Movie Reviews

The Woman King Movie Review

 The Woman King is a beautiful and action packed movie that deserves to be remembered for years to come. This follows a group of all-female warriors, the Agojie, who protect the African Kingdom of Dahomey against a foreign enemy. 

 The performances of the cast was the driving force behind the success of this movie. Each of these cast members brought these characters to life and it made me deeply connected to each of them. Viola Davis, as Dahomey general Nanisca, is not only an awe-inspiring action star performing stunts like what you’d expect from Schwarzeneger or Stalone, but also perfectly portrays the emotional strain inflicted upon her character. Lashana Lynch as Izogie was my favorite performance in the film because she made her character look the most like a superhero. Izogie was confident, skillful, funny, and compassionate and I was glued to the screen whenever she was on. 

The story of The Woman King, while not historically accurate, is both powerful and inspiring and I was forced to stand and applaud once it was over. It was captivating to have a movie focused on warrior women who were not only able to stand up to warrior men from rival tribes and European slave traders, but to also be able to defeat them. It’s refreshing to not have women in a victimized role for once and for their story to not be overshadowed by men. On top of that, any movie that shows slave owners getting beaten up is always going to be fun to watch.

As mentioned earlier, the story of The Woman King is not historically accurate. While in the movie, the Dahomey starts off as slave traders but later on kick out the Europeans from Africa and end the slave trade, but in real life, the Dahomey were very active participants in the slave trade and continued to do so well into the late 1800s. Granted, if it weren’t for the intervention and demand of European nations, the Dahomey most likely wouldn’t have participated in such a horrific practice. Unfortunately they did, and The Woman King takes great creative liberties when sculpting this story.  

The Woman King is listed as an action movie as well as a drama and the action definitely lived up to its expectations. The film was full of epic battle sequences and training montages that kept me well entertained throughout its two hour runtime. The fight choreography was brutal, showcasing the harsh emotions of these characters, but it was also fluid, which demonstrated their honed skills in battle. The best fight was the opening scene where Nanisca and her Agojie warriors slowly rose out of the shadows of the tall grass and attacked their enemies. It set the tone for the incredible action to come in the movie.

My only issue with the action though was that it was hindered by a PG-13 rating. The way the Agojie fight in this movie is brutal. They use sharp nails to poke out eyeballs, chop limbs with machete’s, and slice throats with knives; one would expect this movie to be a bloody mess. However, in the aftermath of these battles, the women are only dirty and just barely bloody. It was of- putting for me because when I watch a scene where a man is getting his stomach cut open, my brain expects blood and guts to come pouring out because that’s what happens. Instead, there would just be a quick red line that appears before the camera cuts away. If The Woman King was given an R rating, the action would have been a bit more believable.

Overall, The Woman King as a movie is one of the greatest movies of 2022. It had a triumphant story, brilliant performances, and breathtaking action sequences. Of all the movies that came out in the summer of 2022, The Woman King is King!