Early Reactions to Dwayne Johnson's 'Black Adam' Are In

The DC flick starring The Rock as the titular hero will hit theaters on Oct. 21. It co-stars Aldis Hodge, Noah Centineo, Sarah Shahi, and more.

Dwayne Johnson arrives for the premiere of "Black Adam" at Time Square in New York City

Image via Getty/Angela Weiss/AFP

Dwayne Johnson arrives for the premiere of "Black Adam" at Time Square in New York City

After years of anticipation, DC’s Black Adam is imminent.

The Jaume Collet-Serra-directed film had its world premiere Wednesday night, and critics were quick to share their first thoughts. Starring Dwayne Johnson as the titular antihero, Black Adam tells the origin story of Teth-Adam—an ancient Egyptian slave who is bestowed with the powers of gods. The character initially uses his super strength to fight injustice, and the death of his family leads him down a road of vengeance. The Justice Society of America, a team of superheroes, set out on a mission to stop Black Adam’s rampage and bring him into the fold.

The film co-stars Pierce Brosnan as Doctor Fate, Quintessa Swindell as Cyclone, Noah Centineo as Atom Smasher, and Aldis Hodge as Hawkman.

Johnson was reportedly in talks to star in Black Adam since 2007, but experienced multiple setbacks and delays. According to Screen Rant, the success of 2013’s Man of Steel is what revived the talks with the Rock, with the initial plan of him appearing in Shazam! It wasn’t until 2017 that the studio confirmed it was working on a standalone flick.

Black Adam has become one of the DCEU’s most-anticipated projects, with expectations set high. On Wednesday night, Twitter was flooded with mixed reactions describing the final product as everything from “epic” and “adrenaline fueled” to “messy” and just flat-out “bad.”

You can read some of the early reactions below. Black Adam will hit U.S. theaters on Oct. 21.

#BlackAdam is built on some epic, non-stop action. It made me want a sequel with a smoother story immediately.

When it moves, it’s a straight shot of adrenaline. The characters are dope, especially Teth-Adam and Doctor Fate. It’s a bad-ass film. pic.twitter.com/XeMFgcB3OG

— BD (@BrandonDavisBD) October 13, 2022

.@TheRock is terrific in #BlackAdam, which includes a hearty amount of real world touchstones (most affecting is it reinforces the need for heroes in bleak times). Director Juame Collet-Serra lays out building blocks for a larger, grand universe. Action is lively & BIG in scale. pic.twitter.com/pDBkSHRDrI

— Courtney Howard (@Lulamaybelle) October 13, 2022

#BlackAdam is a game-changer!! This is the #DCComics movie I’ve been waiting for & it did not disappoint. @TheRock is electrifyingly brutal as Black Adam! This is what I wanted Black Adam to be. The action in the film is non-stop & seeing the #JSA on the big screen was a thrill! pic.twitter.com/NigTxsfmd7

— Joseph Deckelmeier (@joedeckelmeier) October 13, 2022

I have seen #BlackAdam! This was one of my most anticipated films of the year, and it did not disappoint. The action sequences were incredible, especially the ones with the JSA. The Rock crushes it as Black Adam. The film’s end left me with high hopes for the future of the DCEU. pic.twitter.com/vd0Zy35lWT

— Dorian Parks (@DorianParksnRec) October 13, 2022

Well, I can definitely confirm that the Rock is a fantastic #BlackAdam.

Overall? Movie’s fine. Enjoyed. Didn’t love. Some really great moments. Some misses. Really loved Pierce Brosnan and would like a Dr. Fate HBO Max series. There’s one MUST SEE moment. Full thoughts Tues.

— Kirsten (@KirstenAcuna) October 13, 2022

Senior Writer @artbyatlas0 saw #BLACKADAM! He says the film is @TheRock’s best performance to date & gives the titular character his just due.

He also says that Pierce Brosnan’s #DoctorFate is the heart of the JSA and an absolute scene-stealer.

Premieres 10/21! pic.twitter.com/eQSEoBptl3

— POC Culture (@POCculture) October 13, 2022

BOOM! #BlackAdam @TheRock delivers us one of the most ADRENALINE FUELLED adventures of the year! This 300 style ACTION SPECTACLE feels like a hit for DC. Some side characters & a shaky script prevent this from changing the hierarchy of the DCEU. Pierce Brosnan is a scene stealer! pic.twitter.com/TWFUpBcEKs

— Shahbaz • The Movie Podcast (@shayhbaz) October 13, 2022

#BlackAdam is a worthy new piece of the DC puzzle, but not the savior it promised.

A surprising compressed timeline keeps the action exciting & pace propulsive, but also turns its many (many) themes, plots, & characters into fancy window dressing. It's messy in a watchable way. pic.twitter.com/uwZUb2hbiM

— Germain Lussier (@GermainLussier) October 13, 2022

#BlackAdam struggles to find its footing at first but once the Justice Society enters it becomes more fun to watch. Dwayne Johnson’s anti-hero presents an intriguing new dynamic to the DCEU. Solid visual effects. Weak villain. Post-credits scene got the biggest reaction of all. pic.twitter.com/qbVmWkYLjv

— Matt Neglia @Cannes (@NextBestPicture) October 13, 2022

Had to go through metal detectors for the Black Adam NY screening. Pity it’s bad - no emotional depth, zero sense of peril for the main character and dull CGI battles. #BlackAdam pic.twitter.com/gUjxHy1oUO

— Sean Keane (@SpectacularSean) October 13, 2022

just saw #BlackAdam & it's absolutely entertaining/fun. #DrFate @PierceBrosnan was a standout as well as @AldisHodge who was crowd fave as #Hawkman. Def. a passion project 4 @TheRock! Of course there's more to it but overall solid entry into the DCEU. More coming on @ForAllNerds!

— Tatiana Kang The Conqueror (@TatianaKing) October 13, 2022

I wholeheartedly agree. Felt the same waking up. It was an exciting film and hit all the marks it was supposed to. Like Shazam film it did well at riding the line of brooding darkness and comedy. It never sat too long in either. I have notes but overall I'd recommend #BlackAdam https://t.co/QTgOIecQ8W

— Tatiana Kang The Conqueror (@TatianaKing) October 13, 2022

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