The DC Universe’s power structure may be about to be upended by “Black Adam” but the new superhero film is rated poorly by critics when compared to Warner Bros’ previous ten years’ worth of superhero films.
The Dwayne Johnson film “Black Adam” has a 32% approval rating from reputable reviewers as of this afternoon’s review influx, according to the review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes.
The lowest rating for a DC film would be “Zack Snyder’s Justice League” which will be released in 2021 and received a 23% approval rating from major critics and a 28% disapproval rating from fans. If the statistic holds it would be “Justice League” which was released in 2017 and received a 23% approval rating from major critics.
REVIEW: No, Dwayne Johnson's #BlackAdam will not change the power hierarchy of the DCEU. It will make you believe, however, that even with a bona fide movie star on deck, this extended cinematic universe is truly a lost cause. https://t.co/sBDwMaW3N1
— Rolling Stone (@RollingStone) October 18, 2022
In a moderately positive review for Variety, chief film critic Peter Debruge acknowledged that “the film’s sole objective is to give Black Adam a properly big introduction on the idea that he’ll be matched against a more deserving enemy sooner or later.”
The origin story has not piqued the interest of the majority of people but many have praised Johnson’s portrayal as a significant plus. Black Adam marks the actor’s first time playing the lead in a superhero film a role that his sculpted appearance and commercial dominance would suggest was inevitable.
Johnson received a slightly positive review from Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian who said that his “huge bulk, planet-sized skull and subtle flair for deadpan humor all make him a fantastic superhero.”
In a piece for The Hollywood Reporter, critic John Defore mentioned the actor’s dedication to “Black Adam,” noting that “his passion project fits the character well, setting him up for adventures one hopes would be less predictable than this one.”
In his IGN review, Joshua Yehl praised Johnson for “making his Black Adam just as steely and menacing as in the comics” and gave him “high marks.” He complained that the film had “underdeveloped characters and an excess of repetitive action scenes to the point where its half-baked discourse on what it means to be a hero is lost in all the commotion.”
David Fear, the senior editor and film critic for Rolling Stone, said, “Not even the joy of witnessing Johnson enter into a blockbuster template he appeared destined to dominate can make up for how generic, flavorless and incomprehensible this is.”
According to Alonso Duralde at The Wrap, the movie is “anti-entertaining” and “one of the most visually perplexing of the major-studio superhero sagas” with assaulting ugly CG and rapid-fire cutting that “sucks the excitement right out of every battle sequence.”
David Ehrlich posed the question, “What happens when Hollywood’s most risk-averse movie star collides with Hollywood’s most risk-averse movie genre?” in his review of the film for Indiewire. Ehrlich had a bad opinion of the film. His answer? exactly as you might expect. just worse
According to ScreenCrush writer Matt Singer, who gave the film a “very average” review, it “plays like a committee-made product designed to zhoosh up the stale DC Extended Universe with a major star and a load of new heroes to spin off into future movies.” After two hours of somber table setting, you have a clear path for DC’s cinematic future but much less desire to watch it.
While promoting the film, Johnson has made hints that the titular antihero of “Black Adam” will soon face more important conflicts. Leaked videos of the film’s end credits scene have also sparked discussion online because they reveal a potential opponent for Black Adam in the future.
Johnson has stated that in addition to playing the lead, he hopes to be a potential “advisor” for DC Films. The upcoming DC movie schedule has changed under the new leadership of Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav.
For the next ten years, Zaslav said, the studio’s comic book programming will be led by someone akin to Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige.
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