Set in the African kingdom of Dahomey in the 1820s, this film follows the Agojie, an all-female group of warriors who must protect their land from both foreign and close threats.
Perhaps this is going to be one of the first reviews that aren't overwhelmingly positive but as a critic who must speak my mind, I don't hesitate to say The Woman King doesn't live up to the hype.
I looked forward to this film while being careful not to expect too much. I also avoided early reviews and got to see it at an advanced screening. Coming out of the cinema, I was left thinking, 'Is that what they could come up with?'
The above is not say that film is bad. It's not just that it is not good as the trailer makes it out to be.
The plot is quite engaging and the actors don't do badly (I will single out Thuso Mbedu, Lashana Lynch, and John Boyega as the obvious standouts).
Viola Davis is a great actress no doubt but her role here doesn't leave any lasting impression on me.
We are led to believe from the film's title that she is the protagonist (maybe I'm wrong in that assumption) but the movie actually belongs to Mbedu's character Nawi.
As Nawi, the young actress flourishes and astounds, leaving little else to be desired. She showed range and I couldn't get enough of her.
Lashana Lynch is equally amazing as the fierce but loving warrior Izogie, whose bond with Nawi helps make the plot more interesting.
As the proud monarch of the Dahomey kingdom, John Boyega is one heck of a scene stealer. I never knew he had such charisma, bringing humour to a rather serious role with such professionalism.
Apart from the aforementioned positives, almost every other thing in The Woman King is mediocre.
First off, the cinematography is a major letdown. I mean, I have seen better camera work in some Nollywood films. Brutal and harsh, but that's my honest take.
The dialogue is nothing out of the ordinary and the pacing is also a bit inconsistent.
Perhaps the most disappointing thing about this film is the action. The action sequences were plain dull and it was easy to see that most of the blows and kicks didn't land despite the impressive choreography.
The film would have us believe that the Agojie are an army but I never saw anything beyond a handful of soldiers numbering about 40 at most.
Before I forget, the antagonist (played by Jimmy Odukoya) is a major presence and came off as one fit for the film but sadly doesn't get adequate screen time and his backstory isn't even explored.
In all, The Woman King is far less than it should be, never rising beyond a mediocre interpretation despite committed performances from its talented cast.
Jim Iyke stars as Oscar, a rich young man who must find his passport so that he can travel to the UK to see his ailing mother.
The arrogant protagonist enlists the help of his uncle (Jide Kosoko) and the semi-literate, street-wise Kopiko (Mercy Johnson) to locate the missing document.
I went to the cinema with an open mind as I did not even watch the trailer for this film directed by Dimeji Ajibola and produced by Vincent Okonkwo.
The major draw for me was the combination of Jim Iyke and Mercy Johnson; I was eager to see how they would play off each other and having seen Passport, I say it was a wise decision casting them in the lead roles.
As Oscar, Iyke once again gives off the vibe of the kind of character he is known for playing; arrogant, spoilt, and temperamental.
Oscar's pairing with the trash-talking loudmouth known as Kopiko (Johnson) results in unending clashes between the two, which is the movie's greatest strength as the comedy is what holds this rather mediocre film together.
Story-wise, Passport doesn't have a lot going for it. We have two people from opposite sides of life brought together.
Their shared experience working together teaches them some of life's valuable lessons and they find something neither of them expected.
While the above is good, the execution is something that has played out in Nollywood times without number.
Johnson's Kopiko character is perhaps the best thing about this film. The actress has comedy running in her veins and apart from the occasional jokes that don't land and the expected 'overacting', she steals every scene.
The antagonist is an interesting character, one I would have loved to see more of or have his backstory explored. Since comedy is the goal here, I guess that is easily forgiven.
The cinematography, for me, does not really measure up to what we see in Nollywood these days. Only a few aerial shots and one chase scene piqued my interest.
In the end, Passport was made to do one thing; make audiences laugh and have a good time. While its execution isn't outstanding, it does what it sets out to do thanks to its two leads.
Four years later Chike has barely come to terms with her life as a US Government Agent, when she is forced to risk everything she holds dear once again after an international Terrorist kidnaps Grace’s daughter in order to blackmail Chike into doing hr bidding.
Chike and Grace must reunite and build a team to defeat the terrorist and save Grace’s daughter.
The Set Up 2 continues the story of Chike and Grace as they navigate the underworld of drug trade, business secrets and professional trickery while trying to stay alive amid new different obstacles they now face.
The film is a follow-up to the events of the first part and is written and directed by Chinaza Onuzo.
Grace (played by Kehinde Bankole) now has a child and the conflict begins when Usi (Nancy Isime) kidnaps the child so as to ensure that Chike (Adesua Etomi) does her bidding. Grace and Chike reunite to get back Grace’s daughter and take down Usi once and for all.
