• Entertainment - Movie Reviews
  • Updated: December 25, 2022

REVIEW: 'Battle On Buka Street' And Nollywood's Formulaic Comedy Problem

REVIEW: 'Battle On Buka Street' And Nollywood's Formulaic Co

Billed as Funke Akindele's farewell to NollywoodBattle On Buka Street makes the same mistake most Nollywood comedies make and in the end wallows in unending acts of buffoonery by its two lead characters.

While it's not all bad, this film which has no reason to run for over two hours tries to juggle a lot and fails to leave any lasting impression.

Many subplots, unexpected tonal shifts, unexplored character arcs, and a rather abrupt ending contribute to the mediocrity that plays out in Battle On Buka Street.

As the leads, Funke Akindele and Mercy Johnson make for an engaging pair; while the former seems to be a shadow of herself, the latter whose character is arguably the most compelling has her most important moment take place offscreen, killing whatever chance of completing her character arc in the most satisfying way.

Both screen divas play stepsisters who have been at war with each other since the day they were born. It's something that is thrown in the viewer's face right from the onset with a terrible narration, I might add.

Separated when they become women, Yejide (Akindele) and Awele (Johnson) resume their rivalry when the latter sets up her eatery right in front of the former's business.

What ensues is a competition to upend the other as the siblings resort to different acts that continue to sever the bond of sisterhood.

Akindele who is considered one of the best in the comedy genre doesn't really live up to expectations here.

While she amazed me in Omo Ghetto: The Saga, here she struggles to keep up with her fellow co-star who almost steals the spotlight.

Johnson naturally evokes laughter from the viewer but at some point, it stops being hilarious when the laugh-out-loud moments get in the way of the exposition.

Ironically, both actresses shine more when they show their dramatic side way past the halfway mark as the film suddenly reverses and goes the dramatic route.

The comedy returns in the third act, with Johnson's redemptive arc taking place offscreen, robbing the conclusion of whatever impact it ought to have had.

Among the supporting cast, Nkem Owoh and Sola Sobowale stand tall (no surprise there seeing as they have both proven themselves in the industry).

Visually, Battle On Buka Street doesn't really impress, with the exception of a scene where both rivals literally beat the hell out of each other. It was well-choreographed and looked very natural.

While its execution leaves a lot to be desired, this film does have a central theme of unity in diversity, something we especially need to hear at this time when we stand on the precipice of changing the fate of our nation in the forthcoming election.

Parting words: This is a film that will most likely end up being a crowd-pleaser but it doesn't hold a candle to a lot of others in the comedy genre.

Rating: 5.5/10.


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