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Black Adam first reviews reveal a rather mixed reception to the $200M anti-hero adventure… despite praise for Dwayne Johnson’s performance

Just days before Black Adam hits theaters, the first wave of reviews have surfaced, which reveal quite the mixed reception.

The Warner Bros. anti-hero adventure starring Dwayne Johnson is eyeing a $70 million debut when it opens in theaters this weekend.

Though some have suggested it might open a bit less now that the first reviews have come in, earning a middling 54% on Rotten Tomatoes after the first 61 reviews.

Mixed reviews: Just days before Black Adam hits theaters, the first wave of reviews have surfaced, which reveal quite the mixed reception

Mixed reviews: Just days before Black Adam hits theaters, the first wave of reviews have surfaced, which reveal quite the mixed reception

Middling: Though some have suggested it might open a bit less now that the first reviews have come in, earning a middling 54% on Rotten Tomatoes after the first 61 reviews

Middling: Though some have suggested it might open a bit less now that the first reviews have come in, earning a middling 54% on Rotten Tomatoes after the first 61 reviews

A deeper dive into the numbers finds the ‘top critics’ who have reviewed Black Adam thus far like it even less than the critical mass as a whole.

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The rating from top critics is just 32% (seven Fresh reviews of 22), which, if it stands y the time the film hits theaters on Friday, would be the lowest top critics rating for a DCEU movie since 2017’s Justice League (23%). 

The Wrap’s Alonso Duralde perhaps summed up the critical dismission by calling the anti-hero film, ‘anti-entertaining.

Top critics: A deeper dive into the numbers finds the 'top critics' who have reviewed Black Adam thus far like it even less than the critical mass as a whole

Top critics: A deeper dive into the numbers finds the ‘top critics’ who have reviewed Black Adam thus far like it even less than the critical mass as a whole

‘Despite its efforts to tweak the tropes, this is a muddled, overstuffed origin story,’ Duralde added in his review.

USA Today’s Brian Truitt added, ‘This is Johnson’s baby, a film spotlighting a complicated antihero he has championed for years. It wins some battles and packs plenty of punch, yet it just can’t get past familiar tropes and flaws.’

The film clearly has been a passion project for Johnson, who was first mentioned for the role back in 2007, and many admired his drive to get the film off the ground after languishing for years in development hell.

Tropes: 'Despite its efforts to tweak the tropes, this is a muddled, overstuffed origin story,' Duralde added in his review

Tropes: ‘Despite its efforts to tweak the tropes, this is a muddled, overstuffed origin story,’ Duralde added in his review

John DeFore added in a positive review that Johnson’s, ‘passion project serves the character well, setting him up for adventures one hopes will be less predictable than this one.’

Variety’s Peter Debruge essentially agreed with DeFore, adding in his review, ‘the film’s whole purpose is to give Black Adam a suitably grand introduction on the assumption that he’ll be pitted against a more deserving adversary soon enough.’ 

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The Guardian’s Peter Bradshaw also praised Johnson’s performance, adding, ‘Johnson’s massive bulk, planet-sized head and sly gift for deadpan humour all make him a great superhero.

Passion: John DeFore added in a positive review that Johnson's, 'passion project serves the character well, setting him up for adventures one hopes will be less predictable than this one'

Passion: John DeFore added in a positive review that Johnson’s, ‘passion project serves the character well, setting him up for adventures one hopes will be less predictable than this one’

However, he’s one of many critics who weren’t impressed with the cast of DC superheroes around him, adding the, ‘DC-ensemble heroes crowding into the action are frankly not really in his class.’

IGN’s Joshual Yehl praised Johnson for, ‘making his Black Adam just as steely and imposing as in the comics.’

Though he bashed the film for being, ‘packed with undeveloped characters and an excessive number of repetitive action scenes, to the point where its half-baked debate on what it means to be a hero is lost in all the noise.’

Not impressed: However, he's one of many critics who weren't impressed with the cast of DC superheroes around him, adding the, 'DC-ensemble heroes crowding into the action are frankly not really in his class'

Not impressed: However, he’s one of many critics who weren’t impressed with the cast of DC superheroes around him, adding the, ‘DC-ensemble heroes crowding into the action are frankly not really in his class’

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