|Index||9 reviews in total|
As a South African, it's an insult to think that someone was actually
paid to produce this nonsense!
Despite the fact that the director was one of the writers for the original Shaka Zulu mini, this "addition" to the series is appalling! The original series was based on historical facts about a man who was a great strategist, leader and warrior. A man who played a large role in shaping the history of local tribes in South Africa.
The plot of this film, however, is nothing but hogwash, scraped from the bottom of the barrel by a writer that has failed to impress since the mid-nineties.
While Omar Sharif and Henry Cele are good actors, what is David Hasselhoff doing here, rescuing drowning slaves with his red buoy and bleached smile?
I kept expecting blond, busty women to appear out of nowhere and run across the screen in their tiny red bathing suits, for no apparent reason. Not that this would've been any more bizarre than the fantastical plot line that was probably dreamed up after 10 pints of beer at a fancy dress party, where someone's caveman costume inspired the writer to return to an African theme for his next "blockbuster".
The heading that I chose is dubious by design. I am sure that there are equal numbers of people who will rip and debase this film for its assertions of Mandigo black and white fascination with each other as well as the ever reoccurring themes of white Emperialism / superiority and the tribes of humbled Black Africans. On the flip side, others will exalt the way in which Shaka can be likened to a Shaft of the 18th century, taking on the establishment almost single handedly and winning. Grace Jones disappears after the first quarter of the film and I was disappointed that the 6 foot Amazon never quite developed into the warrior that I had predicted. All in all I think most will be pleasantly surprised about the subtle twists, adequate acting and better than low budget cinematography.
If David Hasselhoff is in it, we probably shouldn't expect much. And I
was right about him. Karen Allen was nothing to write home about either
as a potential romantic partner who seemed too dainty for a journey on
a ship of this type.
But Henry Cele did a fine job. He convincingly showed us a proud leader of African people, and although he was not a nice person in general (especially to his enemies and other nations), Shaka could be pleasant under the right circumstances. He was too dignified and smart a man to be subjected to the horrors white people had in mind for some Africans in this era. In fact, many of these African men seemed to proud and intelligent to be slaves.
Grace Jones did a good job as Shaka's wife.
One scene where an African girl had been raped was particularly hard to watch.
I'm guessing this was shown for Black History Month (sorry it took so long). It is a worthwhile look at African people. The white characters, not so much.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Yet another awful Hollywoodized piece of BS in the vein of Pearl Harbor
w/c actually gets more things right than this does. This is more than
just a work of pure fiction, it basically takes - I should say exploits
- the name Shaka Zulu but the story itself has nothing to do with the
Napoleon of Africa. It's a typical white guilt story filled with events
that are pure invention. The sets and costumes are ludicrous, the
acting is uninspired but frankly even Sir Laurence Olivier or Sir Alec
Guiness couldn't have made a silk purse out of this sow's ear.
The story makes it appear that Shaka was making a bid to take over all of Africa and indeed the sets and some characters are more appropriate for the Berber tribes of North Africa than the peoples of the South. Do the idiots writing this thing know how BIG Africa is?? Shaka fought all his life to control Zululand and the surrounding area but was never able to blitz through Africa. What happened instead was a domino effect - his conquest and defeat of the large African tribes in his vicinity would force them to leave and they would defeat other tribes as they fled from him. Some went as far as East Africa (the region around Kenya) but thats about it.
Speaking of East Africa, why the devil would they set it in EAST Africa - Shaka's Zulu Kingdom was in SOUTH Africa, near Natal. It gets worse.
With the Hoff as the action hero, Karen Allen as the damsel in distress I was getting a distinctly Indiana Jones vibe about this mess. Then they had the whole slavery story w/c is pure BS. I would seriously DARE a slaver, white or otherwise to try and make slaves of the Zulu of the period. That would have been funny to watch. In any case the slave trade was concentrated mainly around western equatorial Africa and eastern equatorial Africa. Arab slavers would take the ones from the east to Arabia and White and African slavers would raid and sell their prisoners to the whites on the west coast.
If they wanted to make a story about slavery and have the Hoff there, for pitys sake why not make a story about John Newton, the slaver who would later become a bitter opponent of slavery and write the famous song AMAZING GRACE? Whatever you do, just PASS on this piece of tripe. Get the original miniseries or find Michael Caine's debut film instead. They're a lot more fun and closer to history than this can ever hope to be.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Love for the original 1980's miniseries and an interest in the Zulu
wars caused me to pick up the American DVD. I'm not sure if that was a
good thing or bad since apparently this release, subtitled The Last
Warrior, is actually a shortened version of a recent (2001) miniseries,
I had thought it was simply a 90 minute movie.
Purely a work of fiction this film tells a story thats too big for 90 minutes. Shaka, king of the Zulu's wants to control all of Africa. He makes unsuccessful war on a rival king and ends up on a slave ship. He escapes and then vows revenge on the white race. It all comes to ahead when he threatens to lay siege to a small town. Complicating matters is the fact that there are several white men from England with Shaka. They aid him in his war and later try to free him from the slavers. Additionally, one of the men's daughter, played by Karen Allen, comes to Africa to find her "lost" father and ends up booking passage on a slave ship run by David Hasslehoff, which by chance is the ship carrying Shaka. And it gets even more complicated from there. Its a huge knot of plot that makes only fleeting sense in the "half off" version available here in the US.
