We have heard about Muna since 2017, the Kevin Nwankwor-directed film featuring Adesua Etomi-Wellington in a lead role, with an image of her holding a sword over her head. What’s exciting about Muna is that it’s a female revenge action-thriller. It’s in season, movies revolving around women being badasses while toppling the patriarchy (Captain Marvel), or setting up a heist to pay off enormous debts (Widows), or serving cold, deadly justice to rapists (Revenge).
Muna tows a similar path. Thankfully, here’s the movie’s synopsis:
Muna is the story of a spirited girl raised by her grandmother; the last surviving member of their family. Muna’s driving desire to provide a better life for herself and grandmother in the land of milk and honey, leads to shady characters that will change the trajectory. Landing her smack dab into the hands of traffickers. That experience turns her once golden heart into one driven by stone cold revenge on those who stole her innocence. In her grand plan, love was never on the agenda. When secrets and betrayal complicate her strategy, she has a tough decision to make. Will she remain a prisoner of her past or allow love to set her free?
The trailer, released on Tuesday morning, plays up the female revenge trope with a vibe that feels tethered to the 2011 Zoe Saldana movie Colombiana. As a child, Muna (Etomi) is trafficked away from her village and sold into a life of slavery and abuse. All grown up, Muna wants revenge and although we aren’t shown how or where she got her martial art skills from, I love how she goes about murdering those involved in having her trafficked, all cold and withdrawn demeanor. In one scene, she leaves a thinly bloody inscription of ”Stop Human Trafficking” on the forearm of a man after killing him. That’s cold.
There’s the whiff of the love complication in the trailer, and I think this has become popular with movies where women play strong characters but are ”tamed” with love and all that baggage. Wonder woman, case in point. That said, I’m still not completely convinced by the trailer but thought the combat scenes could have been better.
But it’s interesting that Etomi is playing this role, which is different from what she’s played in the past. Also, the movie stars Onyeka Onwenu, Falz, and Ebele Okaro, and from all indication, Muna should be released this year.