Faithfulness to the film’s core storytelling keeps “Black Adam” centered even when he’s doing ten things at once. The film is filled with foreshadowings, setups, payoffs, twists and surprises, and filled with well-defined main and supporting characters. One of the most notable is Brosnan, who delivers a moving portrait of an immortal tired of seeing the future and thinking about his past. Dr. Fate looks at those who can live in the present with a mixture of melancholy, wisdom and envy.
Another is Johnson, who has real acting skills but who in recent years has often seemed constrained (perhaps intimidated?) by his lucrative image as a colossus of the people. It’s as minimalistic as one could get playing a god. He draws a lot of inspiration from the movie star the film most often quotes, Clint Eastwood, but he also seems to have learned from the action hero performances of stars like Neeson, Toshiro Mifune, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Charles Bronson, who have understood that the camera can detect and amplify subtle tremors of emotion as long as you act with the film, not only in her, and never against her. The peak is a fleeting moment when Johnson lets us know that something deep inside Adam has changed by looking in a different direction and softening his features. It’s maybe half a second. It’s not the kind of game that wins awards because if done well, as it is here, it feels like it happened in your mind rather than on the screen. .
The film’s politics and spirituality are equally engaging and consistent. Even when the story flirts with Orientalism or incorporates simplistic Western imagery of heaven and hell, “Black Adam” never loses sight of what Adam stands for in our world: self-reliance, liberation, possibility of redemption and renewal, and a refusal to be defined. on the other hand things have always been done.
The result sometimes plays like DC’s answer to the pop culture earthquake that was “Black Panther,” serving up a Middle Eastern-influenced take on the Marvel film’s Afro-futurist sensibility, and letting its setting replace n any place that has been colonized. . But his policy is more clearly defined and less compromised. ‘Black Adam’ is staunchly anti-imperialist to the core, even equating the Avengers-like crew sent to capture and imprison Black Adam to a United Nations ‘task force’ that locals don’t want. because it only makes things worse. The film is also anti-royalist, which is all the more surprising given that the backstory is all about kings and bloodline.
“Black Adam” is a superlative and clever example of this kind of film, coloring in the lines while drawing fascinating doodles on the margins. In its impetuous, implacable and excessive way, Collet-Serra’s film respects its audience and wants to be respected by it. “Black Adam” gives audiences everything they wanted, as well as things they didn’t expect.
In theaters only today.