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Black Adam: Dwayne Johnson's DC debut flick is badass, explosive and a win for the franchise

The character, rather dark and an absolute anti-hero in the comics is a rebel with a cause — and Johnson fits into that character seamlessly
Dwayne Johnson in a still from 'Black Adam' (WB)
Dwayne Johnson in a still from 'Black Adam' (WB)

This review is spoiler-free.

Dwayne Johnson's flicks come with copious doses of heart, and 'Black Adam' is no different. The character, rather dark and an absolute anti-hero in the comics is a rebel with a cause — and Johnson fits into that character seamlessly. Teth-Adam is more than just the mythical superhero or the rippling musculature that reveals sleeve-splitting arms, or the deadpan humor that adds to his qualities. There's no scowl, no Rock brows, no booming mega-watt smile that only Johnson can floor the audience with. He's Black Adam, he's out for revenge, and he aptly demonstrates it when he's wreaking havoc forcing the earth's protectors to either bow to him or get him to work with them.

It all begins when Kahndaqian archaeologist and resistance fighter Adrianna (Sarah Shahi) discovers a crown made of Eternium and in a classic case of not trifling with something you don't know, but can't stop the curiosity, she ends up freeing the enslaved Adam to live. Pretty much a god back in his day, he was imprisoned for 5,000 years only to be now woken up in a modern world. And in his own way of being "himself", the anti-hero becomes Kahndaq's messiah who suffers under the tyranny of the Intergang, an organized crime syndicate.


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Aldis Hodge as Carter Hall/Hawkman in 'Black Adam (WB)
Aldis Hodge as Carter Hall/Hawkman in 'Black Adam (WB)

Perceiving Adam to be a threat, the Justice Society of America led by Carter Hall/Hawkman (Aldis Hodge) Doctor Fate (Pierce Brosnan), Atom Smasher (Noah Centineo), and Cyclone (Quintessa Swindell) intervene and the plot does become a tad bit predictable from that point. Even as Adam struggles to come to terms with his present, and the immediate foes he has to fend off, the ensemble cast of heroes does well to add more depth to the story, while also hinting at spawning multiple spinoffs, some of which are already rumored to be in the works.

'Black Adam' by nature is a badass, and much of that trait is brought to life with Johnson who proves he's got what it takes to join the roster of spandex-wearing, world-saving hero bandwagon. It's his show all the way and is ably assisted by stars who come in with some impressive work in their resume. Hodge and Shahi were bonafide stars in Showtime's 'City on a Hill' and make their presence felt, while Irishman and former James Bond, Brosnan is charismatic as Fate. Swindell and Centineo do more than enough to show they're cut out for superhero flicks and will almost certainly get their own series at some point.

This was a win DC needed, and the credits scene (already leaked ahead of the movie dampening the other major X-factor that it was supposed to be) further adds to why 'Black Adam' was worth the wait. This one gets a thumbs-up and for the franchise aficionados, Johnson certainly lives up to expectations.

'Black Adam' is running in cinemas near you.