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The Woman King (Film Review)

3 min read

Do you ever just watch a film that sticks with you long after you watch it? Well, look no further than ; an action-epic that fires on all cylinders from start to finish. It is rare nowadays to get a mid-budget action film in a landscape that is primarily ruled by superhero movies, it is refreshing to see a film that can be ruthless in its action while also dealing with some fantastic emotion from its cast. 

The Woman King tells the story of the Agojie, an all-female unit of warriors who protected the African Kingdom of Dahomey in the 1800s. The film focuses on General Nanisca (, The Suicide Squad) as she trains the next generation of recruits and readies them for battle against an enemy that is determined to destroy their way of life. 

From the opening sequence, you can clearly tell that The Woman King is going to be a film unlike anything we have seen in years. From a filmmaking standpoint, it's outstanding. Gina Prince-Bythewood's direction is fantastic, and you can hear her voice come through the screen, in a way, through the characters. 

The action choreography on display is jaw-dropping. The action sequences that are scattered throughout the film are great and feel ruthless and bloody while maintaining that PG-13 rating. The action never seems to be choppy but instead focuses on the violence and Prince-Bythewood is able to make the scenes feel epic and make them feel grand in scale. The action in the third act feels massive, ruthless and particularly bloody. 

The performances across the board are fantastic too. As always, Viola Davis knocks it out of the park as a General who is troubled by her past. Davis commands the screen the same way she is able to command her army (brilliantly). Her performance here is genuinely worthy of awards as she is able to balance the more intimate and emotional sequences while commanding an army in battle. 

However, while Davis is great, and Thuso Mbedu steal the show. These two bring a lot of the heart to the film with a friendship that acts as the heart of the entire film. After seeing Lynch in No Time to Die and now The Woman King, they show she is capable of leading a film on her own and that she has a bright career ahead of her. Mbedu, too, is fantastic here and gives a breakout performance that'll be remembered for years to come!

The Woman King also runs at an incredibly brisk pace. At two hours and fifteen minutes, it never drags and always maintains momentum. While the action sequences are rare, the screenplay is tightly written and is able to keep that hook through the quieter moments. There is never a dull moment, with the narrative always pushing the story forward.

The Woman King is an excellent action-epic that is an essential watch for everyone. The actresses all involved are excellent and the action is gritty and brilliantly choreographed. We need more movies like this from Hollywood and this is a classic in the making.

The Woman King is in UK cinemas now. 

The Woman King is in UK cinemas now!