Partly a continuation, partly an expansion of the earlier film, but I would have been happier with just the first.
Maybe it goes without saying, but watch Kobiety Mafii before you watch Women of Mafia 2. This one follows not long after the first left off, and does away with any character introduction or background, except briefly for a couple of new people.
Daria (Agnieszka Dygant), the nanny in Kobiety Mafii, now leads not only a drug-dealing operation but what appears to be a small army of henchmen; annoying Anya (Katarzyna Warnke) is now in prison, and Siekiera (Aleksandra Poplawska) has a balcony full of “husbands”. The new Women of Mafia are Stella (Aleksandra Grabowska), a mobster’s daughter who gradually finds herself wanting to take over; and Aida (Angie Cepeda), a Colombian contact at the other end of Daria’s supply chain. Yes, the story moves out of Poland once or twice, including Latin America and an unidentified Arabic country.
Broadening the horizons (and presumably increasing the budget) of this female-centric gangster story may look good, but it doesn’t do much for the film’s quality. There are a couple of interesting story arcs, but a couple of truly ludicrous ones; and overall, they do not plait together as well as they did in the first film. In fact, I’d have to call the plot disjointed: there is not really one plot of several strands this time, but several separate ones that barely touch each other at all.
Unfortunately, instead of simply being “not feminist”, some of Kobiety Mafii 2 is downright misogynistic and racist; though granted in a cartoonish way. I’m not sure if that makes those flaws forgivable, but fortunately, the film was still good fun (though still well over two hours long).
And again at the end of Women of Mafia 2, you’ll read “Kobiety Mafii will return.” The story is not done yet. I have to wonder if some of those ladies who rose up in their world will fall, and if so, how. Will Daria be defeated or rule the city? Will she meet her match in Stella? Will any of them develop a moral compass or more than one aspect to their personality?
Watch this space; here’s hoping Vega returns to the quality he showed in Plagi Breslau.
Alix has been writing for Ready Steady Cut since November 2017. They cover a wide variety, including genre festivals, and especially appreciates wit and representation on screen.