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Black Adam 4K UHD Review

“Black Adam” is an ill conceived DC project.

Set in Kahndaq (past and present), “Black Adam” tells the origin story of the titular super powered character also known as Teth-Adam. In the past, he lived as a slave under the cruel rule of Ahk-Ton who possessed a powerful crown. He was a husband and a father to a son Hurut whose character arc ties into Black Adam’s origin (no spoilers here). To make a long story short, Teth-Adam abuses his powers and is entombed by the Council Of Wizards. Cut to 5,000 years later where Kahndaq is now under the rule of the merc organization Intergang. An archaeologist/resistance fighter/professor (Adrianna) is trying to locate the crown (AKA The Crown Of Sabacc) with a team and, in the process, she awakens Black Adam who begins a new wave of destruction as he adjusts to modern life. Seeing Black Adam as a threat, the Justice Society (comprised of Hawkman, Dr. Fate, Cyclone and Atom Smasher) are called in deal with him. Other stories involve Adrianna’s son Amon and the villainous power hungry Intergang leader who seeks the Crown of Sabacc for numerous reasons. 

“Black Adam” never made sense as a movie from the get-go. Not only is the character not a household name, but introducing the villain outside of where he belongs (in a “Shazam” movie) is truly puzzling. For those that aren’t aware, Black Adam is the main adversary of Shazam. Why the two haven’t been in a movie together yet is beyond me. It would be like making a Lex Luthor movie before he appeared in a Superman movie. Regardless, “Black Adam” exists as what can only be described as a Dwayne Johnson ego project at this point. It’s clear he is passionate about the character and the film, but alas, the movie does not strike lightning. 

Director Jaume Collet-Serra (who seems to be channeling Zack Snyder here with all of the slow-motion and anti-hero elements) and writers Adam Sztykiel, Rory Haines, and Sohrab Noshirvani have created an overstuffed story (to say the least). “Black Adam” contains an origin story for the titular character, fictional Middle East world building, a rushed introduction to a superhero team with the Justice Society (with equally rushed character introductions), a shoehorned villainous organization with Intergang, and a whole lot of running around for an artifact. It was exhausting just typing all of that out. Now imagine watching it all smashed together in a 125 minute movie filled with action set pieces, cartoony CGI (see Sabacc), lame jokes, and a scrappy skateboarding kid (what is this, the 90’s?) who takes up far too much screentime.

“Black Adam” isn’t entirely without merit. Pierce Brosnan as Dr. Fate is inspired casting and the veteran actor completely steals the movie. Ego aside, Dwayne Johnson does a commendable job as Black Adam. Whether or not we’ll see the character again remains to be seen. Sarah Shahi’s character may not possess powers, but she certainly holds her own against the larger than life characters as Adrianna. The highlight of the entire film is, of course, seeing Henry Cavill as Superman one last time (AKA the worst kept secret). 

Video/Audio:

Presentation: 2.39:1 2160p. How does it look? Expect a sharp transfer. Perhaps too sharp as you can notice all the CGI shortcomings.

Audio Track: Dolby Atmos. How does it sound? A crisp loud track that really comes alive during the action set pieces.

Extras:
* Blu-ray copy
* Digital copy
* “The History of Black Adam”- A 10 minute featurette about the character’s comic book roots.
* “Who Is The Justice Society?” dives into the origins of the superhero team.
* “From Soul To Screen” is all about the road of bringing the character to the big screen.
* “Black Adam: A Flawed Hero”- An exploration of Black Adam’s character in the film.
* “Black Adam: New Tech In An Old World” covers the world building and technology.
* “Black Adam: Taking Flight”- A featurette on the flying special effects.
* “Kahndaq: Designing A Nation”- A featurette on the fictional nation.
* “The ROCK Of Eternity”- A featurette on the magical location.
* “Costumes Make The Hero”- A costume featurette.
* “Black Adam: A New Type Of Action”- A featurette on the action set pieces.

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December 30, 2022 - Posted by | 4K UHD Review | , , , , , , , ,

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