Tag Archives: Nigerian Movies

Muna: Adesua-Etomi Wellington Is Ready To Kick Ass

The trailer for ‘Muna‘ starring Adesua-Etomi Wellington dropped a few days ago. Muna is sure to be a kick-ass movie, and it’s safe to say it’s one of Nollywood’s most anticipated movie of 2019.First teased by the star actress in Summer 2017, the beautiful wife of actor/musician/ political aspirant Banky-W is set to wow global audience with this collaboration between Hollywood and Nollywood. Judging by the trailer, there’s not going to be any dull moment in this movie. Or will there?

We’vecome a long way to continue to fall hook, line and sinker for this new Nollywood game. It’s relatively new, but still has been done so much time it’d be weird to not acknowledge what’s really happening. Nollywood has gotten very good at cutting trailers. A round of applause for the powerhouse industry.

Banana Island Ghost, Up North, The Wedding Party 2: Destination Dubai are some of the high-profile movies in recent years to follow this route. Awesome trailers which gets you nothing short of hopeful and willing to dole out those Naira notes you hold dear. Unfortunately, none of these movies ever lived up to the hype. And I fear Muna might follow suit.

Yet, it still wouldn’t be far-fetched to fan the flames of optimism. Who knows, Muna might just surprise us, and break the curse?

Rinzy Reviews ‘Nigerian Prince’ (2018)

Release Date: October 19

Starring: Chinaza Uche, Anthonio J Bell, Tina Mba, Bimbo Manuel, et al.

***

Eze (Anthonio J Bell) is an American lad born to Nigerian parents. After getting into a fight at school, his mother sends him to Nigeria on false pretense to live with her sister (Tina Mba) to better understand himself, and where his roots, much to his displeasure. It’s in this time of despair and desperation to return back to the US that Eze falls into the hands of charismatic and wily Pius (Chinaza Uche), his cousin, who scams people for a living – the titular Nigerian prince.

It’s not everyday you see a Nigerian movie tell a story away from the glitz and glamor of parties, as has trended since the release of The Wedding Party (2016). It’s on this note Nigerian Prince checks a crucial box. It dares to be different, toes the line, and actually does right by itself for most of its run-time. Most importantly, what this movie really excels at is to call out unscrupulous Nigerians who’ve taken to scams as a means of survival, without mincing words. I can’t begin to stress how important this is in this present time.

Most of the popular parlor tricks that’ve trended over the last two decades get an honorable mention; perfectly painting vivid pictures of what a scam might look like to unsuspecting members of the public who might be inclined to fall victim. The most beautiful part, however, is the continuous reiteration that ANYONE can fall for a scam, which I believe is a valuable lesson to always keep at the back of one’s mind.

British born Nigerian actor, Chinaza Uche, does a terrific job bringing Pius to life. I really got immersed in his world, a Lagos born and bred young man hustling to make a living the best way he knows how to. And while i think much depth could’ve been given to the reason he chose to scam for a living he does give a convincing performance that’ll make you want to forgive his Wakanda-ish accent whenever it becomes almost unbearable.

Anthonio J Bell’s Eze is the perfect example of a 21st century reserved, yet internally conflicted kid. A perfect example of how bad communication could corrupt both the good and not-so-good manners. And how most times seeking a person’s approval so much (in this case his parents) causes us to fail to see how powerful and independent we can actually be. I loved everything about this character; he was quite relatable even though I’m not remotely American ๐Ÿ˜.

The Nigerian police’s ability to track someone to an exact location was a shocker; they were able to know Pius and Eze’s exact location swift enough to apprehend them in a moving vehicle. Push this and a few other unrealistic scenes aside -the easy dismissal of Pius’ case at the EFCC’s office and the wack ending- and you’ve got yourself a movie that succeeds in passing its message across. That, I believe, is a win.

Say no to FRAUD of any kind!

Yahoo Yahoo no be hustle!

Directed by: Faraday Okoro

Rinzy’s Rating: 3/5

Rinzy Reviews ‘Royal Hibiscus Hotel’s (2018)

Release Date: February 10

Starring: Kenneth Okolie, Zainab Balogun, Jide Kosoko, Rachel Oniga, Kemi Lala Akindoju, OC Ukeje, Deyemi Okanlawon, et al.

***

Ope (Zainab Balogun), a London-based Nigerian chef returns home to take her family’s heritage – The Royal Hibiscus Hotel – and turn it into all she’s ever dreamed of. Matter gets complicated when she falls for the man who wants to buy the hotel. The rest that follows is pure fairytale love.

Ebony Life Film is deep in the art of crafting fanciful rom-coms targeted at specific holiday seasons. Last Valentine, this was their big offering. Royal Hibiscus Hotel is a self-indulgent movie that promises you a good time. Does it deliver?

The movie had healthy doses of laughter, effortlessly incited, which I really enjoyed.

Zainab Balogun put up a strong performance as Ope, which would’ve been better given proper motivation. But, hey, it was her first lead-role; she’s gotten a whole lot better since then. Kenneth Okolie tries in his stint as the wealthy but surreal Deji. Okolie has almost the same set of expression in every movie or show I’ve seen him in (Hello, Husbands of Lagos?). Well, he and Zainab have got good onscreen chemistry, which made their romance believable even in places where the script failed. The bulk of the supporting cast, too, try their best… Rachel Oniga and Jide Kosoko, once again, show us why we should still revere veterans. It’s just a pity they were cast in their respective roles which they visibly struggled with from start to finish.

I still wonder whose idea it was to put Old Jacobs and Joke Silva onscreen in none-speaking roles ๐Ÿ˜’?

