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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful.
Hollywood 1, History zero = Bad film
By Another customer
The film starts off pretty well, and goes downhill fast. The lead actor was definitely well-chosen and does the best job that anyone could do, given the script.
--As noted by other reviewers, there is far too much fiction in this 'historical"-type drama. Just to give one example, Shaka was never captured by slavers.
--At convenient moments, Shaka has what only can be described as superhuman powers (like ripping iron chains apart with his bare hands).
--His character wavers between stoic/heartless and, well, PC sensitivity.
--The whites are too given to delivering moralistic speeches at the drop of a hat. This not only gives the film a preachy tone, but it is out of character for the whites of the time.
--There are too many "cute" Walt-Disney-type scenes, such as the absurd dialog between the two white captives as they are being carried off to an unknown fate.
--The slave-ship captain is treated in bizarrely incompatible ways.
--The slave-ship captain is really a nice guy at heart--never mind that he is engaged in one of the most cruel and inhuman mass atrocities of modern times. But hey, a guy has to make a living somehow, doesn't he?
--Characters are two-dimensional cardboard cutouts mouthing poorly-written and incongruous lines.
--In general, there is no real plot since all conflicts and issues get resolved in the most convenient way, rather than following any sort of real (or even dramatic) arc.
All in all, another film industry attempt to capitalize on a fascinating topic by totally perverting it.
For a quick glimpse of the historical Shaka Zulu (who would make a fascinating film without all the Hollywood nonsense), go online and take a look at
-- historynet dotcom slash shaka-zulu-chieftain
-- sahistory dot org dot za slash people slash king-shaka-zulu
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful.
Nothing to do with Shaka Zulu
This movie is OK if you want to watch a romance that has absolutely nothing to do with the real Shaka Zulu. Shaka was a military genius who at the height of his empire-building commanded 2 million sq miles of south east Africa, 40,000 soldiers and 250,000 citizens. He was never captured as a slave and he did not traipse around alone with white women. He had many wives and dozens of children but his real queen was his mother. There is next to nothing that is historically accurate about this fairy tale movie.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful. See all 244 customer reviews...
Days of Future Past Zulu Flick
Direction: No real complaints, but fairly dull even for made-for-tv-fare.
Script: Bloody awful. This movie tries to tie in (somewhere?) with the well-made original miniseries. The storyline is pretty ridiculous.
Sound: Again, no real complaints.
Cinematography: Meh. The battle scenes are a bit too chaotic and the wonderful wide shots from the first miniseries are gone. The limited budget turned a massive Zulu army into a few tight shots of a Zulu platoon or two.
Acting: I saved this for last this time because it was well, terrible. The original stars from the first movie (that were left) do what they can. James Fox and Henry Cele pretty much know it's a crap script on a low budget. Cele's incredible portrayal of the Zulu King from the first miniseries is cheapened and blunted by the lame script.
Now we come to the reason for the one star: David Hasselhoff and Karen Allen in a pointless, unbelievable love story. David Hasselhoff is pretty much a 1/16 trick pony. His greatest acting achievement is wearing more makeup than any other male actor in the history of film while arguing with a talking car. I couldn't even stand him in Baywatch Nights where he stretched those Baywatch acting chops as a Navy Seal turned beach lifeguard, turned private investigator battling werewolves, Vikings, mummies, and I think there was a ninja or two in there somewhere. How could ANYONE screw THAT up? At any rate this is a risky role for him as a white slaver who's introductory scene shows him wearing a leather trenchcoat that he retrieved from the trunk of KITT. I don't know if it is period-correct wardrobe but I do know you can't have him in a movie without draping some leather on him, or he just produces it naturally.
I like Karen Allen. Animal House. Starman, Raiders of the Lost Ark were a good fit. She has a Tomboy look and plays strong female characters while having big beautiful eyes and cute freckles. She is either horribly miscast here or Hasselhoff's craptacular acting can't exist in a vacuum so it starts devouring any talent near him. She bounces in and out of some kind of accent (what I call the Keanu bounce) and wears a white dress in the ocean without getting the dress wet. Her best scene is a compassionate moment with Cele on the slave ship. They both have the chops, but can't save this turkey of a film.
Oh yes and for some reason, Omar Sharif shows up to chew some film budget and develop his wardrobe for the 13th Warrior. I like the guy and there aren't many Egyptian leading men in film, but like Hasselhoff and Allen his presence is pretty pointless.
All of the Shaku Zulu sequels are terrible, lesser offspring of a greater father. Avoid.