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“Call Her King” Review: Naturi Naughton Stars in Thrilling New Film

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Where to stream it? BET+ (Premieres Thursday, July 6th, 2023)

Starring: Naturi Naughton, Lance Gross, Jason Mitchell, Shiobann Amisial, Johnny Messner, Nicholas Turturro, Garrett Hendricks

Written by: Wes Miller

Directed by: Wes Miller

Intro: Call Her King Review

Call Her King is an entertaining new action thriller that premieres on Thursday, July 6th. Directed and written by Wes Miller, the movie will stream exclusively on BET+. The engaging and empowering film was a thrill to watch, despite its obvious flaws.

The film opens with Jaeda King, played by Naturi Naughton, in the same martial arts scene as shown in the trailer. She's struggling with her marriage and puts her all into her work. As a Black woman and the youngest justice appointed to the court, she's gone through her fair share of public disapproval.

Everything changes when she sentences Sean Samuels (Jason Mitchell) to death for the murder of multiple people. Sean claims he is innocent. His brother, Gabriel Samuels (Lance Gross), comes up with a master plan to hijack the court at the same time as Sean’s sentencing.

A Fantastic Start

The first two thirds of this movie were extremely captivating and well-paced. From the way that some shots are framed, to the way that much of the character movement is choreographed, the cinematography was one of the best parts of the film. 

In the beginning, Call Her King surpassed many of my expectations. I was impressed by the set design, the funny dialog, and the tension build up. 

The plot was very well layered. It was only an action thriller on the surface. There were many deeper topics discussed, such as the misconduct that goes on within our legal system and racial injustice.

The Final Third of The Movie

There was a point in the film towards the end where believability took a steep decline. The concept of the movie itself is already a bit outlandish, but for most of the film, Miller did a great job at immersing the viewer.

Earlier I mentioned King doing martial arts in the opening scene. Well, that was the only scene that brings up King’s martial arts background. Until, near the end, when we are reminded that all this time, she had the ability to snap limbs and toss around people double her size.

Scenes of King studying martial arts could’ve been sprinkled a bit more throughout the movie to show us more of her journey to becoming a stronger and more disciplined fighter. Instead, her martial arts background is ignored for most of the movie, and used as a plot convenience.

There’s also an unnecessary twist at the end that completely undermines the entire plot. The twist opens up a bunch of plot holes, and might leave the viewer with more questions than answers. But overall, the movie was still quite enjoyable.

Naughton and Gross Give Good Performances

Naturi Naughton portrays her character well. She really shines in scenes that require a lot of emotional depth. Many of her line deliveries feel very authentic. 

Lance Gross also does an exceptional job at acting in the role of the vengeful brother. His facial expressions and vocal delivery showcase a wonderful display of talent. Gross, most known for his role as Calvin on House of Payne, has proven himself to have quite the acting range.

Final Thoughts: Call Her King

The movie showed a lot of potential. Wes Miller is a wonderful director, and will undoubtedly continue to get even better. 

The casting for Call Her King was fantastic, as everyone’s role felt like it was meant for them. I was heavily engaged in the story throughout most of the film. And Naturi Naughton absolutely nailed the assignment!

There are some details towards the end, that if changed, could’ve improved the movie massively. But nonetheless, the movie is funny and captivating enough to give a watch.

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Kayla Newton
Kayla Newton
Kayla Newton is a young writer from New York. She has a degree in Television and Film Production from St. John’s University. After her time in college, she decided to build her portfolio and do some video editing and screenwriting of her own. In addition to her love of tv and film, she also enjoys writing music and creating video game content as a hobby.
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