And… OC Ukeje ๐Ÿ˜! Every scene with you is gold. A pity, you got a small role in this one.

Kemi Lala Akindoju’s larger than life Chika is easily one of my favorite characters. She’s annoying enough she gets to you, and easily reminded me of Rita Dominic’s performance in the 2011 movie The Meeting. The truth is, many of Chika’s behaviors would instantly get her a sack in the real world but then, the movie’s truly self-indulgent and doesn’t take itself serious, which is what makes it fun.

Same can be said for Deyemi’s stint as Martin, and the entire plot. The whole thing feels like a badly translated super-romance novels from older times. Very fantastic.

The movie doesn’t take itself too serious; you, too, shouldn’t. It demands that you watch and have a mindless good time.

PS: The choice of Nigerian hit singles for its soundtrack was a win for me. Every song was fit for the scenes they were in.

Directed by: Ishayo Bako

Rinzy’s Rating: 2.5/5

Rinzy Reviews ‘Lionheart’ (2018)

Release Date: December 21

Starring: Genevieve Nnaji, Pete Edochie, Nkem Owoh, Onyeka Onwenu, et al.

***

Much wasn’t heard about Genevieve Nnaji’s Lionheart ๐Ÿฆ until the announcement that it was screening at TIFF broke; which was then quickly followed by reports that she’d signed a huge deal with Netflix to make it the streaming giant’s first Original film from Nigeria. Talk about a real boss move. Take away the recent negative reports it’s been getting in the local media, Lionheart is poised to be the movie that really takes Nigeria to the world.

The Obiagus are a force to be reckoned with in the Nigerian transport business, especially in the southeast. When they’re faced with yet another challenge that threatens their continued existence, it’s up to Adaeze to fight for them to love another day. The plot is simple, but not foolish even though the story progresses predictably. As Ms. Adaeze, Ms. Nnaji gets her chance to paint women in the right light as strong, focused and goal-oriented individuals, and not damsels in distress always in need of saving as usually portrayed in movies. She also portrays the Nigerian extended family in a better light than what’s usually obtainable in Nollywood movies, where the uncle’s usually evil and has a more evil agenda. These are big pluses to me.

Jemima Osunde’s awesome as always. I love you very much. Bigger you this 2019, I pray. ๐Ÿ˜

The appearance by many veterans caused me great nostalgia, and I appreciate seeing them once again. That family dinner scene is everything a true Igbo family food time really is; big shouts out to the oldies – Pete Edochie, Onyeka Onwenu, Nkem Owoh and Ngozi Ezeonu.

There are so many other things I love about this movie, most special is the choice of acting talents to bring to life key roles. Ms. Nnaji and her team take steps to tighten gaps which may have translated into a disaster without their foresight, take for example Phyno’s vincible role as the lyricist on the roll son of a wealthy man who wants nothing to do with the family business, and Peter Okoye’s glorified cameo role.

The movie’s high on humor, and what makes it all the more great is that these funny scenes aren’t forced. Take for instance, Nkem Owoh… He’s not his usual, boisterous self most know, but his character’s humor’s always on point. You see a new angle to the actor with every nail and delicacy he drives home his character’s points.

Like all things, there’s good and bad in this movie, too, especially flaws in the editing, like when Ada used the door to unwittingly knockout one of the two men accosting her uncle in the basement.

The music’s decent. Cinematography is good, especially in the scenes where the beautiful scenery of Enugu is at the forefront. Ms. Nnaji’s direction is commendable especially when one recalls it’s her first attempt.

Lionheart is a beautiful movie, you should check it out if you haven’t.

Favorite scenes:

The external auditors scene was hilarious. Those guys repeating after the woman are silly.

Favorite Quotes:

Two of my favorite quotes are between Onyeka Onwenu and Genevieve Nnaji:

“Never come between two brothers.”

“Sit up. Then shut up.”

Directed by: Genevieve Nnaji

Rinzy’s Rating: 4/5

I Honestly Fear For ‘The Wedding Party 2’

I fear for ‘The Wedding Party 2’ and it’s for a good cause. Expectations are here. People are too excited. December 15 seems so far. But, what if our systems have gotten too excited nothing can gauge it? What if the movie comes out and we feel it’s same as part one, only recycled and more foreigner? What if we get too vexed that we start to notice the flaws we purposely overlooked in the first installment? 

God forbid!

‘The Wedding Party 2’ official poster

โ€‹I enjoyed ‘The Wedding Party’ so much, that if a sequel would spoil the memory for me, I’d rather not watch.

A popular trend is that the second never gets to be quite as entertaining as the first, but that has never stopped studio execs from green lighting a sequel when the first gets so popular its now referred to as pop culture. ‘The Wedding Party’ is one of our own pop culture, original and Nigerian, something we seem to be lacking in the scene. Hopefully, it breaks the jinx of Hollywood, and starts something new and great for us here – the new Nollywood we call it – our new way of life. 

The teaser trailer released days ago has done exactly as intented – to get people pumped and tongues wagging – pockets also itching to spend enough money that another box office records is shattered. So many familiar faces, old and new to the franchise, a phenomenal way to build a brand that’ll last a lifetime. Ebony Life has got a goldmine in their hands.

The success of ‘The Wedding Party 2’ is crucial to the way the Nigerian cinematic movie culture improves, we may not know it until 2018 has aged properly, hopefully, gracefully too. Be thou as it may, I’m waiting for the day; that date; December 15, 2017. Mark your calendars, friends, Christmas this year just got litter.

– RR.