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Black Adam Moments That Really Upset Fans The Most

Contains spoilers for "Black Adam."

He's the man in black, and there's a darkness within him that, as Adrianna Tomaz (Sarah Shahi) proclaims to Hawkman (Aldis Hodge), "lets him do what heroes like you cannot." Teth-Adam (Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson), or Black Adam as we know him, hails from an ancient time when kings oppressed their own people. In 2600 BC, Ahk-Ton (Marwan Kenzari), the monarch of the nation of Kahndaq who is as wicked as his haircut is radical, enslaving his own people to toil in the sun day in and day out. The only thing driving him is his lust for the mystical element known as eternium that can be used to forge the Crown of Sabbac, capable of bestowing its wearer with untold powers. 

Teth-Adam's son is an unfortunate casualty of Ahk-Ton's campaign. His rage, coupled with the powers of the wizard Shazam (Djimon Hounsou), destroys the king and nearly all of Kahndaq. Fast forward five millennia into the future, and Teth-Adam has been freed. His nation is still reeling from oppression, and it's up to him to put a stop to it. He aims to do so, and he shows no mercy. That's where the Justice Society of America comes in, sent to "cage the animal" once again. But of course, nothing goes according to plan.

"Black Adam" is littered with explosive action sequences and special effects. The film is certainly a visual spectacle to behold, but does the story satisfy audiences? Some fans were less than pleased with the representation of the DC Comics characters on screen and the overall narrative. Let's dive into some of the most frustrating qualities of the film that upset fans the most.

Black Adam is just The Rock

As a DC character, Black Adam is likely considered B-tier at best. Sure, DC fans know him well. But the general population is probably not familiar with the often-villainous Kahndaqian super-being like they are with Batman or the Joker. This film presents a new opportunity for DC to establish the character in the eyes of the public and create a new narrative. Black Adam is traditionally known for being the villain opposite the hero Shazam. However, he's often misunderstood. Sure, he kills with impunity whenever the occasion calls for it. But there's usually a purpose, and it's normally one that he sees as righteous from his viewpoint. The big screen adaptation bends this more toward the heroic side, giving him the label of anti-hero.

Of course, Dwayne Johnson is a larger-than-life personality. As a professional, he's instantly likeable and a thrill to watch on screen. There's a signature charm that he infuses into all of his characters. As such, fans will buy tickets simply to see The Rock do his thing. No one went to "Jumanji: The Next Level" to see Dr. Bravestone return — it's the actor behind the character that everyone loves. Therefore, it's understandable if DC fans were worried that Black Adam might turn out to just be The Rock in a suit. Some, in fact, believe that's exactly what happened. 

Redditor Snelldor stated, "It's a Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson movie with a superhero skin attached to it. Nothing more. Nothing less." Another Redditor replied, "I don't see Black Adam, I just see the Rock." But maybe that was good enough for some folks. Redditor Finito-1994 wrote in their review of the film, "Black Adam though? He wasn't bad but he was just The Rock."

A rushed narrative

We always knew that "Black Adam" was going to be a crowded affair full of DC characters. From the get-go, the JSA were touted as one of the premiere heroic teams to enter the fray in an effort to detain Black Adam. While the JSA has enlisted countless heroes into its ranks over the years, the film distinctly features four: Dr. Fate (Pierce Brosnan), Hawkman, Cyclone (Quintessa Swindell), and Atom Smasher (Noah Centineo). On top of these heavily advertised additions to the film, we also get brief appearances from Amanda Waller (Viola Davis), Emilia Harcourt (Jennifer Holland) of "Peacemaker" fame, and of course, a fun appearance from the Big Blue Boy Scout, Superman (Henry Cavill). These characters all take a back seat, however, to Black Adam himself, Adrianna Tomaz, and her son, Amon (Bodhi Sabongui).

In a narrative that introduces so many new characters, there are bound to be some shortcuts taken. For some, this sadly manifested as a story that felt watered down and rushed. Redditor bitymer123 said that their biggest beef with the film was the pacing which ultimately felt rushed. "The film could've used another 15 to 20 minutes, which would have allowed them to expand upon some story elements," the user wrote. It doesn't help that some characters are glossed over entirely, including the villainous Sabbac, who doesn't function as much more than a cardboard cut-out standing where an antagonist should be.

The death of Dr. Fate

There's no mistaking that Pierce Brosnan is quite magnetic in any of his roles that benefit from his eloquence and his sultry accent. When the actor was cast as Dr. Fate, fans were markedly pleased with the casting (per a social media roundup at The Things). In a world were fandom often takes to social media to lash out before a final product is ever delivered, it was actually a refreshing change of pace. And thankfully, Brosnan delivered the goods as the ill-fated hero whose wisdom knows no bounds. There's a lot to love about the movie's take on Dr. Fate — many have suggested that Dr. Fate is the highlight of the entire film. In fact, some say that he even stole the show from the big man himself.