I liked that the story actually looked like it knew where it was going. It showed originality and a flair that Nollywood seems to have forgotten it can muster.
I loved the costumes, especially Nancy Isime's bodysuit. It was really hot. A big thumbs up to the wardrobe and make-up department.
I think the lighting and scenery choice was exciting as it projected exactly what we'd like to see in Nollywood movies.
I also loved the casting choices as it was exciting to see many of Nollywood's sweethearts on the big screen once again.
The movie however leaves a lot to be desired as it fails to live up to the expectation and thrill I got from its trailer.
Firstly, the choreography was a constant eyesore. I shook my head through most of the action sequence. They could have done better, it was that bad.
Also there were some scenes that were grossly unrealistic in a real life setting. For example, how do you suddenly just let go of someone you've been gunning to kill for virtually most of the movie, just like that.
I think characters were also underutilised. The writing felt lazy and it failed to really show the strength that we all know this rich cast could conjure.
For people who are not as picky and choosy as me when it comes to movies, you'd probably enjoy this movie.
But for someone like me, it pains me, but this is not a movie I'd go to watch a second time.
Jamie Foxx stars as a vampire hunter in California who must score big in his quest to take down the fanged creatures or lose his family in a matter of days.
This movie starts on a high note and gets it right until it doesn't halfway through, held back by its weak plot, cliche dialogue, and stupidly predictable ending.
Netflix seems to be the home of every kind of film these days; the good, the bad and the cringy. Day Shift manages to make its way in between the first and second categories.
Those who have seen the trailer should know that it never gets better than that.
Jamie Foxx is dangerously lethal, charismatic, and ruthless as the lead but can't help the film become more than crowd-pleasing mediocrity when it's all said and done.
The plot is pretty ambitious; vampires living comfortably in LA, finding ways to move about during the day, with hunters from the police force hunting them down in day and night shifts.
How on earth could these bloodsuckers live in the city for that long without residents (e.g. the family of the protagonist) knowing about them?
Another thing that didn't sit well with me is the way the vampires' abilities are portrayed here. I kept wondering if they were contortionists or stuntmen instead of the dreaded creatures of old.
Jamie Foxx as Bud is one heck of a killer but the way he always seems to overcome the vampires reduced the threat level to an almost laughable degree.
The dialogue is full of cliches (some of which don't even evoke the expected response) and at times the dark humour seems forced.
The villain of the movie is shown as an extremely powerful vampire whose revenge mission puts her on the trail of the hero. But even her powers are underutilised and become pretty inconsequential because the good guy always has to win.
Despite the above issues, Day Shift does have a few good things going for it; the sound, action, and visual effects are on par and will please most fans who like to see Foxx kick ass.
In all, this film isn't as good as it pretends to be and not even Snoop Dogg's legendary swagger and smooth drawl can save it from its many shortcomings.
Day Shift is an average action film and nothing more.
Hollywood legend Brad Pitt stars as a retired assassin who is pulled back into the violent life when he is hired to deliver a briefcase from a bullet train travelling from Tokyo to Kyoto.
David Leitch, Brad Pitt, and the rest of the stars who make up the ensemble cast in this movie make it one of the most memorable action flicks of 2022.
The first trailer of Bullet Train did not pique my interest and I only decided to see it because of Brad Pitt (the dude has a way of making most movies he appears in awesome).
A few minutes into it and I was already regretting being in the cinema as the exposition on some of the characters almost muddled things up.
A few minutes after the above, things became clearer, kicked up a notch, accelerated and went full throttle, sending me into an ecstasy of non-stop entertainment.
The plot is brilliantly written and every character brings a new unique input to the overall progression of events as they unfold.
Director David Leitch (known for the first John Wick film) fuses style with an engrossing storyline, spectacular action and a mind-blowing finale to get you so involved in this fantastic feature that nothing else matters.
Brad Pitt is amazing as usual and all the other supporting actors bring flair and wonderful acting chops to what becomes a dream come true for action lovers.
The antagonist was really made to be as scary as possible and the myth was only reduced when he was finally unveiled.
As for the action scenes, I found them quite enjoyable even though some of the punches and kicks obviously don't land in a few sequences.
The sound is perfect and the special effects are out of this world.
All in all, I say Bullet Train blew me completely away, taking me to places that I never expected it to. It's a genuine crowd pleaser for sure.
An awkward 32-year-old man's life is turned upside down when he discovers that the girl he wants is the model of the dating website he is obsessed with.
Hey You Movie follows the story of Abel (Timini Egbuson) and Bianca (Efe Irele) who meet on a sex link-up website called “Fans Alone”.
They meet in real life but Abel is an extremely shy and nerdy person.
Meanwhile, Bianca is a pro: an absolute expert on the Fans Alone website where she makes the sexual wishes of her clients come to pass as she meets them online.
