• Entertainment - Movie Reviews
  • Updated: February 29, 2024

'Dead Serious' review: Sabinus, Sharon Ooja take centre stage in fallible comedy

'Dead Serious' review: Sabinus, Sharon Ooja take centre stag

Nollywood director Moses Inwang tackles one of society's major issues in Dead Serious, a boy-meets-girl story that relies on popular skit maker Sabinus' comedic genius and actress Sharon Ooja's star power to evoke laughter and instruct.

The film's message, which is revealed just a few minutes before the end credits, is drowned in its light-hearted tone and a mish-mash of ridiculous stunts in the third act.

However, Dead Serious does live up to expectations in the comedy department. In this regard, Sabinus (real name Emmanuel Chukwuemeka Ejekwu) never fails to entertain. 

The film sees Johnny (Sabinus) fight for the affection of the pretty Amara (Ooja), a lady who happens to stroll into his shop on an eventful day. 

As expected, the protagonist's quest to be loved is met with resistance from Amara's father (Nkem Owoh) a man who sees the attention of his boss towards his daughter as a means for them to escape a life of poverty.

Just when things start looking positive for Johnny, something no one bargained for tests him like never before, threatening his very existence. This is where Dead Serious enters darker territory and unfortunately gets sucked into a myriad of unrealistic scenarios culminating in a third act marred by a shallow plot twist.

Ooja anchors the first part of the film, portraying a lady who faces a dilemma at a pivotal time of her life. Her actions resonate with her backstory and the actress' grounded performance briefly puts the protagonist in the shadows.

Sabinus and others at the movie premiere

As for Sabinus, those who enjoy his skits are in for a treat. He flawlessly emits his affinity for absurd comedy and at some point, he stops being Johnny and the character we all know him for in his skits takes over. While this is mostly welcome given the genre, it is a bit disappointing to see that he fails to shake off the Sabinus thing and grow into his role here.

One major complaint is the failure on the part of the writer(s) and director to explore the love triangle subplot; it was the film's major conflict in the first act and was suddenly abandoned later on.

Technically, Dead Serious isn't anything beyond the ordinary and the cinematography could have been better in the exterior aerial shots. 

Conclusively, Moses Inwang's movie will cater to the needs of those who want to laugh away their sorrows at a time when such distractions are welcome. Its message comes far too late but the process itself isn't all bad.

Rating: 6/10.

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