The trailer for "The Woman King" would have you believe that the film is one constant, nonstop action romp. Alas, you have been misled! But what else are Hollywood marketing departments for than to trick potential viewers. More of a talky drama and less of an action extravaganza, "The Woman King" tells a revisionist, alternative history of the fierce Dahomey kingdom. I am no historian, so, when walking into this movie, I knew literally zero of whatever the true story may be; instead, I simply desired a film with an engaging plot, and well-shot action sequences. "The Woman King" has none of those to offer.
For a film that advertises the brutality of its characters, "The Woman King" is surprisingly bloodless. With action scenes filmed in the typical close-up shaky camera style, this movie, in terms of its action, offers up nothing that you haven't already seen before, and seen done better. During large-scale battles the camera shakes, as if the cameraman himself is having a seizure; the violence is censored and neutered, with a lot of the kills occurring offscreen - because a movie about slavery just has to be dumbed down to PG-13 to become family friendly! Film is a business, after all.
Luckily, you will find some entertainment value - or at least I did - when viewing the culture of the Dahomey tribe. I can't speak to the historical accuracy of what the film portrayed, but I do enjoy movies that show in such detail the culture of people who lived long ago, so I certainly enjoyed the various traditions and rituals that were shown on screen. Alas, I do have a complaint when it comes to this, though: What I thought would be my favorite part of the film, the military training, almost seemed like an afterthought with it taking up only a small amount of screen time. What, then, did the film focus on? Mediocre melodrama.
With actresses that act so well you wonder if they were preordained for success in the film industry, "The Woman King" boasts Viola Davis and Lashana Lynch, two women who consistently give powerhouse performances. And while their performances are well done in this movie, the problem lies in the fact that "The Woman King" has a weak script. Instead of telling a straightforward story about fighting back against slavers, for some reason the movie decides to add plot threads (including an underwritten and unbelievable romance) that I, frankly, didn't care about. So while I enjoyed the acting, I couldn't help but feel taken out of and bored with the movie since the storylines never really grabbed me - a lot of it felt like it was taken out of a comic book or graphic novel, complete with a revenge subplot that was borderline unnecessary in a movie that was already about seeking revenge against those who have enslaved them.
A crowd pleaser through and through, "The Woman King" is receiving both critical and general audience acclaim; with an A+ rating on Cinemascore, I'm sure that most will walk into and enjoy it for the historical epic that it is. However, the bloated plot, weak script, and worst of all, the watered down, unfulfilling, and incomprehensible action kept me from fully finding entertainment value in this movie because, as I often say, when the action in your action movie sucks, your movie sucks. And while "The Woman King" doesn't suck, it's not nearly as good as it would have you believe.
The Woman King
Action / Drama / History
The Woman King
Action / Drama / History
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The Woman King is the remarkable story of the Agojie, the all-female unit of warriors who protected the African Kingdom of Dahomey in the 1800s with skills and a fierceness unlike anything the world has ever seen. Inspired by true events, The Woman King follows the emotionally epic journey of General Nanisca (Oscar®-winner Viola Davis) as she trains the next generation of recruits and readies them for battle against an enemy determined to destroy their way of life. Some things are worth fighting for.
Uploaded by: FREEMAN
November 01, 2022 at 07:47 PM