However, things begin to take a drastic turn when Abel (Timini Egbuson) falls in love with Bianca (Efe Irele).
The acting is the spice of the movie. Timini has grown so much as an actor and it is beautiful to see.
Also, the connection between him and Efe Irele cannot be ignored; they made the sex scene look real.
Stan Nze is a brilliant actor; he was the comic relief in the movie and did it well for the overall plot development.
Additionally, the set pieces are gorgeous and the costumes add to the aesthetic appeal. The cinematography is also top-notch.
Hey You proves to be the most sexual Nollywood movie in 2022.
Viewers who find sexual scenes disturbing on TV are advised to ignore this one as it is rated 18.
Thor alongside his buddies Valkyrie and Korg reunites with former girlfriend Jane (who has become the Mighty Thor) to stop a powerful foe known as Gorr, who has made it his mission to annihilate all gods.
Along the way, the hammer-wielding Asgardian wrestles to keep his emotions in check to stay focused enough to defeat an unstoppable antagonist.
Finally, the fourth chapter of Thor Odinson is here. While it certainly isn't as spectacular as netizens are making it out to be, those who loved Ragnarok will have a total blast with this one.
Director Taika Waititi is one crazy and creative dude; his comic genius is all over the place yet again. He employs the wacky comic element that most fans loved about the previous film and takes it up a notch here.
Thor: Love and Thunder will make you fall in love with its heroes, laugh at its almost endless humour, almost tear up when it gets emotional and cheer after its awe-inspiring second end-credits scene.
But while it has all the above, it somehow fails to ascend to the heights that I expected it to due to a somewhat lacklustre beginning, disappointing fight scenes in the first battle sequence, and some unexplained plot details.
I am a fan of both Marvel and DC Comics and Thor as a character is my favourite from the former brand. For me, no other actor embodies the superhero like its lead star Chris Hemsworth.
Talking about Hemsworth, the dude's amazing body is something to behold (fans are no doubt looking forward to that infamous Zeus strip scene).
Every gigantic muscle and the insanely buffed-up physique is a testament to the hard work the actor put in to go beyond how big he was in Ragnarok.
But more than the physical, Hemsworth as Thor once again drives this movie; as the hero, he has never been more conflicted, more vulnerable, and more lovable.
Despite the jokes that often come out of his mouth (the character has become a comedian apparently), I was glad to see that his fiery temper and rash nature shined through yet again. It is the last two that make him imperfect.
Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie is adorable and badass when she fights but I was disappointed that she wasn't fully utilised as I expected.
Taika Waititi's Korg is just there to mostly provide the comic relief as usual. While that is acceptable, I hoped to see him be more than just the funny guy.
As Jane Foster/Mighty Thor, Natalie Portman is one of the best things in this film. She easily blew away whatever doubts I had that she would make a compelling fighter besides Thor.
At a time in her life when she needed something to make her feel alive, the hero's former lover becomes so much more than his sidekick, eventually stealing the spotlight in the final battle scene.
The antagonist Gorr is one scary and powerful dude made believable and layered by Christian Bale's remarkable acting.
When I first saw him in the trailers, I asked myself what a guy with a sword could do to harm Thor and his formidable allies. The first fight he had with them made me see him in a totally different light.
There is some major character development with Thor and Jane here, and that makes the plot far better than the previous Thor movies.
The action in the second and third acts is a major improvement from that of the first, with Waititi sparing no expense in delivering some of the best set pieces ever seen in the MCU.
In terms of visuals, Thor: Love and Thunder delivers and while it certainly ranks as the best of the Thor films, it doesn't climb to the lofty heights I thought it would.
A remake of the original focusing on the lives of ladies whose affiliation with the wealthy and powerful gives them the affluence they desire.
Play Network once again produces an unnecessary remake and the final result is a film that could have gone somewhere but ends up being all over the place.
While Glamour Girls isn't as bad as the critics are making it out to be, it embraces style over substance, with too many subplots and different threads that fail to tie into a satisfying conclusion.
The title pretty much sums up the movie; girls who want a taste of a better life use what they have to get what they want.
It's all fun and games until a murder threatens to destroy them and everything that they have built.
The storyline is basically a rehash of every 'runs girl' film ever made but the script is elevated a bit by some impressive acting from Nse Ikpe-Etim and Sharon Ooja.
The cinematography is okay; good shots, camera angles and scene transition work well. The music which comes across as distracting occasionally majorly helps to set the mood and tone as the plot unfolds.
The film's undoing is its inability to focus on some of the many subplots it has. Some characters are never quite developed while others are more or less one-dimensional.
Perhaps the movie's greatest flaw is the issue with the flash drive(s) in the end. For the life of me, I still can't understand how one flash became two without any plausible explanation.
Play Network's remake is flashy and stylish but gets sapped into its own convoluted plot.
