Black Adam

image for Black Adam

Short takes

Not suitable under 13; parental guidance to 14 (violence, scary scenes)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Black Adam
  • a review of Black Adam completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 27 October 2022.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 13 Not suitable due to violence and scary scenes.
Children aged 13–14 Parental guidance recommended due to violence and scary scenes.
Children over the age of 14 Ok for this age group.

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.

Name of movie: Black Adam
Classification: M
Consumer advice lines: Fantasy themes and violence
Length: 125 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Amon (Bodhi Sabongui) is a young boy who enjoys taunting the occupying forces of his country, Kahndaq. Amon’s mother, Adrianna (Sarah Shahi), is wanted by the forces as a dissident. She is looking into the ancient mythology of her country, which dates back to 2600B.C. Together with her brother, Karim (Mohammed Amer), and friend, Ishmael (Marwan Kanzari), they go in search of a mythical crown said to have mighty powers and which once belonged to the King. While searching for the crown, they awaken the sleeping Teth (Black) Adam (Dwayne Johnson) who has been lying dormant for 5000 years. Teth had died fighting the King but was given almighty powers by the gods in order to fight the evil rule of the king. However, he was then imprisoned when the gods realised he had misused these powers.

Amon and Adrianna believe Teth to be the champion of their country who has come back to save them from the tyranny of oppression. Teth Adam, however, is not the person they think he is. The Justice Society, consisting of Dr Fate (Pierce Brosnan), Hawkman (Aldis Hodge), Cyclone (Quintessa Swindell) and Atom Smasher (Noah Centinio), arrive on the scene to prevent Teth Adam from destroying Kahndaq. They have to deal not only with Teth Adam and the occupying forces, but also with the local people who believe Teth to be their champion. Teth Adam must also decide what side of history he wants to lie on.

Themesinfo

Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Fantasy violence; Super-heroes; Anti-heroes.

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

There is a lot of stylised violence in this movie, including plenty of fighting; throwing of characters; destruction of buildings, cars, helicopters, planes and people; and explosions but very little blood and gore. Some examples include:

  • Black Adam takes on many soldiers who fire weapons at him to no avail. Adam grabs one of the soldiers by the neck, who then burns to a crisp in Adam’s hand and his head falls off. Adam then destroys all the soldiers.
  • The soldiers attack Amon, pushing him to the ground. Adrianna then attacks the soldiers.
  • Black Adam and Hawkman fight on several occasions.
  • Ishmael shoots Karim in the stomach. Karim is seen with a bloody wound.
  • Black Adam recalls seeing his wife slaughtered by the King’s men, which is shown in shadows. He also remembers his son, Harut, being shot dead with an arrow.
  • In the final battle scene, Ishmael is split in half by a weapon.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children under the age of five, including the following:

  • There are several very scary characters in this movie, including Black Adam who has a burning heart and whose eyes turn blue and send out electricity. There is also the evil King, the ancient wizards, the reborn Ishmael, and other dark creatures with mighty powers. Some of them speak in low, distorted voices.
  • Several scenes of dark magic with fire, thunder and lightning.

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes and scary visual images, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children aged five to eight, including the following:

  • In ancient Kahndaq, the people are treated as slaves and made to dig in the hot sun for hours for a precious metal.
  • Cyclone whips up storms that sends everything flying.
  • Atom Smasher transforms into a giant-size character who towers over everyone.
  • Dr Fate can replicate himself into many characters.

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children aged eight to thirteen, including the following:

  • Black Adam falls to Earth and appears dead.
  • A character points a gun at Amon’s head.
  • Burning skeletons are seen behaving like zombies.
  • Dr Fate sees the death of a character in a vision.
  • A huge, evil-looking, fiery creature appears, overshadowing all the other characters.
  • Ishmael is reborn as an evil character with super powers and uses fire to destroy things.
  • A major character is killed by Ishmael.
  • Black Adam appears dead and sees himself reunited with his family but his son tells him that his life isn’t finished yet and he has to return to Kahndaq.

Over thirteeninfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

  • Nothing further of concern.

Product placement

The following products are displayed or used in this movie:

  • DC and Marvel characters.

Sexual references

  • None noted.

Nudity and sexual activity

  • None noted.

Use of substances

There is some use of substances in this movie, including:

  • Magic and fantasy powers.

Coarse language

There is some coarse language in this movie, including:

  • Piss off
  • Arse
  • Bloody Hell
  • Shit.

In a nutshell

Black Adam is a super-hero, adventure movie based on the title character who was a villain in the comics. The film is action packed and full of violence from the start, although it is very stylised and not very realistic. The film is also full of scary scenes and characters and for these reasons, it isn’t suitable for children under 13 and parental guidance is recommended for 13–14 year-olds.

The main messages from this movie are that no-one is all good or all bad and that there are grey areas in defining what is good or bad. Also, the movie promotes the belief that heroes don’t kill people when sometimes they actually do.

Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include:

  • Self-sacrifice
  • Heroism
  • Strong female character
  • Bravery.

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children attitudes and behaviours, and their real-life consequences, such as:

  • Why Black Adam was such a violent character.
  • Whether violence is always the answer to problems or can they be solved in other ways?