(a film review by Mark R. Leeper)

BLACK ADAM: BLACK ADAM is another film in the DC Universe, and if we were more familiar with that universe, it would have been easier to follow. As it is the film has characters that are assumed to be familiar to the viewer, but for us, their powers are pretty much of the deus ex machina sort. the familiar starts with a scene so reminiscent of the beginning of SPARTACUS that we almost expected Peter Ustinov to show up (although one character is inexplicably wearing a pseudo-Viking-style horned helmet). This all takes place in Kahndag, a city-state in the Middle East apparently between Egypt and Palestine/Israel, according to Wikipedia. (Since Black Adam first appeared in print in 1945, the reference to Palestine would have been to British Palestine. This placement, by the way, makes the cuneiform writing shown in Kahndag incorrect, or at least anachronistic. Cuneiform was primarily a Mesopotamian writing method; its appearance in Egypt would be a couple of thousand years after the events in the early scenes.) The first scene is thousands of years ago, but in the present Kahndaq is occupied by the "Intergang". The MacGuffin is the Crown of Sabbac, which is made of Eternium, which is "too dangerous for anyone to have". (We found ourselves thinking they should throw it into the fires of Mordor.) Casting Dwayne Johnson as Teth Adam is a step away from realism but perhaps makes the film more fun. And even before one character expresses it, the audience may well find themselves thinking that given the actions of the Justice Society and those of Teth Adam, the assignment of the terms "good guys" and "bad guys" may be just a little off.

(Is it worth pointing out that the laws of inertia don't seem to be the same in this universe? As with so many superhero films, when the superhero grabs someone falling by the arm, or the shirt collar, or whatever, in *our* universe, this would not end well for the falling person.)

There is also some very annoying cheating in the editing, where you think you are seeing a single scene, but it is actually not.

And I don't know if they thought that referring to Black Adam with the line, "The world doesn't always need a white knight; sometimes it needs something darker," was clever, but to me it sounded more than a little offensive.

Released theatrically 21 October 2022. Rating: high +1 (-4 to +4) or 6/10

Film Credits:

What others are saying:

					Mark R. Leeper
					Copyright 2022 Mark R. Leeper