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135 min.
Gina Prince-Bythewood
Action, Drama, History
Rating *
Votes *
4.5% (1:22)
* View IMDb information

Top comments

  1. Siskoid's avatar


    If you liked Black Panther and are looking forward to Wakanda Forever, why not go see its historical inspiration? The Woman King presents an idealized view of the Agojie, the warrior women of the Dahomey Kingdom (today: Benin), as they fight slave traders from neighboring tribes and Europe. I say idealized, because 1) the fighting is amazing and pushes this from "war film" to "action movie", and 2) they give the best intentions to Dahomey's leadership regarding slavery, but in reality, they only stopped (briefly!) because of Abolitionist blockades. Revisionism or not, it makes for a rousing experience. Viola Davis is a powerhouse as the Agojie general, leading a strong cast just as her character does an army. We're introduced to this world through a raw recruit played by Thuso Mbedu, but the movie juggles a lot of characters effectively - three veterans and three recruits in particular - and was weakest where they forced a relationship between Davis and Mbedu that felt a little too Dickensian for my tastes. But as I've often said, Africa is the next big geographical story engine and I'm always happy to go back to the continent for more. 2 months ago
  2. KuroSawWhat's avatar


    In the Japanese animated TV show, Naruto, a bunch of young students enlist to become ninja warriors to defend their village from various dangers. A large amount of time is spent in following their training, in evaluating their skills, and in their graduation to become ultimate ninja warriors. One of the students--the titular Naruto--is a smart little sass-mouth brat who doesn't follow the rules and has a hidden secret sealed within him. Along the path of the story, there are many meaningless side plots that the show would probably be better off not including, and they eventually face a major threat to the survival of the village.

    The Woman King follows this outline perfectly.

    It is nice to see a very African-feeling major Hollywood production. The story held my interest consistently throughout the film, but never elevated itself into something special. The direction and scene composition are little better than what one might expect from a moderately-budgeted TV series, and the battle scenes are quite messy, without a clear idea of what is happening from moment to moment. I would never call any of it bad, just uninspiring.

    The many subplots which the film meanders into water down what could have otherwise been a taught story about the internal politics and survival of this African kingdom. And as someone who recently spent close to a month on the continent, I did not care for the color-grading applied to the film--particularly when outdoors--which felt far too gloomy. If there is one thing that Africa is not, it's gloomy.

    However the sets, costumes, hair styles, dances, speech patterns, tribal cheers, and general look of the film was a joy! The story is very old-style Hollywood, with rather predictable twists and turns, but it was nice to see the old tropes of "joining the elite club" playing out in a new setting.

    I enjoyed seeing this in Dolby Cinema, which certainly added to the experience with plenty a chair-punches and thumps. It's worth seeing, but isn't changing anything much in cinema. You could wait for streaming.
    For anyone wondering about the various controversies surrounding this picture.. No, this is not a "girl boss" woke fest. Yes, it addresses the fact that absolutely everyone's hands were dirty in the slave trade, repeatedly. And very little time is spent talking about or showing white folks.

    By in large, this is a movie about internal African issues. I found that to be the most interesting thing about it.
    2 months 3 weeks ago
  3. CodeV's avatar


    A great story, splendidly told. We are all humans and we all need freedom. 1 week 1 day ago
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