In Review: Black Adam (2022)

Black Adam sees Dwayne Johnson imbued with powers by ancient wizards. But the true test isn't will, or might. It's about facing up to the inner demons
Black Adam

Synopsis: Black Adam sees Dwayne Johnson imbued with powers by ancient wizards. But the true test isn’t will, or might. It’s about facing up to the inner demons that have haunted him for so long. Now, he finally gets chance . . .



In Black Adam we see Dwayne Johnson play a part that allows for great character development. There’s plenty of room for nuance and not just the hero/villain narrative that’s dominated for so long. The set up (how the powers come about) are quite different from those we see in Shazam (2019). We reviewed Shazam, and so you can read what we thought of that film. However, what provides compelling viewing is that this is the story of a much darker character. Consequently, we get to experience the turmoil of a troubled soul, who also has a massive power set.

The setting of the film is an important part of the story. Chiefly, in that it’s not set in the West. The action takes place in the fictional city of Kahndaq. It appears to be in the Middle East. A vital factor is that though it’s millennia ago, this city is also where Teth Adam (the given name of our hero, Black Adam) was born and grew up. Now, he’s back . . . This dynamic makes for a wonderful setting. The twists and turns help to make this an interesting story to watch.


First things first. Dwayne Johson absolutely smashes the role. It’s clear that it’s one he’s chased for a long time. He has stated this in recent interviews. We’re used to seeing “The Rock” play comedy roles. But here, Johnson really gets across the anguish of the central character. There’s presence, depth and when needed also well-timed humour, too. The fun scenes saw Johnson set against Hawkman/Carter Hall (Aldis Hodge), who provided a wonderful foil for him.

We have a pretty strong support cast in Black Adam. Sarah Shahi did well as Adrianna Tomaz. Sarah Shahi really conveyed belief in the value of mythology, which her character adhered to. Bodhi Sabongui, who played her son Amon also held his own. He certainly didn’t look like a much younger, less capable actor. It was great to see Pierce Brosnan, who played Doctor Fate/Kent Nelson. He provided great presence.  Quintessa Swindell also impressed.


CGI & Effects

There was nothing truly ground-breaking here, but Black Adam did impress visually. The “super-powers” were well designed. But what was really visually pleasing was the world building. The Khandaq of old looked like it needed to. Sometimes, these aspects of a film like this can get overlooked. It was good to see that wasn’t the case. Khandaq played a significant role in the film, and so it was crucial it looked plausible and created a sense of atmosphere. DC comic fans will be glad the character looked awesome. Getting costume details wrong is vital for superhero films.


Black Adam is an impressive film. What worked well is that both comic book fans and newbies to the character could enjoy the film. As stated, it didn’t have to rely on looking incredible to be worth watching. The plot devices used weren’t really original. But that didn’t matter. They weren’t required to be. They did what they needed to do. So, Black Adam loses no points from us for that. Finally, it’s well worth sticking once the credits start rolling too . . .


Black Adam is in cinemas now

In Review: Black Adam (2022)
  • Story
  • Acting
  • CGI & Effects
  • Incidental Music
No Comment