Movie reviews: ‘The Woman King’ warriors dominate the screen

Sep 30, 2022, 4:05 AM | Updated: 5:14 am

(facebook Photo/The Woman King)...

(facebook Photo/The Woman King)

(facebook Photo/The Woman King)

PHOENIX — A team of female warriors protects an African kingdom in the 1800s and twin boys notice something different about their bandaged mother in two of September’s biggest movie releases. All from Gayle Bass on films released this month:

“The Woman King”: You can throw any kind of role at Oscar winner Viola Davis and she will do marvelously well. In “The Woman King,” she oozes charisma and power with or without weapons as Nanisca, the leader of the Agojie in the 19th century. Agojie warriors were an all-female group of Amazon Dahomey women warriors in Benin who took a vows of chastity to protect their kingdom and each other.

As depicted in the film, they even take in the conquered to their ranks along with women deemed unwanted or unlovable. The story opens, as most of these warrior films do, with political trouble. The African slave trade and rival kingdoms are Nanisca’s toughest challenges, besides being beholden to a king (John Boyega) whose views on the slave trade haven’t quite evolved as much. There is a heavy dose of political ambition, romance, secrets and palace intrigue to go along with the fight sequences because you have to have some of those in a film that purports to show women warriors.

And fight fiercely and talentedly they do. There are fewer fights and less blood than this viewer expected which earned the film it’s PG-13 rating. Even so, this tale of strong women did what it was supposed to do – it entertains.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

“Good Night Mommy”: In this remake of an Austrian horror film, you’ve got a woman in a mask, twins and lonely atmosphere surrounding a rural house and barn. These area all the hallmarks of something that’s supposed to be creepy and weird. Naomi Watts proves to be the anti-Carol Brady.

She’s a star who has had a little work done and doesn’t seem all that excited about getting a visit from the kids. Her sons (Cameron and Nicholas Crovetti) at first are excited to see mom, but things start making one believe all isn’t right in the state of mommy-hood. No mental heavy lifting is required for this this mystery for a rainy afternoon. Watch for the performances, not the mystery.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars

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Movie reviews: ‘The Woman King’ warriors dominate the screen