By Yetunde Adeyeri
The 10th movie from inkblot Productions was released into the cinemas last weekend and everyone thronged into the cinema halls to watch the highly-anticipated action thriller.
I was part of this eager troop as I quickly located my seat in the cool theater while the opening credits were playing. A few minutes into the movie and I was entranced. The story started with childhood experiences of the two girls as they navigate their way through the world. One the daughter of a gangster and a whore, the other, a product of an abusive home.
Firstly, applause on the trailer. It gave nothing away, as it should be. In fact, if there is any conclusion that you have come to through the trailer, you are 90% wrong. Trust me.
The scene with the Chike’s father chastising her for getting into a fight and then jumping out of the car and getting into a gunfight. (That was interesting!)
And then the real movie started… and it lost its magic.
The movie was directed by the amazing Niyi Akinmolayan (Chief Daddy, The Wedding Party2, and The Arbitration) and it features Adesuwa Etomi-Wellington, Kehinde Bankole, Dakore Egbuson-Akande, Joke Silva, Tina Mba, Jim Iyke and Ayoola Ayolola.
It follows a story of how a drug smuggler turned ‘cheetah girl’ gets caught in the scheme of a crime lady who wants to take over the company of a family that scorned her.
The movie picked up in quick pace and it was nice to see that they didn’t drag it out and make us wait. A point for that. Also, the light and sound effects were really good. Although I can’t say the same for the soundtracks. Those song choices were not all that great, honestly.
Now, I don’t want to give too much away but there were some very obvious loopholes in this movie that made me roll my eyes and sigh in exasperation. I was amazed. It seemed like they were so convinced that it has to be filled with suspense and twist and turns that they lost their logic. Some scenes had me shaking my head and wondering if they thought them through before executing. When you are selling make-believe, it is only expected that you put in efforts to make it believable.
Did they sit in a writing room and manage to ignore these? For example, why would the US government want to arrest a drug smuggler who smuggles drugs from Nigeria to Malaysia? How come your daughter who accidentally kills her ‘sister’ knows the way to the banished mistress’s house? And what is with that very dumb explanation Chike gave for them not getting caught? (They had a reason?!? Really?!?”)
Also, the scriptwriting was unflattering to those actors. It did not do them justice. The lines were flat, the dialogues were bland and not befitting of the action pace.
“Madame wants to see you… wear your glasses” (What?!?)
The actors did well with what they got but what they worked with poor. I was disappointed with some of those lines.
But like I wrote before, credit has to be given to all the actors for an excellent performance. Kudos to Adesuwa Etomi-Wellington, she played her part so well. She shone like a star. Kehinde Bankole gave a stellar delivery. I was pleasantly surprised by Tina Mba’s role air and how well she played it. I think its high time we challenged our actors. Get them out of their comfort zones with roles that will take them of their ‘label’ and constant narrative about what to expect from them. Dakore Egbuson-Akande whom I believe is ageless by the way, once again proved that acting is almost effortless to those born with the gift. Ayoola Ayolola brought his peculiar aura. (In fact, when he came on screen for the first time, there was a pleasant chuckle in the hall. SGIT fans everywhere!). Jim Iyke cracked me up in that scene where he ran with the immunity papers. He delivered superbly. Joke Silva stole every scene she was in. Full of action and effortless grace.
This goes to show that we indeed have a diverse bundle of talent in the Nollywood industry. And although this movie was far from perfect, it was a welcome change. I like the story even it was not well told nor executed, kudos to the Cast and Crew on its production.
The twists and turns, neck-breaking suspense and intense action in The Set-Up make it an interesting watch. I was not too impressed because I entered that hall with a lot of expectations and it fell short of it. I am this critical because for a high budget movie with such A-list actors at their disposal, they could have done better.
But despite all that, I will definitely recommend it.
The SetUp is still in the cinemas.