I don’t want to disparage Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson's acting abilities, but it's pretty clear that he's best suited to playing a very specific character in your typical action movie — the kind of thing you’d expect to see directed by Michael Bay or McG. It looks like Black Adam is going to follow a similar sort of formula.
Warner Bros just released the first full trailer for the upcoming DC movie, showing us the eponymous anti-hero/villain in action. Also I have no idea what this movie is going to be about, because the trailer is more about showing off Dwayne Johnson's furrowed brow as he blows stuff up with his lightning powers.
For those that don’t know, Black Adam was originally the arch-enemy of Shazam — the artist formerly known as Captain Marvel. He was even teased in the Shazam movie when the wizard, who is confusingly called Shazam as well, revealed the tale of his former champion (opens in new tab).
This champion rebelled against the Wizard and his comrades, using his powers for revenge and causing rampant destruction across the world. While not explicitly named, that champion was the same Black Adam we’ll see in the movie. Not that you can tell any of this from the trailer, lightning bolt-infused costume aside.
It’s not entirely clear what Adam’s story is, why he’s suddenly in the present day, or what he’s even trying to accomplish. Beyond blowing up random stuff and tossing a guy, who may or may not be Lord of the Rings’ David Wenham, into the sea. Denethor would be proud.
Analysis: The Black Adam trailer doesn't feel original
Honestly it all looks very generic, and the only thing differentiating it from other Dwayne Johnson-led action movies is the costumes. And Johnson’s cold stoicism is basically how he acts in most of his other movies (save for those early family-friendly films).
That works for people, considering Johnson’s movies do make money at the box office, but I know I’ll be quietly skeptical about this movie for the time being. And $10 says the scene with the jets is only in the movie because someone saw Iron Man and insisted DC do their own take.
Thankfully we do get some cool shots of various heroes from the Justice Society of America. Unfortunately that includes a shockingly small amount of footage of Doctor Fate in all his regalia. Not that we don’t love this heavily-bearded version of Pierce Brosnan.
Black Adam hits theaters on October 21, and stars Dwayne Johnson in the title role. Joining him is Noah Centineo as Atom Smasher, Aldis Hodge as Hawkman, Quintessa Swindell as Cyclone, Pierce Brosnan as Doctor Fate and Sarah Shahi as Adrianna Tomax — who is also the hero Isis in the comics.