top of page

Holywood: 'Rock' Dwayne Johnson in Black Adam 2022 by Jaume Collet-Serra Movie Reviews

Black Adam’ currently has the highest audience review score on Rotten Tomatoes for any theatrically released DC movie since The Dark Knight Trilogy. The Rock plays the antihero ‘Black Adam’ in the DC cinematic universe. The key to the redemptive power of the Rock has been the secret ingredient, the priceless element that bestows unimaginable power on its owner.

Dwayne Johnson plays an all-powerful entity called TethAdam, the saviour of the country of Kahndaq. But he has been interred in a sacred mountain for millennia; meanwhile, his country has been pillaged by invaders. Teth-Adam is reawakened by Adrianna (Sarah Shahi), apparently some kind of scholar, but who knows?

Meanwhile, Viola Davis has dispatched the Justice Society to neutralise Adam. The ancient archaeological sites of Kahdaq take the brunt of it all. In the present day, Kahndaq’s people are enslaved yet again by foreign mercenaries until their mythical saviour (Johnson’s titular character) returns back from the dead after 5000 years and unleashes his hyperviolent wrath. With the beefy 6’5’’ tall ex-wrestler totally owning his majestic character, gets some really stylish scenes of causing mayhem. 90% of audience members who chose to review the film reacted positively to it. That’s equal to the audience score of The Dark Knights Rises (The Dark Knight sports a 94% audience score).

The only DC Extended Universe project with a higher score is Zack Snyder’s Justice League, which was released on HBO Max. There’s much to be said here about the difference between critics’ scores and audience scores, the former being the numerical summation of a range of critics who view films differently and write for different audiences. Apart from Dwayne, the screen is also shared by Pierce Brosnan and Aldis Hodge both parts of the Justice Society sent to Kahndaq to capture Adam.

For what it’s worth, there seems to be at least some attempt at imagination in staging the film’s action set pieces. The beginning of the film shows Black Adam Vs soldiers in a slow-motion sequence followed by the Mexican stand-off sequence, and the Black Adam tearing through posters of DC heroes in a child’s room sequence.

Celebrated as ‘The Rock’ among WWE fans, Dwayne Johnson has come a long way as an actor, from starring in the memorable Scorpion King to leading his own comic book venture. In this age of superhero storytelling, Black Adam represents the very worst of it. A generic, vague, bloated blur of VFX, with little sense of character, craft, or creativity. The film might not make a great impact on critics or die-hard fans but one can watch the film for the few adrenaline-fueled action sequences and Johnson’s sheer commitment to the role.

bottom of page