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Eric Smiley

The Woman King (2022)

The Woman King (2022)  

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  1. 1. What'd You Think?



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the hurricane of cliches makes me not like it as much as I wanted. No idea if they have an ounce of truth to them, but I suspect not, to be more palatable to a wide audience.

 

That's my biggest gripe, because I'm not certain if the weird dark cast on bright shots was intentional or our weird projector.

 

C

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I thought this was pretty awesome. Is it historically accurate? Absolutely not. But it isn't pretending to be a history lesson and that's fine. Instead, it seeks to provide a rousing crowd-pleaser, and Gina Prince-Blythewood delivers. The action choreography is incredible and deserves to win Stunt Ensemble at the SAG Awards. Excellent costume and production design as well, but the movie wouldn't work nearly as well as it does without such a strong cast bringing it to life. Viola Davis has established herself as someone who automatically brings dignity to every project she's a part of, and not only does she achieve that again here, she also proves herself as a highly believable action star. The entire ensemble is great though, with newcomer Thuso Mbedu standing out in what should end up being a major breakthrough performance. It could've lost some of the little plot detours it takes at times, but the entire product is so entertaining that I didn't care. This is the kind of thrilling spectacle that movie theaters were made for. A-

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SPOILERS AHEAD

 

Felt almost like a really solid book adaptation, and I mean that in the best way possible. Usually when I read a book, I can picture it as a movie in my head. But with this, I could almost picture this movie being a beloved YA-type novel that's receiving a well-made film adaptation. It goes through a lot of the motions of YA books:

 

- The new rebellious "kid" joins a school for some type of gifted people.

- There they meet various mentor figures (one of whom usually dies) and come across other "students" some of whom they befriend and some of whom they develop rivalries with.

- They discover some family secret about their heritage or ancestry. 

- They become the "favourite" of the head of this 'school' for gifted individuals.

 

I could go on, but even though a lot of these tropes in the movie are very familiar, they are executed very well, with strong acting, and excellent pacing and art direction. The only gripe I would have really is a gripe I usually have with book adaptations, in that the story is larger than can be told in a 2 hour film, so certain elements are usually shortened up or almost relegated to montages (here, their training felt very quick, with only the bare minimum being shown to the audience).

 

Overall, I really really loved this, and will likely watch it again once it hits streaming. A.

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So I waited all week to watch this because I was seeing it with a friend and I wanted to watch a couple reviews after I had seen this. First my friend who knew nothing of the mini controversy and was mildly interested in this said she loved it. Was very entertained by it. I was also entertained. This was a good film for me. The director described it as historical fiction and that's fine for me. Was this kingdom saints. Absolutely not but  who was back then anyway. They covered the topic of the slave trade and african kingdoms being involved in it. That's good enough for me. I loved the music in this film and the actors did a very good job. Viola Davis and Lynch leave a memorable impression. There's good action and the story was easy to follow. I almost want to see it again and kind of wish I saw it opening weekend with a larger audience. 

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