Posts by Joe Hallett:
Review: Michael B. Jordan Lands A Knockout Blow With CREED III
The highly anticipated third instalment to the Creed franchise is hitting cinemas this week on 3rd March. I was lucky enough to check out the film at an early press screening thanks to Warner Bros. Pictures UK in glorious IMAX and I was not disappointed.
David Harbour Serves Up A Seasons Beatings In VIOLENT NIGHT
Christmas has certainly come early for film goers with “Violent Night” being released in the cinemas Worldwide. Produced by David Leitch’s stunt driven 87North Productions and distributed by Universal Pictures. Directed by Tommy Wirkola, Starring Stranger Things David Harbour as the big man in red and John Legiuzamo as the main antagonist aptly code named in the film Scrooge, supporting cast members are Beverly D’Angelo, Alex Hassell, Alexis Louder and someone to keep an eye out for Leah Brady who plays the sweet innocent girl who still believes in Santa.
Superhuman To Superhero
For the part two weekends running Black Adam has become No.1 Movie in the World. To celebrate this momentous achievement we take a look into how the leading man the legend himself, Dwayne Johnson went from superhuman to superhero physique.
First Look Trailer For Judge Dredd Fan Made Short, JUDGEMENT CALL
The long awaited first look trailer for a fan made Judge Dredd Short Film has finally arrived. Titled “JUDGEMENT CALL” directed by award-winning Stunt Coordinator Peter Pedrero. The short film is based on the eponymous 2000 A.D. anti hero Judge Dredd. The character hasn’t materialised onto the big or small screen since the 2012 lukewarm received feature film directed by Pete Travis, the thought of Dredd returning in any form gets us excited and after seeing this trailer we are most certainly pumped.
Dwayne Johnson Brings The Anti-Hero To Life With BLACK ADAM
It has a long 10 year plus journey for Dwayne Johnson’s “Black Adam” passion project, a superhero he loved since childhood “I gravitated towards Black Adam because he was one of the very few of the superheroes, supervillains, antiheroes—however you want to categorise him—who had brown skin and looked like me. “, based on DC Comics characters created by Bill Parker and C.C. Beck, produced by New Line Cinema in association with Johnson’s Seven Bucks Productions and distributed by Warner Bros Pictures, the film finally opened in cinemas on 21st October 2022. Was it worth the wait or did it fall short as per it’s DC Comics recent predecessors.
Poster Courtesy of Warner Bros UK
The opening 10 minutes provides a brief but detailed backstory to Johnson’s “Teth Adam” and the history of the fictional ancient city of Kahndaq along with the powerful crown of Sabbac, which gives it’s owner unbelievable power. The backdrop of a North African city is a nice change from the glitz and skyscrapers of other comic book movie outings. The film doesn’t linger too long on this before it brings the heat with captivating action sequences. The introduction to Johnson’s Teth Adam is one you must indulge on the big screen. When you hear the sounds of “Paint It Black” by The Rolling Stones, you know Sh*t is about to go down! With bullets and explosions left right and centre moving swiftly into a slow motion montage which you don’t want to end. These sequences clearly show the audience how powerful his character is and that he is literally unbeatable by any human being on Earth. There is a moment where Teth Adam is part of a Mexican Standoff and the score turns to a Western style which suits the scene perfectly, hats off to composer Lorne Balfe. We actually don’t get to hear a line from Teth Adam until later on when his first exchanges with youngster “Amon” played by Bodhi Sabongu, who in my eyes steals every scene he is in and is the hidden gem in this superhero saga. When we do hear from the lead character it is exactly what you want from the character – nothing overplayed or put on, simple lines, straight to the point.
Image Courtesy Of Courtesy of Warner Bros UK
Now that there is a 5000 imprisoned super human on the loose the government call in the big guns in the form of the “Justice Society” cue Hawkman (Aldis Hodge), Dr Fate (Pierce Brosnan), Atom Smasher (Noah Centineo) and Maxine Hunkel AKA Cyclone (Quintessa Swindell). At first I thought this group of misfit supers were going be a sideshow to the main focal point of the film to just boost the casting list however they come in to their own by the third act. I also enjoyed the cameo moment between Atom Smasher and his Uncle Al (the legend, the Fonz himself Henry Winkler). The only one that I feel is neglected is Quintessa’s Cyclone. She has some tender scenes with Atom Smasher but her powers are under played and at times hard to see due to the choice of greens and purples clashing on the screen. The Justice Society quite quickly realise after slight persuasion by Adrianna (Sarah Shahi) that their mission is not going be the easy grab and capture job they hope it would be. Understanding that Teth Adam may look from the outside as a dangerous and volatile opponent there are other factors to take into account and one question that they debate throughout the film, where they draw the line from being a hero to villain? After the abduction of Amon, despite their differences the Justice Society and Teth Adam team up for the greater good. It is at this moment where the dialogue exchanges provide many laughs and giggles, the writers Adam Sztykiel, Rory Haines and Sohrab Noshirvani do find a happy medium between the one liners and serious storytelling. Until then I was on the fence regards to Brosnan Dr Fate however the moment he shares scenes with Johnson’s Teth Adam I am sold.
Images Courtesy Of Warner Bros UK
The action keeps on coming with a flying pursuit through the city and villages that doesn’t disappoint. It is in these sequences that you really see the gigantic physique of Teth Adam, complimented by the costume designed by Kurt and Bart. We all know the insane training regime that Dwayne Johnson puts in every day, sometimes I do ask myself why put yourself through that, well on this occasion I understand and get it. There are no additional muscle pads this time, pure DJ muscle. Now when the Justice League believe the mission is over and they have conquered all, this is when I feel the pace of the film slows down a little too much. Teth Adam explains his true history and I will admit it was very strange to see the thinner Dwayne Johnson that we all forgot about from his past “The Game Plan and Be Cool” days, thanks to some clever CGI. When I think they have lost the attention of the audience they pull us back in with the final act that brings the emotion and action together , leaving us satisfied. The father and son-like relationship between Hawkman and Dr Fate isn’t too much and plays out well on screen.
Image Courtesy Of Warner Bros UK
As you may notice I haven’t named Johnson’s character by title name as per the film. It is never spoken until the closing credits which leaves you pumped. Overall the film lives up to it’s hype and Johnson has prevailed in cementing his place within the DC Comics Universe and has certainly changed the DC hierarchy for the better. Director Jaume Collet-Serra was a good choice after watching his previous DJ hook up in “Jungle Cruise” which was another enjoyable experience, I knew he would be the right man for the job and I wasn’t wrong. Jaume brought realism to what could have been a pile of CGI mess. The subtle tones of the colour grade, not too dark but also not the bright that we see in DC’s rival Marvel films. I was worried in case it became a bad guy turned good guy scenario however they kept to the anti-hero route throughout and didn’t sway. The question many have asked can Johnson pull off a bad guy, oh boy he can. Last but very not least, do not leave the cinema – there is a post credit scene which is something that is worth the few minutes of sitting and twiddling your thumbs, that is all I am going say.
Image Courtesy Of Warner Bros UK
My verdict is Black Adam brings in a respectable 4 Lightening Bolts out 5. If it didn’t drop out before the final act and it did not neglect a couple of its characters it could have smashed through to a 5, like the many walls in the movie.
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