The Woman King

The Woman King ★★★★½

By being both highly entertaining and action-packed, The Woman King is freaking great. When the trailer for the movie was released, I knew that I had to see it. I'm happy to report that the movie is just as good if not better than its trailer. So much about this movie works so well. The story is told very well and kept my attention the whole time, the cinematography is fantastic with plenty of gorgeous shots, the musical score is solid, and the direction from Gina Prince Bythewood is great. The movie also boasts some pacing that moves along pretty well, amazing production/costume designs, and a lot of very strong dramatic moments. The two best things about this movie though have to be the action scenes and the performances. First off, the action scenes are just amazing. They are well-choreographed, brutal as fuck, and just feel so epic, especially on the big screen. Also, if you're worried about the PG-13 rating, don't be. The action is still filled with violence, brutality, and a pretty big body count. It's a movie that pretty much pushes the PG-13 rating as much as it can but I had no issues with that at all. Then you have the acting. All of the actors in this movie are phenomenal. Viola Davis gives probably one of the best performances I've ever seen from her. It's easily her fiercest role yet and on top of having such screen presence, there is also way much more depth behind her and the character she plays of Nanisca. As I said, this is one of the best performances I've seen from Davis and that is truly saying something when we're talking about one of the best actresses in Hollywood. The rest of the cast is also fantastic. John Boyega is great in his role, and Thuso Mbedu is amazing in her first-ever film role. However, if there is one person that steals the show in this movie alongside Viola Davis, it is Lashana Lynch. Between being such a badass and bringing a lot of much-needed levity to the movie, she is one of the main standouts of the movie. Speaking of levity, the movie also balances that with the very serious tone insanely well. The movie isn't without its humorous moments and thankfully most of them do work. The movie isn't laugh-out-loud hilarious but I got a few genuine laughs out of it and it never got to a point where those moments clashed with the dramatic moments. They are used at just the right time when you need a little bit of levity to come back from all of the brutality and drama that you've seen. If I did have any issues with the movie, it would be that there is a romantic subplot that honestly didn't need to be there. It doesn't get to a point where it's annoying, but it's just something that wasn't all that necessary. Also, as much as I was engaged with this movie, I would be lying if I said that it wasn't a little too conventional at times. Outside of that though, I've got nothing but praise for this movie. Overall, The Woman King is just fantastic! It succeeds so well at being a crowdpleaser that I couldn't help but clap at some points during the movie. It's just a brilliant historical epic/action drama that is best experienced in the movie theater. For people who continue to complain that Hollywood only makes movies based on popular franchises and IP, go and see stuff like The Woman King in the theater. You might realize that what you're saying isn't exactly all that true.

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