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Today’s Prayer Focus
MOVIE REVIEW

Black Adam

also known as “Adam întunecatul,” “Adão Negro,” “Črni Adam,” “Juodasis Adamas,” “Qora Adam,” See more »
MPA Rating: PG-13-Rating (MPA) for sequences of strong violence, intense action and some language.

Reviewed by: Raphael Vera
CONTRIBUTOR

Very Offensive
Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
• Adults • Young-Adults • Teens
Genre:
Sci-Fi Fantasy Action
Length:
2 hr. 4 min.
Year of Release:
2022
USA Release:
October 21, 2022 (wide release)
DVD: January 3, 2022
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Relevant Issues
Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company

People subjected to tyranny and slavery

Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company

A human bestowed with the almighty powers of ancient Egyptian ‘gods’

His superpowers (per the comic books)…
• Stamina of Shu: Superhuman stamina, Invulnerability, Agelessness
• Swiftness of Horus: Superluminal speed
• Strength of Amon: Superhuman strength
• Wisdom of Zehuti: Genius-level intellect and Clairvoyance
• Power of Aten: Control and emission of magical lightning and thunder, Flight
• Courage of Mehen: Unflinching courage and willpower, and resistance to telepathy

Ancient EGYPTIAN mythology and false religion

About IDOLATRY and false goods in the Bible

Bible Archaeology
Learn about archeology and the Bible

ANTI-HERO (antiheroes lack usual heroic qualities: self-interest instead of self-sacrifice, unrestrained rage and violence, lack of mercy, righteousness, idealism, or morality)

The character Black Adam was created by Otto Binder and C.C. Beck, and first appeared in the debut issue of Fawcett Comics’ The Marvel Family comic book in December 1945. Since DC Comics licensed and acquired Fawcett's characters in the 1970s, Black Adam has endured as one of the archenemies of the superhero Captain Marvel / Shazam and the Marvel Family (a.k.a. Shazam Family).

Lightning, thunder and wind in the Bible

Anger in the Bible

What is JUSTICE? What does the Bible say about it? Answer

Justice of God

What is DEATH? and WHY does it exist? Answer in the Bible

What is the FINAL JUDGMENT? and WHAT do you need to know about it? Answer

HELL: Fact or Fiction—Is it an actual place? Answer

What is ETERNAL LIFE? Answer

What is ETERNAL DEATH? Answer

THE GOOD NEWS—How to be saved from Hell. Answer

Featuring Dwayne JohnsonBlack Adam / Teth Adam
Aldis HodgeHawkman / Carter Hall
Pierce BrosnanDr. Fate / Kent Nelson
Noah CentineoAtom Smasher / Al Rothstein
Sarah ShahiAdrianna Tomaz
Quintessa SwindellCyclone / Maxine Hunkel
Marwan KenzariIshmael / Sabbac / King Ahk-Ton
Henry WinklerUncle Al
Djimon HounsouWizard
See all »
Director Jaume Collet-Serra
Producer DC Entertainment
Flynn Picture Company
See all »
Distributor Distributor: Warner Brothers Pictures. Trademark logo.Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company
Article Version: October 26, 2022

Our story begins in the Middle-East in the mythical land of Kandaq 2600 BC. A power hungry King Ahk-Ton forces his slaves to gather the rare gemstone eternium so he may fashion a crown that will summon six demon lords to Earth. The council of wizards, introduced in 2019’s “Shazam!,” bestow upon a young slave boy the powers of Shazam in order to end the mad king’s rule. Legend has it that when Kandaq is in dire need of a hero he shall return.

Modern day Kandaq is ruled by a gang of mercenaries who oppress the people much like the slave drivers of old. Adrianna (Sarah Shahi) and her ancestors have been tasked with making sure no one ever finds the eternium crown and so she and her brother travel to a hidden desert cave to retrieve it. She barely succeeds, only to be immediately surrounded by the mercenaries. About to be executed, she looks down and reads the ancient inscription carved in the floor and Tet-Adam/Black Adam (Dwayne Johnson) is released from his long sleep.

