Black Adam Movie Review

Perhaps the most action-packed of recent movies from DC, Black Adam is a thrill to watch.

Black Adam Movie Review
Black Adam brings to life the dark-sided hero and the story behind him. Source: DC.

Black Adam is a 2022 movie by DC that introduces the superhero Black Adam into the DC Universe beyond DC Comics. Teth Adam, as he is known in ancient times, is a Kahndaq native who is thrust into the supernatural world after attempting to free the people of Kahndaq from enslavement. The movie is an action-packed thriller that brings the latest new hero to the DC Universe.

Black Adam Movie Review and Summary

This post is both a movie review and a summary of Black Adam. That is to say, it may contain spoilers.


Kahndaq is a kingdom under threat after its king, Ahk-Ton, is maddened by his search for Eternium, a mineral he intends to use to create the crown of Sabbac. The crown is to be used to conjure evil and to grant himself dark powers. King Ahk-Ton enslaves his people and makes them mine for eternium while looking for enough of it to create the crown.

The Champion

A young boy in the mines stands up to a guard after the guard slays a miner. The miner had come claiming his reward from the king after finding a huge eternium rock. The boy starts a rebellion against the tyranny of King Ahk-Ton and is to be slain. When the time comes, he vanishes and reappears in the presence of the 6 wizards.

The 6 Wizards

The 6 wizards, members of the Council of Wizards, are beings who wield magical powers whose role is to protect the earth from evil. They recruit the boy as their chosen champion and grant him powers. The champion is to protect Kahndaq and the world at large from evil.

The Face-Off Between King Ahk-Ton and the Champion

King Ahk-Ton and the champion face off moments before king Ahk-Ton is handed the now completely forged crown of Sabbac. Moments before Ahk-Ton could be handed the crown, he is confronted by the champion who blows up the entire temple and nearly takes out the whole city.

Present Day Kahndaq

Present-day Kahndaq is occupied by the 'intergang', an international crime syndicate that takes illegal hold of the city and its command. The intergang rule with impunity and enforce checks on normal citizens. Kahndaq, by this time, is a shadow of the kingdom it was in ancient times (about 5000 years ago) and has been ravaged many times over by numerous invaders.

Present-day Kahndaq with what remains of the champion's statue after 5000 years
Present-day Kahndaq with what remains of the champion's statue after 5000 years. Source: DC.

The Present-Day Search for the Crown

In present-day Kahndaq, Adrianna, a revolutionary and scientist, is deep in the search for the crown of Sabbac. She is aware that it could be used to bring unimaginable evil into the world and she and her brother, Karim, and two friends are keen to find it and hide it to prevent it from falling into the wrong hands. The intergang is aware of this and they too are in heavy search for her and the crown.


Adrianna's son Amon, played by Bodhi Sabongui, is a skateboarder who helps his mother escape the city and head to the mountains to look for the crown of Sabbac. He is sharp and witty and evades the inter-gang guards. He is keen to accompany his mother but she tells him to stay back as it would be unsafe.

The Crown's Hiding Place

Adrianna, played by Sarah Shahi, and her crew go into the mountain and discover ancient text on the walls. They go even deeper and see the crown of Sabbac. The mountain is the hiding place for the crown. Adrianna climbs to it and grabs it. She and Ishmael, a colleague are, however, ambushed by intergang officers who demand that they be handed the crown. Things get bad and Adrianna is almost killed.

The Crown of Sabbac
The Crown of Sabbac. Source: DC.


Adrianna was in possession of a necklace, which is a family heirloom, with a symbol resembling one on the floor of the chamber where the crown was hidden. She utters words in ancient Kahndaqi and summons Teth Adam by saying Shazam!

Teth Adam

Teth Adam, played by Dwayne Johnson, emerges out of nowhere and saves Adrianna's life. He is quick to make light work of the inter gang soldiers. They call for backup, and even with loads of it can't beat Teth Adam. He is strong, fast, and doesn't seem to be hurt by anything. As a last resort, a soldier fires an eternium rocket toward him. Teth Adam catches it and it blows up in his face. Is he dead? Far from it.

