There’s been a lot of talk about Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s first turn as a villain in DC’s latest Black Adam, but is he really a villain? That’s the big question at the heart of the film, which introduces DC movie fans to the country of Kahndaq and its legendary titular champion. Kahndaq is a fictional country in the Middle East that is rich in a powerful magical mineral called Eternium, meaning that it has since been taken over by a foreign army so they can mine as much Eternium as they can. The people of Kahndaq take solace in an ancient story of when a slave rebelled against a tyrannical king and received magical powers that made him the supreme champion of the land, then known as Teth Adam. Teth Adam (renamed later in the movie as Black Adam) wakes up early on and immediately starts killing people, and the debate begins: Is he really the champion of Kahndaq or is he a terrifying force of nature that needs to be destroyed? ?
Naturally, Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) thinks the latter. She sends various members of the Justice Society of America—Hawkman (Aldis Hodge), Dr. Fate (Pierce Brosnan), Atom Smasher (Noah Centineo), and Cyclone (Quintessa Swindell)—to deal with this new threat, but even these formidable heroes are unprepared for how powerful and free from morality Black Adam is. Hawkman in particular is convinced that Adam cannot be anyone’s hero, even though the people of Kahndaq see him as the champion in legend of him. It’s a question that remains difficult to answer at the end of the movie, but GameSpot had a chance to sit down with the cast to see what their thoughts are.
“That question, I think, is really the whole point of the movie,” Centineo said. “I personally don’t think he’s a villain.”
Sarah Shahi, who plays resistance fighter Adriana, the woman responsible for waking up Adam, said the debate was one of the things she enjoyed most about the script. “You have what would normally be a DC superhero movie, and instead Black Adam is the antihero. He really is blurring the line between good and evil, and everything that stands in the way is what this movie is exploring.” He says. “So for me, I felt like it was also kind of a commentary on real life and people and how stratified we all are. We are not 100 percent saints, we are not 100 percent sinners. There’s all this space in between. “
“I wasn’t sure about him, frankly,” added Mohammed Amer, who plays Adriana’s brother Karim. “I was with it because she’s my sister and she knows what she’s doing, but I was like, are you sure? Did you bring this crazy guy back into existence? Is he a hero? Isn’t he? But trust me sister, the hero of the film”.
And both Shahi and her character Adriana don’t see Black Adam as a villain. “I think what the comics do, just like the movie, is they really give you the backstory. They explain how he was a slave, he was killed, his family was taken from him, and he was reborn as a god.” Shahi explained. “I feel like the movie really has a beautiful way of explaining why he is the way he is.”
However, Swindell believes that the plot of the film is subjective. “It’s great because it’s open to interpretation, and I think that’s the most interesting thing about the movie. It shows you all. It shows people changing, it shows people resting in their points of view, and I think that’s great.” “.
“I think it’s a very human question that we’re asking here,” Amer said. “It’s like you’re at a fork in the road. Someone who’s been through a lot in their life, and now they’ve given you all these superpowers to use for better or worse. This is like the classic test of a human being.” Are you going to go with your ego, or are you going to tame your ego, control yourself and find that awareness within yourself? So you can go a lot of different ways with this, and I think it’s really rich in so much humanity and spirituality. It’s just a beautiful story.”
Based on the movie’s trailers, you might not think “beautiful” is the right word to describe it, but even legendary actor (and ex-James Bond) Pierce Brosnan said it’s “the most beautiful movie” he’s ever been in. party for a long time. a long time, and Centineo described it as a “good important story and a great story to tell”, with heroes of all kinds. Adriana, Shahi noted, is a hero in her own right, even without superpowers, and the film is about more than just one unstoppable guy. That unstoppable guy also represents a country full of people who desperately need someone to fight alongside them. “I think that the people that we represent, we are the citizens of Kahndaq and I feel like we need more things like that in artistic form,” she said. “We represent the fight. We are hardworking people on the battlefields who fight for justice, who fight against oppression.”
As for the man himself, Black Adam has been a passion project for Johnson for years, and he’s firmly in the antihero camp. “I love Black Adam,” he said. “I’ve always loved Black Adam, and I feel like if we do this movie right, then there should be a lot of people around the world who hopefully not only love Black Adam, but also see themselves in Black Adam in the attitude that he has in his philosophy that he has when it comes to taking care of things, and doing it his way”.
Black Adam is in theaters on October 21, 2022.
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