Black Adam is as unmerciful as he is unstoppable, as he makes short and grisly work of the mercenaries, electrocuting one in his grasp, and frying many others to charred husks. They are no match for him, since he is incapable of being harmed. Fortunately, he recognizes the woman who freed him and reluctantly becomes protector to both her and her son. He is astounded at how things have changed in 5,000 years, but his reverie is soon cut short by the arrival of The Justice Society.

Q & A

About mercy in the Bible

What is true Christian love, according to the Bible?

Hawkman (Aldis Hodge), Doctor Fate (Pierce Brosnan) and two young super heroes fly to Kandaq to restrain and capture Black Adam. A ‘battle-royale’ ensues and by the time this ultimately pointless and overdrawn fight between ‘the good guys’ is concluded you may have surmised that this is what it must be like to read a current day comic book, and you would be pretty close to the mark.

Sandwiched between the battles already mentioned is an enemy that seeks the crown in order to bring Kandaq back to world prominence and establish a literal ‘hell-on-Earth.’ Can Black Adam and The Justice Society cease fighting long enough to stop the real threat or will Adam be conquered and removed from the stage just in time for the real threat to appear?

“Black Adam” is an almost literal lifting of images, not to mention story-telling, from the comic book page to the screen. The film plays as much and draws from the appeal of both its lead actor, ‘the Rock’ (Johnson), and movie-goers decades long fascination with superheroes. Featuring a script focused overwhelmingly on fight scenes, it contains much material to be concerned about.

Objectionable Content

LANGUAGE: Heavy. God’s holy name is repeated about twice in a very off-handed way (‘god-like power’, ‘demi-god’) and once blasphemously, “I was reborn a god”. Black Adam is also sacrilegiously likened as a potential ‘savior’ of the world, but more on that later. While the F-word was not said, other cursing abounded including: sh** (6), a** (5), h*ll (6), da*n (1), and bast**ds (1) and uses of the word God. Not a kid friendly movie in this respect, the violence exceeds the level of the language.

“…and there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks.” —Ephesians 5:4

VIOLENCE: Heavy. Beginning with his head, a villain is graphically ripped in half. A guard kills a slave by stabbing him, then throwing the old man down a short cliff and blood is shown. A palace explodes, probably killing everyone inside. A rocket annihilates a man, leaving only his lower legs. An injured man is executed by gunshot. A person is shot in the abdomen and guns are held to people’s heads. A wife is murdered with a blade. A son is skewered with an arrow. Characters are impaled. Mercenaries stab and likewise shoot and kill many, but the highest body count belongs to the anti-hero, Black Adam. The ‘hero’ electrocutes, chars, reduces to ashes, bludgeons, buries and blows up his enemies—one by putting the mercenary’s grenade back in his own mouth with the resulting explosion implied but not seen. A character is shown dissolving away into nothingness and another is impaled with his own weapon. “Call of Duty” level video game violence that should be rated ‘R’ in an otherwise PG-13 movies reminds us not to trust the current motion picture industry’s grading system. Do not bring kids to this film.

“The LORD examines the righteous, but the wicked, those who love violence, he hates with a passion.” —Psalms 11:5

OCCULT: Heavy. Occultic imagery abounds, beginning with the physical scarring of a pentagram on the chests of the ancient king as well as his modern day counterpart in order to honor their “demon lords.” There is a visit to hell where we see the demons that await their entry into our world. They are shown "bringing back from the dead" their servant who assumes demonic form when he re-appears on earth to fight our heroes.

Q & A

What are DEMONS?

Who is Satan, the enemy of God and all people?

SEX/NUDITY: Minor. No sex or nudity is shown in the movie, but during the prologue all the male slaves are shown shirtless. The heroine’s (aka Cyclone) costume is tight-fitting but not risqué.

WOKE ELEMENTS: Cyclone commands the wind as well as a genius level intellect, whereas the young white-male character (Atom-Smasher) is all brawn and rather simplistic, bordering on dumb. Intelligence, not counting the villains, should only be paired with non-white characters according to ‘woke-Hollywood.’

The Justice Society’s mission to ‘protect international stability,’ is probably a nod to The UN, the World Economic Forum (WEF) and other political organizations that ‘know what is best’ for the general population, regardless of what the people think.

Lastly, Dr. Fate’s helmet is said to be millions of years old, in direct contradiction to what science continues to reveal even today about our young Earth and universe.