I can't say I hated nor liked the short version of the movie. Its not awful but it certainly suffers from massive cuts that cause people to disappear or die after being elaborately introduced as an important character, while others become important for no clear reason. Plot holes abound and there are times when its not clear what is going on for several minutes. For example the plot to make Shaka a slave is told in such away as to make you think that he was already a slave, when in the next scene he is clearly not. Certainly this would be so much better in a longer telling of the story.
Clearly this was shot for TV. Its incredibly cheap at times, with some sets looking like the cardboard and plywood they were fashioned from, a castle hit by a cannon blast is revealed to be shoddily built. The action is low brow and just passable. The DVD carries an R rating but aside from the killing of a cow and rape there is almost no reason for it.
I do have to say that the scenes between James Fox and Henry Cele are excellent and lead me to believe that there is a better version of this out there than the 90 minute mess currently available. There are other moments that are good but Fox and Cele are the reasons that this is still watchable.
Is it worth seeing? I don't know. I know that if I could see the full version of Shaka Zulu: The Citadel I certainly would give it a shot. Would I re-watch the bastardized Shaka Zulu: The Last Warrior, as the 90 minute version is called? If there wasn't anything better on. If you're not too picky this might be worth trying if you can't find anything else to rent, its not time ill spent but there are better things to watch.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I really don't.
I watched the original mini series (1986) twice and The Citadel (2001) (just) once.
The year is 1827 in both the original mini series and The Citadel. In the original mini series it's Lt. F.G. Farewell. In The Citadel it's suddenly Captain Farewell.
In the original mini series it's unsure Farewell has a daughter. In The Citadel his wife is dead and he has a full grown daughter.
In the original mini series Shaka has a bastard son who is no more then a couple of years old. In The Citadel Shaka has a Queen and a full grown daughter.
In the original mini series Shaka lost the war he has started and he dies. In The Citadel he doesn't start a war, but choose peace and thus he lives.
Need I go on? I really don't want to.
The Citadel is watchable, and maybe even more when you haven't seen the original mini series.
Hmmmmmm... maybe I should have read the books instead of watching both series. Or even better should have sticked with the original series and not watched this one.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Amen to Magsel. There was a lot of confusion going on. First off, how
do you know which movie you are purchasing? Henry Cele stars in every
one of them. I bought this movie thinking it was the miniseries...WHAT
A LETDOWN!! It would have been a comedy but for the young girl being
raped. David Hasselhoff (spelling?) is OK for popcorn TV but he was not
believable in this film (where was his English accent?) AND WHAT'S WITH
THE LOVE STORY??? The movie was supposed to be about a young man's rise
to military power - not the slave ship captain getting jiggly with the
English maiden looking for her daddy...
If I had paid more than $7 for this movie, I would have to call the police - because that would be a crime!
Complete drivel. An unfortunate manifestation of the hypocritical, toxic culture of a decade ago. In this movie, pedestrian regrets for slavery go hand in hand with colonialist subtexts (the annoying redhead feeding Shaka rice?). Forget historical reality too. Didn't most western slaves comes from West Africa? An American slaver easily capturing Shaka with a handful of men?. Finally, David Hasslehoff could not have been any more obnoxious. One can only ponder, how would he have fared in the miniseries? (Promptly impaled most likely). The miniseries was superb, and it is unfortunate that DH should have gotten his hands on something unique, and made it mundane. (I tend to think that he had hand in creating this fiasco).
This is the most racist movie I have seen yet. As such I gave it the
lowest grade allowed since nonsense like this can inspire hatred that
the world just does not need. It seems to show one race as totally
inept, immoral, stupid and without any abilities to be strong or not be
cowards. It shows another race as being strong, able to do anything and
having the highest ethics. Even when this second race conquers people,
those people just love to be conquered - as in the equally fictional
"Alexander" movie. As many of us know, racism is wrong on two counts.
The first is that it is very demeaning to a group of people and
therefore evil. The second reason is that it is just plain dumb.
Anyone with an open mind who has traveled and been with multiple cultures as I have knows that there are no bad races, no bad religious choices, no bad countries, and no bad genders. However in each of those groups is a mixture of mostly good people mixed in with some bad people. Some of the greatest leaders of today such as Dr. Alveda King, niece of Dr. Martin Luther King give us the answer. And the answer is that the opposite of racism is simply equality. Or as Rodney King who just passed away once said "Why cannot we all get along?". Great words are sometimes found when you search for them.
This movie makes a mockery of history. Anyone who has studied history and used even a little bit of logic would know that world conquerors or even local conquerors are not always nice people. Yet some Hollywood movies seem to claim that some are just wonderful. I am certain that they people that those world conquerors have killed have a different opinion. The other issue that students of history know is that slavery is far, far worse than Hollywood says. It was mostly worldwide and still goes on today. it was not just some white people in America enslaving Black people, but also some Black people enslaving Black people, some Black people at least in Northern Africa who raided European towns to enslave white people - including white women for their harems. Some Asians would enslave other Asians as well and South America and islanders and Europe and Asia were into this as well. So it was not one race who had slaves. It was not one race who were victims. It was far, far worse. And of course only "some" in each race participated as either slave owner or slave. However, a racist movie like this one distorts history and seems to make the claim that worldwide slavery really only occurred in one country - and that everyone in that race was guilty. Believe this movie if you are as bigoted as these people are. But I suggest, it is time for all of us to stop the nonsense of elevating a group or race to being supreme and others get thrown down as garbage. As Rodney King once said "Why can't we all just get along?"
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