Director: Neema Barnette
Rating: R (for mature thematic material, violence, sexuality, drug and alcohol content, and language.)
Running Time: 101 Minutes
Release Date: April 13, 2012
Home Video Release Date: September 4, 2012
North American Box Office: $1.2 Million
TDJ Productions/New Dimensions Entertainment and Codeblack Entertainment.
Written by: Cory Tynan.
★ (out of 5 stars)
I have been told, as many have in their lives, that if you cannot say something nice about something, then it is best to say nothing at all. Woman Thou Art Loosed: On The 7th Day tests that very notion. A sequel in name only to a 2004 film, Woman Thou Art Loosed: On The 7th Day (which I will abbreviate going forward as WTALO7D, as it makes as much sense as this movie) is an amateurish debacle. Absolutely one of the poorest written, performed, and directed theatrical releases I have seen in quite some time. And as you may have noted above, this film cleared $1 million in box office ticket sales. I will be picking up a camera ASAP.
I will never get back the 101 minutes I spent trying to decipher and filter through the messages on display here. Suffice it to say, this is religious zealotry run amok, with screenwriter Cory Tynan awkwardly crowbarring in phrases and terminology found only when folks are speaking about Him. However, with the dialogue so forced, nothing ever seems genuine and I know no one who talks quite this way. Plus, the storyline is as absurd as I have come across in a long, long time. So there is that as well.
Basically, a wealthy, married New Orleans couple (Blair Underwood, Sharon Leal) are faced with their daughter being kidnapped, but the film is presented in an odd confessional style approach where the wife, Kari, begins sharing her back story to an interviewer off camera. Seems that before Kari married David she was a prostitute, a stripper, a drunk, a drug addict – essentially the standard, stock go-to caricature for a woman who has made mistakes and is trying to recover. David knows none of this prior to marrying Kari and so when their 6-year daughter goes missing, Kari’s past life, shady dealings, and formerly exorcised demons all threaten to come haunting back in a symbolic New Orleans-style flood.
Amongst the stellar cast, we have a private detective who still loves Kari from their high school daze (pun intended) and lest we not forget the (un)intentionally hilarious bow-tie wearing white man suspect who is a child predator. Then, stealing the show for all the wrong reasons, Pam Grier drifts into the film (yes, the woman Quentin Tarantino fashioned an entire film around), apparently deciding to play her investigator role as over-the-top and frankly, butch, as possible. Grier’s performance is truly a site to behold, except that you would actually have to watch it, and I cannot recommend that to anyone.
Led to theaters by Bishop T.D. Jakes, whose sermon “Woman Thou Art Loosed” inspired a book, DVD, and independent hit feature film in 2004, the Tyler Perry undercurrents are everywhere and the flat, Lifetime movie-of-the-week production values make this look completely ill prepared for exhibition by anyone. Director Neema Barnette, who has it turns out directed feature films before, has no earthly idea what she is doing with this screenplay, these characters, or apparently this story. I would humbly advise Cory Tynan to never write another screenplay again. Come to think of it, I would ask Barnette to never direct again and for the sake of all involved, the actors should ask that this film be expunged from their IMDb resumes for good.
Self-serious, self-righteous, and completely unsettling in how contradictory it is from one scene to the next, WTALO7D is one of the worst films I have seen in years. You are so welcome.
SHOULD I SEE IT?
- Those aware of the first film or T.D. Jakes’ sermons will be interested.
- African-American faith-based productions are of interest to you. This, however, is clearly the worst of the bunch.
- Time is too important.
- Even those with a passionate belief in the work of T. D. Jakes and his non-denominational Potter’s House megachurch will wince and groan at the terrible writing, amateurish direction, and lazy, cheap, and tawdry people and incidents on display here. This is just a bad, bad movie.