Q & A

YOUNG EARTH—What are some of the evidences for a young Earth? Answer

Is the Bible clear about the age of the Earth and universe? Answer

Is the age of the Earth a “trivial” doctrinal point? Answer

Answers in Genesis on the AGE OF THE EARTH

Christian Answers on AGE OF THE EARTH

Young Age Evidence (astronomy, botany, geology, fossils, caves, coal, glaciology, human history, oceanography) — Creation Ministries International

Lessons

Aside from the extensive battle scenes, the film has an almost singular focus on death. There are several good examples of this that should be explored including the fear of death, the finality of death and victory over death.

Q & A

What is DEATH? and WHY does it exist? Answer in the Bible

What is the FINAL JUDGMENT? and WHAT do you need to know about it? Answer

What is ETERNAL Life? and what does the Bible say about it?

What is ETERNAL DEATH?

FEAR OF DEATH. Doctor Fate warns his ally about a possible future in which he dies and Hawkman rightly responds that he does not fear death. None of us who are regenerate followers of Christ should fear death, “If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord”, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9). Jesus Christ Himself extols us where to properly place our fear and it is not with our brief lives but in the eternity that awaits us all.

“And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” —Matthew 10:28

Q & A

THE FEAR OF THE LORD— What is it? Why is it very important? Answer

About Hell

What is the FINAL JUDGMENT? and WHAT do you need to know about it? Answer

What is ETERNAL DEATH? Answer

HELL: Fact or Fiction—Is it an actual place? Answer

Why was Hell made? Answer

Is there anyone in Hell today? Answer

Will there literally be a burning fire in Hell? Answer

What should you be willing to do to stay out of Hell? Answer

How can a God of love send anybody to Hell? Answer

About God’s love and an answer to the questions: What is the true nature of God’s love? Is it biblically accurate to say, “God hates the SIN, but loves the SINNER”?

What if I don’t believe in Hell? Answer

THE GOOD NEWS—How to be saved from Hell. Answer

FINALITY OF PHYSICAL DEATH. Ishmael believes that if he were to die with the crown he could return with the power of the demon lords and therefore conquer death. Likewise, Black Adam appears to have died only to return when needed. Not to put too fine a point on it, but death will touch each of us, however—for those that belong to our Lord—it has been ultimately defeated. And that is the greatest comfort of all, is it not?

“And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment…” —Hebrews 9:27

“He will swallow up death forever. The sovereign Lord will wipe away the tears from all faces; he will remove the disgrace of his people from all the earth. The Lord has spoken.” —Isaiah 25:8

VICTORY OVER DEATH. In trying to coax Black Adam into a more traditionally heroic path, he is told, “You have the power to be the destroyer of this world, but you can be its savior.” Perhaps a super-hero movie feels it can use these words flippantly, but we as Christians should not accept this. True victory belongs to our Lord and our Lord alone.

“… but now has been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel” —2 Timothy 1:10

And at the end of human history there is only one outcome for us who put our faith and our trust in Jesus Christ.

“… and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.” —Revelation 21:4

Final Thoughts

“Black Adam” is perhaps the most comic-book like movie you are ever likely to see. Adams’ back story is more poignant than the first half of the movie would lead you to believe, but this doesn’t excuse the choice of an action heavy narrative over solid story telling. The movie is a barrage of battle sequences strewn together, connected by minimal exposition with some humor in the vein of the older Marvel movies (Phases 1 through 3).

Teens and those who appreciate style over substance will not be disappointed, however, taken as a whole, the film has flaws. This, in addition to the language and the violence make this unsuitable as a family movie and likewise inappropriate for Christians.

  • Violence: Heavy to Extreme
  • Vulgar/Crude language: Heavy
  • Occult: Heavy
  • Profane language: Moderate
  • Wokeism: Moderate
  • Nudity: Minor
  • Sex: None
  • Drugs/Alcohol: None

Learn about DISCERNMENT—wisdom in making personal entertainment decisions

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.


Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Negative
Negative—The poster for “Black Adam” unabashedly declares “Power Born From Rage” which could be the synopsis of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s first live-action superhero movie. The film’s taglines also touts that “the world needed a hero. It got Black Adam” and “the time of heroes is over.”

