Author: Harold

Black Adam: A New Jersey Cop Drama

Black Adam: A New Jersey Cop Drama

Review: Style and great supporting players make ‘Black Adam’ forgettably entertaining as it takes a stab at epic-sized genre sagas

We live in an age of many, many great movies, and so perhaps the surprise hit Black Adam was a surprise hit after all. I’ve written about this movie previously–the only thing that kept me from going into raptures over it was my distaste for the direction it adopted. It was the product of writer/director Don Coscarelli, a veteran of the New Jersey crime saga The Long Goodbye (and a veteran in the horror business). Coscarelli cut a fine figure as a man of authority at a police precinct–he even had a cameo in the final version of The Long Goodbye, a film that would not be released until 1972. His style was the product of his background in the gritty cop tradition; like the late Vincent Van Gogh (or, in Coscarelli’s case, like Coscarelli himself), Coscarelli had been immersed in his chosen profession, not for any love of the police (though he did admit to having been fond of the job once). But in Don Coscarelli you find the man through the lens of the New Jersey cop drama. He shows us his character, Frank Mancuso, in the same way that a certain New Jersey cop shows up onscreen: through the eyes of someone who has seen him in action. And Coscarelli shows the character through the eyes of the New Jersey cop, too, showing Mancuso as a man of authority and of the street. And what a street–the film’s New Jersey setting is a street, filled with men whose names and faces we do not need to know; as Coscarelli notes, most of us have a general idea of where New York is, but a great deal of it remains a mystery to outsiders, and a mystery to Coscarelli as well:

“And he could tell you–when I was talking about the New York street–

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