Of course, that makes the film's climax all the more tragic. As the final battle heats up, Dr. Fate fears the death of his longtime friend and partner, Carter Hall (aka Hawkman). He restrains Hawkman from entering into direct combat with Sabbac (at least in the near term) while he attends to the matter himself, knowing that he will die. He's able to release Black Adam from his Argus prison and distract Sabbac long enough for the cavalry to arrive, but he's ultimately killed at the hands of the villain. As Redditor Calm_Garage_3030 proclaimed, "They really shouldn't have killed Pierce Brosnan's Dr. Fate." Another Redditor, meglaSauce, stated, "I've waited so long to see Dr. Fate in live action ... and they kill him." While some have suggested that the helmet could select a new host, given the comic book lore, it seems most were simply attached to Brosnan's portrayal.

Amon was annoying

What would a heroic adventure be without a spunky minor to serve as a quippy sidekick? Billy Batson's Shazam (Zachary Levi) had Freddy Freeman (Jack Dylan Grazer). Why shouldn't his counterpart, Black Adam, also have a young whippersnapper who's clearly a superhero fanboy to guide him along his path? Well, that's exactly what we get in the form of Amon Tomaz, Adrianna's son who can't stop himself from stepping into the middle of murky situations. Thankfully, Black Adam is on board with this budding friendship, and he looks out for the youngster the best that he can.

Of course, imbibing a kid in a movie with persistence and knowledge is a tricky balancing act. It's too easy for the character to be dismissed if he's seen as snooty, invasive, generally irritating, or prone to ill-advised choices. Freddy's likeability stemmed from his penchant to be self-deprecating alongside his witty sense of humor. Amon, on the other hand, has seemingly landed on most viewers' bad side. 

Redditor kimhuy196 stated, "Man everytime they change scene, I pray: 'please don't be the kid, please don't be the kid.'" Another Redditor replied, "Yep honestly I thought he's the worst part of the whole movie." Redditor ninjatronick expanded on their disdain for the intrepid young buck by sharing, "I could already tell the kid was gonna annoy me when he was lecturing the terrorist about neo-imperialism." Clearly, Amon was a sore spot for many who, despite his undying love for Black Adam and superheroes, constantly overstepped. Of course, we must acknowledge that the actor, Bodhi Sabongui, did great work fulfilling the role as scripted and that the problems here lie in how the character was written, not the actor's portrayal.

The trailer spoiled a twist

There's a lot at play in the plot of "Black Adam," from the plight of the Kahndaq citizens to the JSA's mission to detain Black Adam, and even the main man himself coping with the reality of living in a world 5,000 years removed from his own. Overall, though, the narrative itself is a rather by-the-books approach as far as superhero cinema is concerned. Despite Black Adam having no qualms with killing, he still comes to the realization that he has a duty to uphold. Nowadays, it's pretty hard to make an unpredictable superhero film, but that doesn't change the fact that we can still enjoy the ride.

With that in mind, when trailers spoil what little revelations a movie still has to offer, it can be a tad infuriating for fans. This is one element of modern marketing that is becoming rampantly problematic for the film industry. All too often, trailers are being criticized for showing too much. The film eventually unveils that Teth-Adam wasn't the original champion selected by the council of wizards. We learn that his son was granted the honor, but sacrificed the power to save his father and died for it. 

Most would've been surprised by the revelation if it weren't for the trailer already spoiling this fact. Redditor mcfuddlebutt shared some of their most disliked elements of the film. One major detractor was "trying to play his son dying as a plot twist when they literally advertised it as the story." Another Redditor, shadowst17, wrote, "They even turned the 'I was the father not the son' into a reveal even though it's literally mentioned in the trailer."

The hypocrisy of Hawkman

The DC Extended Universe has often provided as a dark take on the world of superheroes. Both Batman and Superman have gotten their hands dirty having to kill in order to win the day -– which, despite common misconceptions, are still actions the two heroes have taken before in the pages of comics even though it's rare. Black Adam is a super-powered being ready to kill at a moment's notice if it furthers his goals. Traditionally seen as a villain in comic stories, Black Adam is presented here more as an anti-hero -– one who is willing to kill in order to save the day.

Enter the JSA. Hawkman leads a rag-tag team of heroes who have been sent to promote world stability. Black Adam threatens destabilization, and is therefore a target. Hawkman adamantly shares his disdain for Black Adam's methods of murder and mayhem. When he tells the big man that heroes don't kill people, Black Adam quips back, "Well, I do." While Hawkman might be taking the moral high ground here, fans are quick to point out the absurdity of it. 

The JSA is directed by Amanda Waller, someone who is quick to kill to further her designs and even once told the Suicide Squad to abandon an entire country to ruin in James Gunn's "The Suicide Squad." Hawkman taking orders from this woman makes him a bit of a hypocrite, according to many fans. Redditor ManitouWakinyan stated explicitly, "For someone who is so deeply anti-murder, Hawkman was very much totally fine with working for Amanda Waller." They're not wrong.

