Comic heroes in the new blockbuster “Black Adam” – Dwayne Johnson is the only attraction in the failed film
Frankfurt – The blockbuster cinema, which is currently mostly a comic hero cinema at the same time, has itself experienced heroic times. Again and again it was a few major productions that helped through the terrible cinema crises with huge audience numbers.
It all started with the formula of Steven Spielberg’s Jaws: Why not make a B-Picture really expensive and artistic? It took some time before somewhat clumsy attempts like Richard Donner’s first “Superman” or Mike Hodges’ “Flash Gordon” finally established comic book films as the most reliable blockbuster genre: Tim Burton’s first “Batman” deserves this honor.
Great expectations for the movie “Black Adam”
In the current cinema crisis, there are also great expectations for “Black Adam”, the story of how the DC character of the same name became a hero. One could use a resounding success. Hardly any other lavish cinema film dares to come close to the warhorse from the ancient Near East played by Dwayne Johnson in this opening week.
The film itself also has a long history. Johnson has been announced in this role since 2007, and when filming finally started in 2021, it quickly became clear that publication would only be worthwhile after the corona restrictions. However, the waiting time cannot explain how dusty this excavation from the comic museum feels.
It begins with a flashback to the lost kingdom of Kahndaq, where a despotic ruler has his enslaved people digging for a miraculous mineral. Whoever finds it will be thrown off the cliff of the quarry as thanks. It’s cold consolation that the army of toilers are just digital animations from the penultimate software generation. The despot will finally forge an extremely inelegant crown – and thus leave behind an object of desire for later generations of potential world rulers.
USA 2022, 125 Minutes, Director: Jaume Collet-Serra
“Black Adam” is like a genie in a bottle and doesn’t even try to be friendly
There was a time when there was serious discussion about doing away with pistols for a change in the so-called “kids & guns movies” of the Tarantino school. Similarly, try the miraculous artifacts in fantasy blockbusters.
In the original comics, Black Adam, by his real name Teth-Adam, is a villain in ancient Egypt; later his place of origin was defined as the geographically similar fantasy realm of Khandaq. Here as there, casting a white American in this role is actually taboo. As a rebellious slave, he is imprisoned by the magician Shazam for reasons that are not entirely clear.
|Teth-Adam aka Black Adam||Dwayne Johnson|
|Doctor Fate||Pierce Brosnan|
|Atom Smasher||Noah Centineo|
In fact, the muscular, bald-headed Johnson is a striking resemblance to the genie in the classic The Thief of Baghdad. After fulfilling three wishes, he didn’t let anyone say anything either, but the monosyllabic “Teth-Adam” doesn’t even try to be friendly.
That qualifies him for the gruff tone among the ragtag superheroes of the Justice Society of America. A good 3000 years after the prehistory, a curious archaeologist (Sarah Shahi) puts him in the present by pronouncing the magic word “Shazam”. This calls a highly official American superhero troop into action. Apparently, colleagues from Islamic states are immediately suspected of being terrorists…
“Black Adam” is a film as if Hollywood’s kitchen help had whipped it together
While the formulaic film does everything it can to confuse its characters with the Marvel Avengers, they are a little different. They include: the sometimes huge, sometimes tiny Atom Smasher (Noah Centineo), the winged Hawkman (Aldis Hodge), wizard Doctor Fate and weather witch Cyclone (Quintessa Swindell). It turns out they share a common enemy in the greedy descendant of the ancient ruler. After initial brawls, they come to terms – until the grumpy Djinn from the Arabian Nights even anglicizes his name to “Black Adam”.
Needless to say, political references to the present spark as little spark as the one-liners so typical of the massive star. Still, his presence is something of a rock in the digital surf and arguably the only draw of a film that looks like it was put together by Hollywood kitchen hands. So we boredly watch Dwayne Johnson and come up with another movie role he could play better than anyone. The Oscar statuette. As far as she stays with his current role choice. (Daniel Kothenschulte)