Cobra Verde (1987)

Free Great Movies Review

  •  (4.5 out of 5 stars)

Werner Herzog's Cobra Verde is on an epic scale, but is definitely not a conventional epic story. It's Herzog's fifth and final collaboration with actor Klaus Kinski who is always captivating to watch. Here Kinski plays the fictional bandit Cobra Verde who wanders a village in Brazil and terrorizes most everyone he sees. The film meanders a bit as he heads to a sugar plantation and it's unclear where the story is headed. But when Kinski is sent on a dangerous mission to West Africa to re-open the slave trade the main plot kicks in and it is fascinating to the end. Filmed in Ghana with a cast of thousands, it becomes an epic vision of Cobra Verde surviving and ultimately leading an army of female warriors to take over the West African Kingdom of Dahomey. Many of the scenes can best be described as organized chaos with Kinski wildly running around and yelling as he tries to achieve his objectives. Certain shots will have you puzzled as to how in the world Herzog captured them. Much like Aguirre, the Wrath of God (1972), Cobra Verde will have you laughing at the absurdity of Kinski's colonial ambitions. Herzog has once again subverted the standard epic film genre, while simultaneously capturing moments of incredible beauty both big and small.

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