The pointlessness of the duel scene

If you didn't know any better, you'd think that Black Adam is a god among men. And really, the proof is in the pudding. He's entirely invulnerable with the exception of eternium acting as his kryptonite. The man can shoot lighting from his fingertips. He can even fly at high speeds. So of course, we're all wondering why armed forces on the ground continue to shoot at a man while bullets just instantly bounce off of him. The only thing it will do is draw his anger, and Black Adam's anger is one thing you don't want directed towards you. Just ask the first guy to approach him in the tomb upon his release what that's like. Oh wait, you can't because he's dust and bones.

Later in the film, Black Adam is surrounded by multiple men ready to draw their weapons and fire at him. The moment is framed like a dueling stand-off as it's a direct reference to "The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly," which can be seen playing on Karim's (Mohammed Amer) television just minutes prior. Of course, when the men finally go to draw their weapons, Black Adam quickly zaps all of them with lightning. But the question must be asked, what was the point of it all? Redditor shadowst17 writes, "That wild west scene was so utterly pointless, what are we supposed to feel in that scene? We already know bullets do nothing to him even the guy about to shoot him knows that, after all he just shot an entire mag into his chest, pretty sure a handgun isn't gonna do any better." Logically, the user has a point. There's not much these men could've done but plead for mercy.

The lack of lore behind the characters

The movie might be called "Black Adam," but he's most certainly not the only character to hold the spotlight. Like most modern comic book blockbusters, this superhero adventure contains a host of characters from its source material's pantheon. "Black Adam" could've been retitled "The Justice Society of America" and we wouldn't have questioned it. However, with so many major characters commanding the screen, the film glosses over the backstory behind each one. Sure, we learn that Cyclone was experimented on and injected with nanobots, and that Kent Nelson is the vessel for a mystical Fate helmet bestowed upon him by the ancient being Nabu. But these amount to quick throwaway lines with no further exposition afforded for these characters' histories.

Hawkman shows that he doesn't fear death. The film doesn't delve into any reason why this might be. But comic book enthusiasts know that Carter Hall is actually the reincarnated Prince Khufu of ancient Egypt. His soul, along with that of his lover, Chay-Ara (aka Hawkgirl), are unable to leave the mortal realm and are constantly reincarnated upon death. Carter Hall is merely his latest incarnation. Yet the film doesn't establish this history or expound on any of the other characters. Redditor CTeam19 writes, "I might be spoiled by 'Young Justice' but you have Dr. Fate, Hawkman, and Black Adam in the same movie and yet you have ZERO lore building." Redditor pearlz176 quips, "Yet another DCEU movie where they do not spend time to tell us enough about the superheroes. Is Hawkman a super soldier, a God or a normal human?" While the film is aiming for a modest runtime, perhaps a little more exposition could've gone a long way.

Why imprison Black Adam for mere minutes?

The ultimate goal of the JSA is to detain Black Adam, because they see him as a destabilizing agent in Kahndaq capable of devastating destruction. But after a few clashes with the man in black, they realize there's no amount of muscle they can exert that will bring him into submission. Dr. Fate informs the crew that the only way to take Black Adam in is to get him to say the word "shazam." This will de-power him and make him vulnerable. At one point in the film, Black Adam comes to the realization that he should be locked away simply because of what he's capable of given his past brushes with his own rage and his godly powers. He de-powers himself and goes willingly to lock-up in Amanda Waller's vault somewhere deep beneath the ocean's surface.

Shortly after Dr. Fate and Hawkman depart from dropping him off in the underwater prison, Sabbac emerges in the mortal realm. As the JSA moves to confront the being, Dr. Fate ultimately goes into the fight alone. While confronting Sabbac he simultaneously releases Black Adam simply because his strength is desperately needed. With what felt like mere minutes passing between Black Adam's incarceration and his release, fans are wondering: Why even lock him up at all? Redditor Individual_Client175 stated, "They sealed this man in a base ... Only to take him out 15-20 min later?!" Another Redditor replied, "That part was so unnecessary. Like remove that whole plot thread of giving up voluntarily to then be brought back immediately after." Perhaps the time for this sequence could've been used to expound on the JSA (wink, wink).

The citizens joining the fight was odd

Kahndaq's people have had enough of Intergang and their oppression. Besides, what even is the Intergang in the DCEU aside from being labeled as "foreign invaders?" We never learn much about them or why they have such cool bikes, but they seemingly possess the technology to bring an entire country to its knees. In the final moments of the film, an even greater threat emerges in the form of Sabbac. He's raising the dead to do his bidding, and the citizens finally stand up and fight.

However, despite the rallying cry and the attempted feel-good moment in the film, some fans thought it was rather odd and possibly a tad cheesy. Redditor IAmCreepingDeath wrote, "The third act sequence with the citizens uniting and fighting the skeletons has to be up there in terms of bad choices made by DC." Redditor Lemonjello23 writes, "Fun movie. But ngl, that scene with the city folk rising up against evil was corny lol." Captain Pick1e replied, "Yes, it made no sense at all. If I'm a citizen I'm not going to be fighting a real undead army. I'm going to run and try to see a therapist when it's all over." Let's be honest, it's a little odd that they feel more empowered to fight a massive army of the undead than they ever did with Intergang.