Initial reactions have called the antihero movie as a “game changer” and “adrenaline fueled.” But discerning Christians will want to know that the film features some extremely brutal violence and concerning occult content as well as profanity. Wise parents should think twice before letting their tweens and young children watch the film, which is expected to launch this weekend in the $60 million range. On the plus side, ‘Black Adam” is more entertaining than most DC superhero movies, featuring a good amount of quips and breezy moments.

The film starts with a narrator saying nearly 5,000 years in the fictional Middle East country of Kahndaq that the powerful mineral Eternium is responsible for transforming a lowly slave into godlike figure Teth-Adam/Black Adam (Johnson)—with the help of several wizards.

In the film’s “300”-slow motion style prologue, the rage-fueled battle features plenty of action and violence, including a slave who is stabbed and thrown off a cliff. The movie then fast forwards to modern day Kahndaq, which is occupied by Intergang—a crew of mercenaries who has terrorized the country for decades. Opposing the oppression is a rebel group led by (Sarah Shahi) who is determine to find a legendary crown made of Eternium along with her son Amon (Bodhi Sabongui)…

Sure enough, Black Adam is freed from his millennia-long, earthly tomb and is ready to unleash his unique form of justice on the modern world. Translation: a lot of people are killed.

Both a spinoff and a prequel of the 2019 “Shazam!” movie, “Black Adam” reunites Johnson with his “Jungle Cruise” director Jaume Collet-Serra and features a team of heroes new to the DC films: The Justice Society of America. The group includes Hawkman (Aldis Hodge), Cyclone (Quintessa Swindell), Atom Smasher (Noah Centineo) and Doctor Fate (Pierce Brosnan).

Black Adam—in the comics—is the archenemy of the superhero Shazam, and shares his powers from the ancient wizard of the same name.

The Justice Society of America, especially Hawkman, wants to take down Black Adam or to talk him into heroism.

Rated PG-13, ‘Black Adam” reportedly was close to being rated-R. The filmmakers, along with Johnson, wanted to “honor” Black Adam’s gritty and violent origin story, as he’s “known for his aggression and violence.” It was only in September that the film finally achieved a PG-13 rating from the MPAA by removing several scenes with violent deaths of Black Adam’s enemies, according to news reports. The film’s ultra violence is plentiful as Black Adam disintegrates several people into burnt skeletons, an armed is chopped off and shown, and a character is torn in half in gruesome fashion. Unfortunately, Black Adam—who is called a weapon of mass destruction—kills some bad guys for comedic effect, including one character “who didn’t make it” after he threw him across the sky.

Another problem with “Black Adam” is its heavy dark magic content as well as negative portrayal of God. “They say that gods made us, but we’re the one who somehow bury them,” one minor character quips. Additionally, the main villain is a Satanic figure, with a pentagram carved on his chest and horns like a devil. There are also zombie-like skeletons who have come from hell.

…“Black Adam” was a pet project for Johnson for the past decade. For all of the waiting, the film could have been better by being less violent.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3
Negative—After “DC League of Super-Pets” where Dwayne Johnson stars in an outlandish movie, it would be obvious that I would not watch this DC film. As I said earlier in DC Super-Pets, (here is the link: ) there are some problems with many of Dwayne Johnson’s movies. This problem has emerged ever since Dwayne Johnson started acting in 1999.

This following paragraphs may be a little off topic but I still find it rather relative.

In 2018 at York University I met an RBC Training Ground athlete named Kayden Johnson. He seemed like a nice guy. That year he won the Winnipeg 2018 RBC Training Ground Trophy; he also won the 2018 York-Male-Athlete-of-the-Year-Trophy with Holly Pitters being the female athlete of the year. One time in 2019 when I had a conversation with him. I made a joke when I said “The fact that you play football, are an actor and have the same surname, you could be the next Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson.” He replied “That’s the plan.”

After his bobsledding career he is looking forward to a professional acting career. Despite being relatively none of my business, I ended up saying this prayer after watching him in an RBC Training Ground Commercial during the 2022 Beijing Olympics.

