteristically humorless, charisma-free Johnson, with Pierce Brosnan, Aldis Hodge, Noah Centineo and Quintessa Swindell as the group of DC Comics superheroes trying to stop Black Adam in the fictional, tyrannical Middle Eastern dictatorship of Kahndaq. These second-tier superheroes feel like sad knockoffs of other, better-established (i.e. Marvel) superheroes. Poor Pierce Brosnan – seeing the former James Bond in such a bad film is downright depressing.

Sarah Shahi and Pierce Brosnan in Black Adam

Most of the two-hour runtime from director Jaume Collet-Serra (Jungle Cruise, Non-Stop) consists of the dour anti-hero fighting the DC superhero also-rans. It’s mind numbingly boring, even for a run-of-the-mill comic book superhero movie. If this is the future of DC Comics, they are in big trouble.


Black Adam cost a whopping $260 million to make, $70 million of that in nearly a month of reshoots after poor test screenings.

• Liam Neeson, who has worked with Black Adam director Jaume Collet-Serra on four films (most recently, 2018’s The Commuter), was considered for the role of Dr. Fate before it went to Pierce Brosnan.

• Henry Cavill’s closing credits cameo was quickly followed by his announcement that he’d be returning as Superman in an upcoming film, but that was quickly nixed after James Gunn and Peter Safran took over as the co-heads of DC Comics. They have also scrapped plans for Wonder Woman and Black Adam sequels.

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