Black Adam: A Review (Spoilers Ahead)

One of the benefits of having recently purchased a large-screen television is that we’ve opened up the floodgates for a number of movies we’ve wanted to see. Although I’ve been quite happy with the 14” television we were lent about three years ago, there’s just something about having access to a larger, better television that brings something to the table in terms of the movie-watching experience. And since the lack of an available babysitter makes it difficult for my wife and I to hit the theatres, the next reasonable step is to bring the theatre to us. And here we are…

One of the first movies we purchased was Black Adam, which we watched a couple of nights ago. Let me paint you a picture; we have the 52” flat screen. We have a digital sound at with a wireless subwoofer, basically causing our chest to vibrate, every time there’s an explosion. I have a drink in my hands and chips in my lap. The movie logos kick in and the walls are reverberating with the deep rumble of bass. The evening has begun.

One of the fascinating things I’ve noticed with Hollywood and society in general, is that we’ve reached a point where remakes and reboots are often seen as something “new” by the public. But in truth, Black Adam is a comic book character who’s been around since the mid-20th century. Having first appeared in the comic books during the mid-40’s, he became a mainstream character in the DC universe in the 1970’s. He’s been one of Captain Marvel’s (or “Shazam’s,” if you wanna be a dick about it… Thanks, Marvel!) main antagonists since then.

I’ve seen some of his appearances in the comics over the years and was reasonably familiar with the character and the background, making me somewhat curious as to how he would be portrayed on the big screen. I’m a big fan of Dwayne Johnson and although he has his particular niche when it comes to roles, I feel he was well-suited to fill the black and golden yellow shoes of Black Adam. And unlike having Brandon Routh and Henry Cavill done the “S” shield, there were no predecessors for him to work off of.

The movie starts the way any film of the genre would; with Teth Adam as a slave, along with his family, in a city called Kahndaq. The movie suggests that Teth Adam steals something of value from Kahndaq’s king and is sentenced to death. He’s rescued and bestowed the powers of Black Adam by the old gods and becomes Kahndaq”s champion. He defeats the king and in doing so, disappears for 5,000 years. This is somewhat different from his original origin, which sees him defeat and kill an Egyptian pharaoh and take his throne.

Teth Adam is re-awoken 5,000 years later as a violent and unrelenting antihero. Unlike Superman, Black Adam seems pretty m,ugh unstoppable, with the exception of exposure to an element called Eternium, which appears capable of injuring Black Adam and even cancelling out his powers. He’s exposed very little to it in the film despite it’s appearance all over the bloody place, making it even less effective against Black Adam than kryptonite is against Superman.

Ultimately, Black Adam sees the more positive side of things and takes on the role of a hero by defeating the bad guys, restoring order to Kahndaq and saving the day. All in all, the movie rated pretty well for me and even my wife, who usually sits through DCU and MCU movies with me but isn’t usually taken by the genre. Would I watch it again? Absolutely. Was the experience pretty bad-ass thanks to the television and sound bar? You’d better believe it. I would recommend this movie as something to watch on an evening where you have the whole family and want something to keep them all engaged with the action and fight sequences. ☯️

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Shawn

I am a practitioner of the martial arts and student of the Buddhist faith. I have been a Type 1 Diabetic since I was 4 years old and have been fighting the uphill battle it includes ever since. I enjoy fitness and health and looking for new ways to improve both, as well as examining the many questions of life. Although I have no formal medical training, I have amassed a wealth of knowledge regarding health, Diabetes, martial arts as well as Buddhism and philosophy. My goal is to share this information with the world, and perhaps provide some sarcastic humour along the way. Welcome!

3 thoughts on “Black Adam: A Review (Spoilers Ahead)”

  1. Waiting for the streaming release was a good idea, regardless of family situation. With big screen TVs and sound bars (or full on surround sound systems) the theater just isn’t worth dealing with the rude people and sky high snack prices. 🙂

    We started with a 45″ set fairly early on and ended up buying a 65″ a couple years back. Love it.

    Here’s some DC lore for you though. Black Adam was the First “Shazam” (really the name of the wizard that gave them their powers). As the movie hints at and changes a tiny bit, he went rogue though. The last few decades he’s been the anti-hero protector of Kahndaq though. In the comics, China started World War 3 by assassinating his wife. It took the entire world’s hero population to stop his revenge trip, and he beat the vast majority of them in the process. Great storyline, but it’s yet another example of power levels fluctuating drastically in comics. Character beliefs as well, as Shazam (the Wizard) refused to power down Black Adam during the story.

    A little history on the Captain Marvel thing also. DC’s was first, but he belonged to a company they bought out. I don’t remember if the Kree Captain Marvel was Marvel’s first or not… LONG story short, the companies went to court to fight over the name and eventually agreed to share the name and keep the concepts unique.

    Kahndaq is an actual country in DC Comics also. It occupies what would be part of Southern Egypt and Northern Ethiopia in the real world. DC (unlike Marvel) has always been allergic to real world locations. Gotham isn’t NYC for example. It’s actually on the Northern tip of New Jersey, across the Bridge from New York. IIRC, the latest Batman movie even got it right and gave the cars Jersey plates. Most people also assume that Metropolis is Chicago. It’s actually a city in Delaware. Green Lantern’s home of Coast City is the one I really get a chuckle out of. The comics REALLY paint a picture of it being San Diego. It’s actually where Berkeley would be in the East San Francisco bay area. Doesn’t make alot of sense, as the characters have always driven or flown East from there into the desert to reach Ferris Air.

    As for The Rock… I like him too, BUT his ego is getting too big anymore. He overrode the decision to make Black Adam the villain in the Shazam movie, lobbying for his own starring role to debut the character. Unlike Henry Cavill, he also refused to lower himself to do a cameo in another DC movie.

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    1. Yeah, I remember reading about that. I agree that he’s gotten too big for his britches, both physically and metaphorically. It was a pretty decent movie, though. Next up will be Top Gun: Maverick…

      Liked by 1 person

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