The Justice Society

Carter Hall, also Hawkman, the leader of the Justice Society, gets wind of the news of a being in Kahndaq with extraordinary powers and strength. He is commanded by Taskforce X boss Amanda Waller to get hold of the situation. He recruits Maxine Hunkel, also Cyclone, and Al Rothstein, also Atom Smasher, two young superheroes, to help.

Cyclone and Atom Smasher in Hawkman's ship
Cyclone and Atom Smasher in Hawkman's ship. Source: DC.

Cyclone, played by Quintessa Swindell, has extraordinary powers that help her manipulate the wind while Atom Smasher, played by Noah Centineo, can grow to 100 times his size. Hawkman, played by Aldis Hodge, also brings in Kent, also Dr. Fate, to the team. Together, they head to Kahndaq to save it from this being.

Fighting Teth Adam

On getting to Kahndaq, the Justice Society quickly realize that Teth Adam is no small boy that they can beat and quickly arrest. He proves too powerful for them and the team has to push itself even harder to try and contain him. They are keen to take him down and stop his "extrajudicial killings". Teth Adam has his way of doing things, however, the no-taking-hostages way.

Hawkman in Black Adam
Hawkman is at the helm of the Justice Society and is sent to arrest Black Adam. Source: DC.

Was Teth Adam Really Kahndaq's Champion?

The Justice Society alleges that actually, Teth Adam wasn't Kahndaq's hero but a danger to it as he nearly destroyed it. They attest that he is not who Adrianna thinks he is. According to their research, Teth Adam had not gone to King Akh-Ton to battle him but he was there to exact revenge.

Who Destroyed the Temple in Kahndaq?

In his rage, Teth Adam nearly destroyed the whole kingdom as his powers grew beyond proportion causing a huge blast that destroyed the temple. Adrianna puts two and two together and realizes that she'd woken Teth Adam from his prison and not his tomb. The 6 wizards had punished him by imprisonment after they felt they had made a mistake in choosing him; after he nearly destroyed all of Kahndaq.

Ishmael's Betrayal

Ishmael, played by Marwan Kenzari, Adrianna's friend and crew member, is in her house and is holding her brother hostage. Amon comes in with the crown in his backpack only to realize that Ishmael is not on their side when he [Ishamel] points a gun at him. Amon thinks on his feet and escapes but his uncle is shot by Ishmael. By this time, Teth Adam is coming to rescue him only to realize that he's been taken and put in one of the intergang's fly bikes.

The Enemy of my Enemy

The Justice Society halt their fighting with Teth Adam and join in on the search for Amon. They split up and go after the numerous fly bikes, only to come up with nothing. They cannot find Amon and regroup to refine their strategy. As it later turns out, Amon had been taken hostage by Ishmael in the inter-gang mine in the Al Haddidyah mountains. The team plans an attack and heads there with the crown. Apparently, Amon had left it in the house and had quickly removed it from his backpack and stuck it to a shelf.

Black Adam and Dr. Fate in Hawkman's cruiser
Black Adam and Dr. Fate in Hawkman's cruiser. Source: DC.

Saving Amon

Black Adam and the Justice Society together with Adrianna go to the mine to save Amon. There they meet Ishmael who is pointing a gun at Amon. He demands the crown of Sabbac and Adrianna gives it to him, despite attempts to dissuade her by Kent and Hawkman.

On being handed the crown, Ishmael confesses to being the last living descendant of King Ahk-Ton. Ishmael doesn't let the boy go and on shooting his gun toward Amon, Black Adam intervenes and stops the bullet. He flares up in rage and the entire building is blown up. Everyone survives as they are shielded by the Justice Society but Ishmael dies with the crown on his head.

Who was Hurut?

On seeing the damage he's caused, Black Adam volunteers to give up his powers. He acknowledges that he indeed wasn't the true champion of Kahndaq and that his son was. He confesses that he almost destroyed the entire kingdom when he approached the temple to revenge his son's killing by the king's assassins. His son, Hurut, had chosen to save him and give him his powers. According to Black Adam, his powers were not a gift but a curse born from rage.

