Black Adam… or apparently, Teth Adam – God knows why. I never look into the background lore for any superhero characters before I see a film, as I expect the movie to give me the basics to make it half-understandable. Then again, anything in this escapade would’ve just been padding. I thought they were saying “Tech Adam“, and had no idea why it took forever to simply call him Black Adam!
In fact, I didn’t know the backstory of any characters prior to watching this, but Kent (Pierce Brosnan – Cinderella 2021) is known as Dr Fate, so knows when people are going to die. Oh, great, I bet he’s fun at parties!
Starting off in the city of Kahndaq, 5000 years ago… quite frankly, it all rambled on and I failed to care. There’s a King, there’s a crown, it goes missing and our titular hero ends up being reborn a God in the present day. It made about as much sense as hiring The Fonz for the afternoon, to pop up on a video phone call to his apparent grandson, simply to show the Fonz in a film.
Anyhoo, this crown is cursed by demons and everyone wants it, including Adrianna Tomaz (Sarah Shahi – Bullet To The Head) and her brother, Amon (Bodhi Sabongui), but what was also cursed was the fate of the audience watching this, since from this early scene, the film looks like the godawful 2018 Tomb Raider movie reboot.
Stepping into the fray is the Justice Society (someone, feel free to tell me how, if at all, this lot fit in with the Justice League), who apparently bring peace and stability. Sounds like the kind of nonsense the Tories are coming out with. This quartet are made up as Hawkman (Aldis Hodge – Black Mirror: Black Museum) – a low rent Marvel Falcon, the aforementioned Dr. Fate, Atom Smasher (Noah Centineo) and Cyclone (Quintessa Swindell), who just seems to be a carbon copy of Marvel’s Valkyrie. They have a beef with Adam, but you just know it’ll end up as a typical situation where after they’ve finished trying to stop him do whatever, they’ll all team up to fight the big baddie.
The trailer makes it looks like this film is very funny, but there’s not a lot of humour in addition to that. In fact, it’s just embarrassing when they throw in a kid to try and make Adam be cool in the modern world, stating he needs a catchphrase, or his face on a lunchbox, to which he replies, “I don’t need a box for my lunch”. Going on from that, Dwayne Johnson‘s (Red Notice) attempts at deadpan really don’t work at all.
It’s also quite a lazy trope to see the director throwing in Ennio Morricone-style music in a fight scene after Adam saw a clip of a Clint Eastwood movie on TV. Plus, when in his suit and growing in size, Atom Smasher keeps looking around as if he thinks he has the deadpan wit of Deadpool… nope.
Instead of any sensible plot, this film just had lots of random rubbish going on, and punch-ups, all of which made no sense at all.
And one major problem with the film at the start, albeit nothing that was the fault of anyone who made it. For the first time at Cineworld, while the trailers and adverts were completely fine, the film, itself, was just slightly out of focus. The showing was pretty well attended, but perhaps since I’m the only one sitting quite close to the screen, I could tell the picture had a problem. It was especially obvious when place-setting text came up.
I am well aware of knowing when and when not to use my phone in the cinema, but I still (fruitlessly) tried to tweet Cineworld to tell them of the problem, thinking they could feed this back. Nah, of course not. So, I had to miss a few minutes and find a human to deal with this. By this point, the film was about 30 minutes in, and I’d had enough of no-one spotting the problem. Anyhoo, the guy checking tickets went to call a manager over, I briefly told him about the problem and he said he’d deal with it. Took a few minutes, but then it was fixed.
However, how come no-one spots these things from the off? I know that the projection systems have been automated for years (and I even had a brief tour of this at Vue Lowry), so they just set up the times for the film, adverts, trailers, lighting, etc, with the films on hard drives, and it’s left to its own devices. This is a rare occurrence, but someone should still be checking.
Ultimately, I got a complimentary ticket out of it, so there you go, Cineworld. However, their Twitter account did argue the toss at first, saying they’d give me nothing, and when I asked to complain and they gave me their customer service email, I did remind them (from my own customer service experience in a restaurant), that a proper complaint would cost them more to process, than just issuing a ticket.
Ironically, or coincidentally, since this and The Banshees Of Inisherin opened on the same weekend, I went to see that one before this, since it felt like Banshees would be around for one week at most – despite looking more worthy – while Black Adam would be hogging the cinema forever. Well, in the second weekend, it only had 3 screenings on a Saturday in regular 2D, and for the third weekend, it’ll have two on the Saturday (albeit with some 4DX/Superscreen outings), and Banshees has maintained four every time!
There’s also a mid-credits scene, by which time a lot of people had already left:
Running time: 125 minutes
Release date: October 21st 2022
Studio: Warner Bros
Format: 2.39:1 (ARRIRAW (4.5K), Dolby Vision, Anamorphic Master Scope, Anamorphic P+S Technovision)
Cinema: Cineworld Didsbury
Director: Jaume Collet-Serra
Producers: Beau Flynn, Dany Garcia, Hiram Garcia, Dwayne Johnson
Screenplay: Adam Sztykiel, Rory Haines, Sohrab Noshirvani
Characters: Bill Parker, CC Beck
Music: Lorne Balfe
Black Adam / Teth Adam: Dwayne Johnson
Adrianna Tomaz: Sarah Shahi
Amon Tomaz: Bodhi Sabongui
Hawkman / Carter Hall: Aldis Hodge
Dr. Fate / Kent Nelson: Pierce Brosnan
Atom Smasher / Al Rothstein: Noah Centineo
Cyclone / Maxine Hunkel: Quintessa Swindell
Ishmael / Sabbac / King Ahk-Ton: Marwan Kenzari
Karim: Mohammed Amer
Samir: James Cusati-Moyer
Hurut: Jalon Christian
Skinny Teth Adam: Benjamin Patterson
Shiruta: Odelya Halevi
The Champion: Uli Latukefu
Emilia Harcourt: Jennifer Holland
Uncle Al: Henry Winkler
Djau: Chaim Jeraffi
Mrs. Farmer: Sharon Gee
And two cast members who are uncredited:
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.