Father, with an expectant heart, I ask You to draw Kayden Johnson to Yourself. Pierce Kayden Johnson’s heart with the Good News about your love. Lead Kayden Johnson to repentance through Your kindness (John 6:4; Acts 2:37-38; Rom. 2:4).See all »
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: no opinion
Elliott Mills, age 22 (Canada)

PLEASE share your observations and insights to be posted here.

Secular Movie Critics
In this dopey DC Comics ‘Shazam!’ spinoff, the usually genial Dwayne Johnson stars as Teth Adam, a murderously angry godlike figure. …the CGI cart comes before the storytelling horse and leads it off a cliff. …
Kyle Smith, The Wall Street Journal
…a movie that sees the ex-Rock’s anti-hero kill almost everyone he encounters… you’ll forget it by tomorrow…
Tim Robey, The Telegraph [UK]
Dwayne Johnson’s anti-hero superhero movie is anti-entertaining …Most disappointing of all, “Black Adam” is one of the most visually confounding of the major-studio superhero sagas, between CG that’s assaultively unappealing and rapid-fire editing that sucks the exhilaration right out of every fight scene. …
Alonso Duralde, The Wrap
…A drab slog through superhero clichés… A joyless, glacially paced compendium of interchangeable scenes of people floating around in their goofy masks and capes, tossing clichéd dialogue and CG lightning bolts, and punching each other into buildings. …If there’s a more concise encapsulation of the vast chasm between the genre craftsmen of the past and the present, I cannot think of it.
Jason Bailey, The Playlist
God help us if this bewildering mess is meant to save the DCU …Why is Dwayne Johnson delivering every line here in an exhausting monotone? …[1/5]
Clarisse Loughrey, The Independent [UK]
Heroism, but Paint It Black …If, as the credits roll for “Black Adam,” you’re still stuck wondering what defines a bad hero or a good antihero, know that at least the film clarifies one thing: What makes a bad hero movie. …
Maya Phillips, The New York Times
The Rock can’t save another terrible DC movie …It’s just as thoughtless and rancid as the rest of DC Comics’ crummy catalog. Often the film is far worse — both rushed and overlong — and made me recall the heinous “Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice” with a grass-is-greener fondness. …[1/4]
Johnny Oleksinski, New York Post
Black Adam's loud, clueless and messy spectacle highlights the worst the DCEU has to offer …It all adds up to another frantic grab by a studio desperate to wring success from a superhero universe they’ve never fully understood. …
Abby Olcese, Paste Magazine
Sinks like a rock… opening scenes have a “Conan the Barbarian” look and feel. The rest? “Shazam!” with a staggering body count, a jokey, murderous action epic of confused loyalties and uninteresting characters, dull performances and Dwayne Johnson spending a lot of time proving Rocks can fly. …The cut-and-paste writing and lackluster direction are the main failings. There’s little to this that you’d call a “story,” even less “story” that makes sense. …
Roger Moore, Movie Nation
A superhero movie, but worse …feels more like a hastily speed-read footnote than a feature. It’s a jumbled mess of a movie that grabs great fistfuls of all-too-familiar blockbuster beats and throws them into a whirling, noisy centrifuge, hoping something cogent separates out. …“Black Adam” is so hard to watch, it might make us want to skip the pretense that these are meant to be real movies. …
Witney Seibold, Slashfilm
…Once it gets going, “Black Adam” feels like a continuous closed loop of destruction where the moments of mayhem blend darn near seamlessly one into the other. And those special effects look incredibly cheesy. …[1½/4]
Soren Andersen, The Seattle Times
Two hours of superhero soup …There are individual scenes, individual moments of action and even characters that actually work, but as a whole, Black Adam is a tangled, cluttered mess. …This is a movie for undiscerning viewers of superhero cinema. If this isn’t the sort of movie you like, there is absolutely no chance that you will enjoy it. …[1½/4]
Dylan Roth, Observer
…a pounding and intrusive soundtrack, a plane colliding with a helicopter, a sprinkling of meaningless dialogue and an act of contempt toward its audience. It signals the moment where Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson started taking himself too seriously, or perhaps it was the filmmakers. Anyway, whoever is doing it, you need to stop. …Seriously, don’t see “Black Adam.” Don’t encourage this. I don’t even want to admit that it’s an actual movie, but assuming it is, it’s the worst of the year — and one of the worst I’ve ever seen. …
Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle