Black Adam (2022)

The film is now famous for the all the wrong reasons – the cancellation of the DC Universe as we knew it, Henry Cavill’s glorious return as Superman days before he was shot out of the sky by James Gunn – and i didn’t get a chance to see it in the cinema… i have waited so long – too long – to get it on streaming services. Fortunately Amazon picked this weekend to reduce the rent-price, and i was knackered after a ten mile hike…so here we are.

Don’t get me wrong. Its not top-tier entertainment. Its not as good as several of the Marvel movies, but i can tell you this. Its better than Batman v Superman, Justice League, Aquaman, Wonder Woman 84… and its SIGNIFICANTLY better than the most recent run of Marvels. Love and Thunder, Wakanda Forever, i’m looking at you two in particular.

And speaking of Wakanda… welcome to Kahndaq. An ancient world where a metaphor for an ancient culture – this time Egyptians – is being ruled by a master dictator, mining for a powerful element, called Vibranium. I mean, um, Eternium. Slip of the tongue. There is a bit of backstabbery and a champion of the people stands up to the dictator. Said champion is given the power of the gods by the wizards from Shazam! (of which this film is a spin-off, technically).

The present sees the city of Kahndaq overrun by mercenaries, and their boss is seeking for the legendary crown which bestows serious devil divinity to its wearer. Young Lara Croft alike mother is also searching for the crown, in order to hide it from the bad guys. Inadvertedly she releases Teth-Adam (Dwayne, btw), the champion of the ages.

Who then sets out to murder all the bad guys. In cold blood. Because Teth-Adam is not a hero, as he says in nearly every line of dialogue.

Amanda Waller (YES! HER!) sends in the Justice Society of America (because, uh, the Justice League are conveniently unavailable) – which includes not-Micheal Shanks Hawkman, rainbow Cyclone and not-Captain Atom Adam Smash…oh. And film stealing Doctor Fate, played by my hero, role model and favourite actor on the planet Pierce Brosnan. I mean, i’m going to be honest. This film was in my wishlist for a couple of reasons – a) i’m a comic book movie fan b) i need to see the Cavill cameo c) i enjoy Dwayne Johnson’s acting and comedy but my final reason blows everything out the water. And thats d) Pierce Brosnan. He’s far and away the best thing about the film.

The whole film is pretty much average. I’d forgotten the ins and outs by about fifteen minutes after the credits and i’d worked out the major plot twist about thirty seconds into the film (Dwayne, you are VERY recognisable, even from a low angle!), but its still immense fun and has a rousing score. There’s a little Snyder-slo-mo but thats not a major complaint.

Now we come to the Henry Cavill cameo. I’d sort-of seen it on YouTube but had paid little attention, as i fully intended to see the film eventually. Boy, was i blown away. How? You may ask this, thinking, gosh, its just a man in a suit. But no. Its Superman – my all time favourite superhero, hands down… but let me give you a bit of extra info. My all time favourite superhero MOVIE of all time is also Superman. Richard Donner’s masterpiece from well before i was even born. There are two major standout things from that movie which gives it its cinematic apotheosis: Christopher Reeve, pitch perfect as both Supes and Clark Kent, and…and…John Williams’ exceptional score, which remains, to this day, my ringtone for incoming calls.

SO IMAGINE MY HEART EXPLODING WHEN HENRY CAVILL STEPS IN TO JOHN WILLIAMS SUPERMAN THEME. I’m so pathetic. But bloody hell its the best bit in the movie. It may even be my favourite bit in any modern DC film (Man of Steel onwards) – except maybe “I thought she was with you” from Batman v Superman.

So yeah, a good romp.

Next up we’re getting the Flash; will it be awful? No, i think it will be average. Except when i leap up in the air and scream when Michael Keaton enters. Because, as Christopher was my Supes, Micheal was my Bats.

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