Call Her King (Movie Review)

Judge Jaeda King (Naturi Naughton: Notorious 2009, Power series) entered the judicial system with the best of intentions, hoping to make a difference and deliver justice to the best of her ability. However, her job is not easy, and as Call Her King opens, Jaeda is not having a good day. Firstly, her martial arts class did not go very well. Then she found herself getting into an argument with her husband who she feels just does not understand her and lastly, though certainly not least, she arrives at work to overhear a couple of other judges making racist and sexist comments about her.

Call Her King / BET+ (2023)

Jaeda’s day was already set to be tricky as today is the day that she will sentence Sean Samuels (Jason Mitchell: Straight Outta Compton 2015, Detroit 2017) who is guilty of multiple homicides. Just as she declares that Samuels will receive the death penalty, the court is stormed and then hijacked by Samuels’ brother Gabriel aka Black Caesar (Lance Gross: House of Payne series, Sleepy Hollow series). As the situation intensifies, Jaeda must find a way to end the standoff and keep everyone safe. Meanwhile, Black Caesar begins to stage his own trial against his brother’s prosecutor.

Premiering via BET+ on July 6, 2023, and Written/directed by Wes Miller (Hell on the Border 2019, A Day to Die 2022), Call Her King is both an Action film, plus one with a political message. Whilst Jaeda takes care of the action in a style not unlike a Die Hard film, Black Caesar’s part of the story brings political interest more akin to a traditional courtroom drama. These two storylines running concurrently could have been jarring for the audience, but Miller balances the two well and allows the film not to become too stagnant in one or the other.

Call Her King / BET+ (2023)

Call Her King is perhaps fun if rather disposable as an Action film, after all it is nothing that the audience has not seen before. Where the film shines is in the highly topical issues that it raises about the justice system. As aspects of how fair Samuels’ trial actually were come to light and as the role that Jaeda played in the fairness of his trial are revealed, Call Her King evolves beyond being more than a throwaway Action flick.

It is slightly difficult to tell how seriously the audience should treat Jaeda as a kick-ass action hero. Certainly not because she is a woman with a notoriously serious job that many would not attribute with having martial arts skills – that only makes her an even more interesting character. Rather it is because Jaeda is somewhat complicit in the unfairness of the system and her role in that complicity is never addressed in a way in which she might take responsibility.

That aside, Call Her King is worth a watch for those who prefer female led Action films with more about them than just action sequences. That is why Cryptic Rock gives it 3 out of 5 stars.

Call Her King / BET+ (2023)

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