Nearly 5,000 years after he was bestowed with the almighty powers of the Egyptian gods–and imprisoned just as quickly–Black Adam is freed from his earthly tomb, ready to unleash his unique form of justice on the modern world.
This movie. Maybe the movie wouldn’t have felt so long and boring if the trailer didn’t spoil most of the action scenes and if every DC movie didn’t feel like it was just rehashing what we’ve already seen in Marvel films.
This place is Wakanda. The movie opens in the past in some generic Egypt but not Egypt looking place (Kahndaq). The king is forcing them to mine for some magic rock that only exists in this country. The goal is to create a magic crown. A young boy tries to start a revolution and is quickly captured. But then he is saved by Shazam and company and given what are essentially the same powers of Shazam/Captain Marvel. The boy becomes Dwayne Johnson. He kills the evil king and is entombed.
This is just the trailer. Modern day, some characters are looking for the crown. They think it will help them free their city state which is being controlled by Superman’s enemies the Intergang. I don’t know why they think this demonic crown is going to be a positive for them. Adrianna Tomaz (Sarah Shahi) gets the crown and then is immediately betrayed by her friend who is secretly the head of Intergang. She decides to recite something on a tomb and it frees Black Adam. He commences to do all the action scenes we already saw in the trailer. Black Adam is knocked out by a rocket or something.
The Justice Society’s headquarters is the X-Men Mansion. Now that Black Adam is freed Amanda Waller immediately decides he is a threat and calls in her antiquated 1940s Justice Society to deal with him. This team of four consists of Hawkman (Aldis Hodge), Doctor Fate (Pierce Brosnan), Atom Smasher (Noah Centineo), and Cyclone (Quintessa Swindell). When they take off in their plane, it is like every time you’ve seen the X-Men leave their mansion. The lawn and grounds fold around and move and the plane lifts up without a runway.
Classic ‘good guys fight each other then realize they need to team up’ formula. Black Adam wakes up and now can speak English. The Justice Society (JS) show up and they fight Black Adam for awhile. It is revealed that Black Adam isn’t the boy hero from long ago, but is actually his super vengeful father. Somehow the boy transferred all the powers into his father simply by his father saying Shazam. Other people say this word and they don’t get the powers though. A bit inconsistent. It is also revealed that Doctor Fate spends most of his time as a super old James Bond lookalike viewing potential futures. During the fight, Adrianna’s son is kidnapped by the betrayer. Atom Smasher and Cyclone, the two young members of the team, are terrible additions. They contribute basically nothing the entire film. After a lengthy and boring chase scene Black Adam is convinced to team up with the JS to get the crown and save the kid. He kills the bad guy.
Black Adam has a Loki moment. At this point in the movie Black Adam realizes he himself is also a bad guy, and agrees to release his powers and get locked up. In the DCAU when Black Adam un-Shazams after being in his super charged state he instantly ages 5,000 years and becomes dust. In this version he is reduced to a smaller version of Dwayne Johnson. They lock him away in a secret prison under an iceberg. I checked the time at this point thinking “great the movie is almost over.” Unfortunately for me there was still 30 minutes to go.
Doctor Fate is basically Doctor Strange. As the JS heads back to Kahndaq the main villain comes back to life and becomes a demon. Now his goal seems to be to destroy the place. Doctor Fate, who saw this coming (and told no one) and also knew they would need Black Adam (but again did nothing) now has to help Black Adam escape from the prison. The JS is outmatched by the demon but Black Adam arrives and wins the day. Not before Doctor Fate is killed though. Black Adam agrees to just hang out in Kahndaq and not leave.
Post-credits scenes only work when you are committed to the franchise. In the post-credits scene Amanda Waller tells him to be nice or else. And then Superman (Henry Cavill) has a cameo. This tie-ins to other movies might be nice if we didn’t already know that this whole branch of the DCEU has already been scrapped and James Gunn is going to retool it into his personal playlist.