Director: Jaume Collet-Serra
Cast: Dwayne Johnson, Aldis Hodge, Noah Centineo
Release Date: January 3, 2023
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 6.5/10
Disc Rating: 8/10
Nearly 5,000 years after he was bestowed with the almighty powers of the ancient gods—and imprisoned just as quickly—Black Adam (Johnson) is freed from his earthly tomb, ready to unleash his unique form of justice on the modern world.
Please Note: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray I reviewed in this Post. The opinions I share are my own.
‘Black Adam’ introduces a new force into the universe when a desperate woman releases a powerful being from his tomb nearly 5,000 years after he was bestowed with the almighty power of the ancient gods prior to things going terribly wrong. Following his release in modern time, a bitter Adam must try and adapt to this entirely unfamiliar new world while trying to find his place within it. As some encourage him to be a hero and a long-promised savior to the land, the heroic members of the Justice Society see a threat due to his lack of issue killing those he feels deserve it and therefore they arrive to try and stop him before he can become a potential threat to all. But with power like his, Adam will have to find his own path as he is forced to fight heroes and villains alike along the way.
Directed by Jaume Collet-Serra (Jungle Cruise, Orphan) from a screenplay by Adam Sztykiel (Rampage) and Rory Haines (The Mauritanian) & Sohrab Noshirvani (TV’s Informer), Jaume Collet-Serra does a solid job at the helm of ‘Black Adam’ guiding along the action-packed fun with plenty of style. The film’s cast includes Dwayne Johnson (Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle), Aldis Hodge (TV’s City On A Hill), Noah Centineo (Charlie’s Angels 2019), Sarah Shahi (TV’s The Rookie), Marwan Kenzari (Aladdin 2019), Quintessa Swindell (Voyagers), Bodhi Sabongui (TV’s A Million Little Things) and Pierce Brosnan (Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again) who each offer fitting and generally capable performances for the most part in their roles.
‘Black Adam’ is an enjoyable, lightning paced ride that looks great visually and keeps the action sequences and heroic showdowns coming but never manages to find anything substantial within to contribute other than what’s on the shiny surface. It’s goofy, fast-paced and loaded with stylish action and in many ways it’s far more similar to such big-budget popcorn flicks as Transformers than the majority of DC films in recent memory and as a fairly generic, yet thoroughly entertaining ride it works quite well and delivers a two hour good time that never lets things get dull or too slowly paced (both for good and bad).
The film has plenty going for it including an altogether solid cast led by Dwayne Johnson and no shortage of exciting action sequences and showdowns that are complemented by a stylish approach with some visually rewarding effects. If you can go into this one expecting nothing more than a thoroughly entertaining, fast-paced and amusing good time then you’re liable to have a great deal of fun with ‘Black Adam’. If on the other hand you’re expecting a good, fleshed out story with depth and something unique or emotionally rewarding to contribute, then you’re probably going to find yourself somewhat disappointed.
Overall, ‘Black Adam’ delivers a fun, visually gorgeous and action-packed ride that keeps things moving along at a swift pace but never quite manages to become anything exceptional or truly memorable along the way. Fortunately what it lacks in originality or cleverness it largely makes up for with violent and goofy fun. ‘Black Adam’ is recommended if you’re a fan of similar super hero films, the DC universe as a whole or simply of lead star Dwayne Johnson and each should find something to appreciate within. It may not be the finest or most groundbreaking new installment in the DC film universe by any means, but it still delivers ample quantities of visually impressive moments and action sequences. If you’re already at all excited about this one and haven’t yet had the chance to check it out, it should be worth the time and price of a rental. HBO Max subscribers are also able to stream the film at no additional cost at the time of this writing.
The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray release of ‘Black Adam’ features a full 2160p Ultra High Definition presentation with Dolby Vision and HDR-10, presented in its original 2.39:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks spectacular across the board and provides a clean, sharp and gorgeously detailed presentation from start to finish. It holds up flawlessly throughout even during the various fast moving, darkly lit and heavily populated action sequences and never suffers from any noticeable issues whatsoever along the way, with every detail looking marvelous from facial details and costumes down to backgrounds and surroundings. The Dolby Vision addition only helps everything to look even more impressive thanks to a marvelous collection of vibrant, life-like colors and deep, seemingly endless blacks that never come even remotely close to disappointing. Overall, this is an exceptional Ultra High Definition video presentation that impresses on nearly every level and should have fans and newcomers alike thrilled.
The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray release features a Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 channel compatible) soundtrack. Please note that this review pertains solely to the Dolby TrueHD 7.1 audio presentation. This multichannel soundtrack delivers a crisp, clean and notably aggressive audio presentation throughout that contributes plenty of additional fun and excitement to the viewing experience. It constantly utilizes all seven available channels in order to send characters, explosions and other action effects regularly zooming throughout the various speakers, along with music, crowd chatter and plenty more, while never resulting in any dialogue or other audio elements that may be occurring simultaneously becoming distorted or rendered inaudible in the process. Overall, this is a fantastic Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 compatible) soundtrack that more than delivers throughout and should have fans quite excited.
The 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray release of ‘Black Adam’ includes a nice collection of bonus content (the entirety of which can be found on the combo pack’s included Blu-ray disc) in the way of various Behind the Scenes Featurettes that explore the movie’s characters and the process and of bringing the film to life, featuring interviews/comments with the cast and crew, plus behind the scenes footage and more. They include ‘The History of Black Adam’ (running approximately 10 minutes in length), ‘Who is the Justice Society?’ (running approximately 14 minutes), ‘From Soul to Screen’ (approximately 6 minutes), ‘Black Adam: A Flawed Hero’ (5 minutes), ‘Black Adam: New Tech in an Old World’ (5 minutes), ‘Black Adam: Taking Flight’ (3 minutes), ‘Kahndaq: Designing a Nation’ (6 minutes), ‘The ROCK of Eternity’ (6 minutes), ‘Costumes Make the Hero’ (8 minutes) and ‘Black Adam: A New Type of Action’ (6 minutes).
*Please note that the above images are taken from the Blu-Ray disc included in the 4K UHD Combo Pack and resized. They do not represent the quality of the 4K Ultra HD disc itself and will additionally suffer quality loss as a result of .jpg compression. Larger versions of each image can be viewed by clicking on the image. All images and content included on the 4K UHD & Blu-Ray release are the property of their respective owners.
Film Rating: 6.5/10
Disc Rating: 8/10
‘Black Adam’ is Now Available to Own on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, DVD & Digital from DC Comics & Warner Bros. Home Entertainment
*Screen-Connections.com is an Amazon Associate that earns from qualifying purchases