The Stream: You have to pay for Disney+ to watch it! Ok, fine slightly long and over the top
The Big Screen: Truly creative and visually stunning with some solid music
The Final Bill: Beyoncé captivates imaginations with Afro-centric vibes and reimagined Lion King-S2S:Movie Review and Trip Fontaine
Directors: Emmanuel Adjei, Blitz Bazawule | 1 more credit »
Stars: Beyoncé, Adut Akech, Yemi Alade, Michael Franklin| See full cast & crew
Genre: Adventure, Drama, Fantasy, Musical
Runtime: 1 hour 19 minutes
Does a visual album count as film? Who cares! It has Beyoncé in it and is an hour plus. Since we spent the time to bask in the glow of the Queen, we might as well review the King. Black is King is a visual album inspired by The Lion King and only found on Disney+.
Musically, the sounds are familiar for her but definitely provide new vibes that Mrs. Carter hasn’t produced before. The embrace of the afro beat has become popular throughout hip hop culture over the last few years. Yoncé is definitely going to take it to the next level with Black is King. There is no way to watch this piece of art and not be intrigued by the culture, sounds, and dances. But what am I doing here. Let’s get to what we do best, movie reviews.
On top of the music of this album, there is also the visual of this film. No, there isn’t a traditional script that actors recite, but a story is still told. Ms. Knowles was truly inspired by her experience on The Lion King. The viewer certainly gets that from the vibes, setting, costumes and all of the design of Black is King, but there are also interjected lines from The Lion King that help facilitate the visual album’s story. The film is quite stunning. The outfits are to die for, the settings are spectacular and the cinematography is top notch. It’s truly like a music video that last over an hour but unlike music videos you do not want it to end. If this reaches mainstream *cough cough* I feel a strong wave of gentrification coming. This film should truly evoke pride in black/African/diaspora heritage, or at least interest in such. By the same token, it will captivate colonizers to start a new wave of gentrification.
Trip Fontaine: If I can just interject, here! Yes, cinematography is captivating. The costumes are stunning. There is a lot of style in Black is King. Is there perhaps more style than substance? I feel a little bit like The Lion King motif is a crutch. What’s really interesting here beyond the strength of the visuals is the theme about the beauty and excellence in blackness. I do not think the evoking of The Lion King is necessary. It’s nice that Beyoncé was inspired by her experience on that movie, but that inspiration doesn’t have to be so literal here. For me, “Brown Skin Girl” is a highlight. The women captured in that segment are just luminous – I didn’t want that section to end. I wanted more of that to shine through, but I was distracted by trying to fit everything into The Lion King storyline, which was an unfortunate frustration.
Needless to say, the Beyhive will flood Disney+ for this, as they should. This is true Yoncé brilliance and creativity. The biggest box of popcorn won’t be enough for them. For all of the regulars aka normal people who just enjoy Beyoncé, music and creative art pieces, this is definitely something to watch, but you don’t have to waste your free Disney+ trial just for this only. For you all, this is a bowl of popcorn purely for the opulence of setting and filming and the Queen B, of course.