Review: Style and great supporting players make ‘Black Adam’ forgettably entertaining.
It’s hard not to get a little misty-eyed over this production. Black Adam is based in the 1930s, when the first wave of the Black Actors were emerging, but it feels like it was filmed in the early ’90s. It’s also a terrific film with a great cast, and there’s a lot of very smart action that I can recommend to anyone just starting out on the genre.
So what’s this movie about? Well, it’s a detective thriller told over the course of a single night in London. Adam (Ben Kingsley) is an ex-criminal who’s now working as an inspector, and he goes on a case involving a gang leader (Robert Vaughn) who murdered a few innocent people, and who is being blackmailed by the gang leader’s criminal friend (Hank Azaria) for the evidence. Now, there are no real spoilers for the film, but there are a few moments in the film that seem to be a bit of a joke to the audience. But this isn’t a comedy nor is it an action flick or even a drama. This is a great action thriller set in a world that, to this day, feels like a strange place on the edge of the civilized world.
To say that Black Adam is really a black-lister in a very blue-collar city seems like a bit of an exaggeration. As the director, Richard Lester, says in the movie’s opening, this is not just about the white man beating the black man. “We don’t see this as a simple case of ‘Black is stronger’ or something of the like. It’s a fight between the forces of justice, which are represented in this film, and people who are going well beyond the law.”
Of course, to understand how a film like this would work, you must first understand the racial history of the UK. In the past, blacks were not granted full citizenship even during the 19th century. And because of this lack of rights, as well as racial violence in places like Jamaica, they were not allowed to vote or hold office. It should be noted that black immigration to the UK has been a large