Ikpe-Etim and Ooja are the best parts of the film but even they aren't enough to stop the movie from sinking into an abyss of its own making.
The intriguing story of three generations of Nigerian women and their experiences with assault...
Two narratives drive the plot of The Wildflower, Bright and Enterprising Rolake (Damilare Kuku) gets a chance to work at a leading architectural firm as a personal assistant to the CEO Gowon Williams (Deyemi Okanlawon) whom she looks up to and comes to totally worship, but it turns out he has an ugly side; he is a serial rapist and he takes advantage of her on a business trip.
On the other hand, Rolake’s neighbour, mama Adaolisa (Toyin Abraham), endures domestic abuse at her husband’s hands until tragedy strikes one day and he kills her and flees, leaving behind their two daughters (Adaolisa and Cecilia) whom Rolake takes upon herself to care for. While Rolake is on the business trip, Adaolisa also narrowly escapes being raped by a sexual predator. In the midst of these events, selfless Rolake has to be there for the kids while dealing with her own trauma and searching for justice.
At last, a movie that deals with real-life Nigerian issues. The Wildflower properly captures the life of common Nigerians and the harsh realities faced by vulnerable women whether at home or the workplace and the effects it has on them and the people around them.
Director Biodun Stephen is able to bring the script to life without unnecessarily complicating the story. The idea of showing the two focal rape events at the same time works well and lets it resonate better although there are issues like incoherent scene changes and over-extended scenes, especially the scenes with Rolake and her boyfriend.
It’s always great to see stories like The Wildflower’s, in an industry where it is rare to see films without sensationalist tendencies. The main plot and subplots are well detailed and structured with character developments explored to reasonable extents- the plot goes straight to the point without taking unnecessary twists and turns.
The writer intended to pass a message and they succeed, although the story is rushed towards the end, so some details are left out: how can Gowon still give Rola’s boyfriend a job in a company he has been suspended from? and we are left wondering where Rola’s family is in all of these?
With the film having not so many low or high points, the cast put in average but convincing performances. Deyemi Okanlawon plays the villain again in a role similar to his character in Blood Sisters; Damilare Kuku, author of “All The Men in Lagos are Mad” and Toyin Abraham (The Prophetess) embody their roles well.
While the quality of cinematography has improved generally, it seems like Nollywood might not be getting out of the scourge of pointless drone shots anytime soon. Cinematography is an important tool of storytelling in filmmaking and every shot should have a purpose in order to capture moments meaningfully.
Although The Wildflower gets boring towards the end, it proves to portray common Nigerians’ realities without shying away from local nuances; it makes good drama and the film’s intended message is passed.
Set four years after the events of the last movie, the latest film in the franchise sees Owen Grady and Claire Dearing go on a mission to rescue their adopted daughter Maisie, a girl who holds the key to unravelling the mystery behind using the dinosaurs' genome for groundbreaking medical research.
Along the way, the couple must survive killer henchmen and the expected rampaging prehistoric creatures whose very existence continues to threaten the entire human race.
Colin Trevorrow's latest entry into the blockbuster franchise is arguably his best; the action and dinosaurs make for spectacular sequences and the return of the original cast members is the icing on the cake.
As a fan who revers the first two films by Steven Spielberg, I have never expected Trevorrow to be able to capture that first magic and wonder and that has helped me accept the latter's flawed but commendable interpretations.
In Dominion, Chris Pratt returns as dino handler/trainer Owen Grady, the protagonist who finds himself at the forefront of a fight against a bioengineering corporation called Biosyn after his foster daughter is kidnapped.
Owen and Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) fight their way to Biosyn's facility in the attempt to rescue their daughter as the world seems to collapse around them following the dinosaurs doing what they do best.
Jurassic World Dominion is first of all an action sci-fi so those expecting something more than the predictable would be sorely disappointed.
There isn't much to expect in terms of acting but that is pretty decent. The script has several plotholes and the science mumble-jumble comes across as annoying, but all that is forgiven when the viewer is treated to some over-the-top action scenes.
The CGI or animatronics (it's possible both were used, I don't know) are pretty convincing. I particularly enjoyed a scene where one of the creatures stalk Owen and another person by navigating the freezing waters beneath some thin ice.
The return of Sam Neill, Laura Dern, and Jeff Goldblum had the expected nostalgic effect. A scene where they meet Owen, Claire, and their daughter gave me goosebumps as it obviously symbolised the convergence of the old and the new.
The one thing that seems to be an issue with these kinds of flicks is how all the people you root for always find a way to make it out alive despite the countless threats they face while the big bad dude always gets his comeuppance.
Die-hard fans of the Jurassic World films and those who love big-budget action movies or dinosaurs will also get a kick out of it as I did.
While Jurassic World Dominion was fun for me, I sincerely hope this is where the popular franchise ends as I have a feeling the producers wouldn't want to make fans get tired of it by churning out more movies.