Black Adam Gives Up His Powers

Black Adam gives up his powers by uttering the word "Shazam". He transforms into his former and powerless self and is taken to a Taskforce X Black Site deep into the Antarctic ocean. There, he's submerged into a suspended state where he cannot utter any word and thus cannot bring back his powers by saying "Shazam".

Death is the Only Way to Life

There's an inscription on the crown of Sabbac and Adrianna has previously translated it as reading "Life is the only way to death". However, while en route to the mine, she and Cyclone realize that it actually read "Death is the only way to life". Therefore, Ishmael had intentionally lured the group to the mine knowing that Black Adam would kill him and, this way, he could go into the underworld.


On going into the underworld, Ishmael is granted evil powers by the demon lords there. They say that he is now their champion and that he should go back to the earth and unleash hell on it. Ishmael re-emerges but is now Sabbac, a commander of demons. Sabbac is strong and proves a handful for the Justice Society. They try and prevent him from seating on the Kahndaqi throne but he manages to.

The villain Sabbac
The villain Sabbac. Source: DC.

Dr. Fate's Premonition

Kent, or Dr. Fate, sees visions thanks to his millions-of-years-old helmet. The helmet shows him the future and in it, he'd seen Hawkman's death. Therefore, as he heads to battle Sabbac, he places a shield around the temple, locking Hawkman, Cyclone, and Atom Smasher out. Hawkman, who Dr. Fate had told about his premonition, is devastated. Dr. Fate, played by Pierce Brosnan, decides to give up his life instead of Hawkman dying despite Hawkman attesting to not be afraid of death.

Black Adam's Waking from the Dead

While fighting Sabbac, Dr. Fate wakes Black Adam. Fate can exist in numerous places at the same time and with the help of the helmet, also duplicate himself severally. Black Adam hears his call and after the Dr. helps him break out of the suspension chamber, swims to the surface. He, however, doesn't quite get there and is submerged in a vision where he sees his family again. Hurut urges him to free Kahndaq and he awakes. He says Shazam and he's back to his superhero self.

Black Adam vs Sabbac

Black Adam quickly comes to the rescue and by this time Dr. Fate is no more, having been killed in his fight with Sabbac. Hawkman takes Fate's helmet and self-duplicates and takes hold of Sabbac on the throne. There, together with Black Adam, they overpower Sabbac. Black Adam then picks Sabbac and literally tears him into two.

Black Adam: The New King of Kahndaq?

The remaining members of the Justice Society depart, with Hawkman now willing to leave Black Adam Alone. Adrianna and her son and brother remain and encourage Black Adam to sit on the throne of Kahndaq. And so he does.

Black Adam sitting on the throne in Kahndaq
Black Adam sitting on the throne in Kahndaq. Source: DC.

Our Rating

Perhaps the most action-packed of recent movies from DC, Black Adam is a thrill to watch. It comes packed with so many mind-blowingly good action scenes, and an impeccable story to boot. We absolutely enjoyed watching the movie, especially on loudspeaker with a home theater, for the crazy sound and action scenes. We loved the movie and rate it 9/10. Be sure to watch it and do enjoy!


Will there be a Black Adam Sequel?

We are uncertain whether there will be a sequel to Black Adam. Dwayne Johnson, actor, and owner of one of the companies producing the movie: Seven Bucks Productions, recently expressed uncertainty on the same. Johnson recently met with DC's new Co-CEOs James Gunn and Peter Safran and said that a sequel to Black Adam was not in DC's "immediate future".

Is Black Adam a Hero or a Villain?

Well, to be honest, a little bit of both. On one hand, Black Adam is merciless and rarely takes hostages. On the other, he saves Adrianna and her family's lives. He also helps free Kahndaq. Therefore, Black Adam is both a hero and a villain; even as in the movie he is depicted as a villain who turns to good and becomes a hero.