The Woman King15¦ 4K UHD, Blu-ray, DVD
It’s almost universally understood that the world would be a better place if women ruled it. Those few who disagree are mostly those men in power doing a really terrible job.
And when it comes to war, well, there wouldn’t be, because woman are smarter than that, and resolve any issue before the fists come out.
But if it did come to fisty cuffs, we already know an army of women would be badass, after all, we’ve all seen Wonder Woman.
But here’s a thought for you: who could give those Amazonian fighters a run for their money? Well, another army of women of course.
West Africa, 1823, and the kingdom of Dahomey is receiving unwelcome attention from Europe and America, as they’re sailing across vast waters to claim natives as slaves.
King Ghezo (John Boyega) has the right idea, with an elite army of women under the command of the impressive warrior Nanisca (Viola Davis). They have just taken in some young women, one of whom is the independent-minded Nawi (Thuso Mbedu), who they offer to train as warriors. Nawi agrees, which is just as well, as a Portuguese slave trader has just made a deal with the local tribe, which is going to cause bad blood between them all.
But with the mighty warrior Nanisca on their side, woe betide any man or woman that gets in her way in a fight.
Actress Viola Davis has had a truly impressive career to date, on both stage and screen; in fact she’s one of a talented few who have achieved an EGOT – someone who has won an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony. She has then, done and won it all.
And even though she’s a spritely 57, she decided to take on this hugely physically demanding role. And she kills it. Perhaps it was the fact that this would be the rarest of opportunities, especially for a more mature woman of colour, to kick ass on the big screen, that drew her in. And she doesn’t disappoint, giving her all, especially in some really impressive fighting sequences, which will tire most audiences out just watching it from the comfort of their chairs.
And although she impresses, she’s not the only one, as director Gina Prince-Bythewood has struck gold on the casting front; the young Mbedu certainly dazzles, but so do many other members of the cast, making it thoroughly entertaining. And when these formidable female warriors are in full flow in battle, there’s one word that describes them best – fierce.
It feels the director has learnt lessons from the underwhelming The Old Guard, and honed her skills in all areas with this one. It’s got a great look and feel to it, and the story does enough to get you from start to finish. It’s the rich characters however that really drive the film along with some exciting action sequences that seals the deal. She does such a great job that if a murmurs of a sequel were uttered, you could sign us up on the spot.
But much like her character, Davis shows true courage and bravery, taking on such a demanding role so late on in her career, proving that women of any age, or colour for that matter, can go head to head with their male counterparts any time, making for an impressive reign.