‘The Woman King’: Don’t Believe the Hype

A few months ago a film entered theaters that got people talking. It was a movie focused on the African warrior women, the Agojie, who protected the Dahomey Kingdom in present-day Benin. That sounds like a really great idea, right? Well, the result was anything but.

The Woman King, featuring a predominantly Black cast and a Black director, is a movie that rightfully should be celebrated but its generic storytelling that was predictable at roughly every turn left me feeling hollow as I watched the film.

The story itself was so unbelievably bland and the acting was okay but not as worthy of the praise I’ve been hearing. There was a shoehorned romance between the main character, Thuso Mbedo’s Nawi, and a half-Dahomey, half-Portugese man played by Jordan Bolger (The Book of Boba Fett) that felt so ridiculously unnecessary. The action scenes were fine but at times it felt like the warriors were doing fancy stunts and tricks with their weapons entirely for spectacle instead of convincing me of their warrior prowess.

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‘Amsterdam’: A Surprisingly Fantastic Ride

I’ve seen a lot of Christian Bale movies and all of them have been either decent to downright incredible. Amsterdam, the film starring big names like Christian Bale, Margot Robbie, John David Washington, Rami Malek, Anya Taylor-Joy, Robert di Niro, Chris Rock, Zoe Saldana, and Taylor Swift came out in October to an utterly dismal reception. Not only were the returning box-office numbers wince-worthy but the film received a less-than-enthusiastic reception.

A few days ago, I decided to watch it because it is now on HBO Max and low-and-behold, it was actually kind of amazing. The film features a story that starts as a whodunnit murder mystery and transforms into something much bigger that actually taught me some fascinating history I didn’t really know about.

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