Rukky Sanda’s opened 2014 at the Box Office with Gold Diggin. One word – disaster. With little breathing space, Elvis Chuks star-studded Honeymoon Hotel unlike Michelle Bello’s Flower Girl had no busy screening in the cinemas let alone on Valentine’s Day. After winning at this year’s Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards, an emboldened Chucks decided to (mis)treat us to another cinema calamity thinking that fellow award winner Nse Ikepe-Etim will make up for his ghastly filmmaking errors in I Come Lagos. Double wahala! Throughout the year and almost every month, we were served with below average and really poor titles. Blame it on the budgets or the actors who agreed to associate their name with such mediocrity, 2014 had its fair share of misses. Producing is not for everyone but actresses like Juliet Ibrahim, Yvonne Nelson and Ivie Okujaiye decided to do a double whammy with disastrous consequences. Pretty faces, nice costumes and media hype can never cover poor production values, a wobbly script and mindless directing. We present the top 10 cinema films that made us wish we had put our N1500, brain cells and precious time to better use.
- Gold Diggin
Rukky Sanda is a woman on a mission – to get pretty faces, nice costumes and celebrities together. She succeeds in doing just about that in Gold Diggin and then freestyles in directing a melodramatic music /home video. It’s more of talking heads and loud background music than a real storyline. Our hope in 2015 is that Ms Sanda chooses one area of filmmaking then gets help. Schooling or engaging experienced hands.
- I Come Lagos
Elvis Chuks has a talent for convincing credible actors to star in his less than credible cinematic calamities. His latest victim is fellow Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards (AMVCA) winner Nse Ikpe-Etim who is the lead in what is supposed to be a comedy, I Come Lagos. Unfortunately, her star wattage dims significantly as she is forced to work with a dead-on-arrival-script and a cast of lacklustre talents. The film is predictable and one directional; typical Chucks.
- Honeymoon Hotel
The star studded cover of Elvis Chuks’ Honeymoon Hotel is about as good as it gets. Unfortunately many of them only make cameo experiences. The screenplay is unrealistic, uninteresting and at times, plain silly. The lighting, sound and editing are no better. The whole movie drags between flashbacks set in Nigeria and South Africa and thankfully comes to an abrupt end (in less than two hours) at the Honeymoon Hotel. Not even Joke Silva’s enunciation and gestures can save this movie.
- The Number One Fan
The Number One Fan is supposed to be a thriller but Ay Makun’s performance as a police officer turns it into a comic skit; you could easily be mistaken that you are watching his TV show. Actress turned producer, Juliet Ibrahim is too busy exhibiting beautiful sets and changing dresses to accentuate her figure to notice anything wrong. And things get messy; her sister Sonia Ibrahim struggles with different accents and lacks any screen presence let alone acting skills. The sub plots come in at will to make the bad plot lines go away. How Moses ‘Sneeze’ Inwang allowed himself to be sucked into this mess remains a mystery.
- One Night in Vegas
And Nollywood goes to Vegas, so it should be hot, exciting and super fun, right? Not exactly the case in One Night in Vegas. A good location, no matter how iconic and popular can never make up for a watered down script full of clichés. Neither can shouting and arguing create drama, melodrama maybe. Although the film was made in the States, the production values are no different from what is obtainable back in Nigeria’s home video industry.
- Single, Married and Complicated
Yvonne Nelson did not read the reviews of her 2012 cinema hit Single & Married. Perhaps if she did, she would have put more effort in coming up with something more original or better still not have bothered to do a sequel. In Single, Married and Complicated, she packs in a number of Nollywood and Ghollywood stars in an attempt to shine the light on marriage and relationships. What she succeeds in doing is giving us a fashion show, where she is super model and the rest follow her lead. Beyond that, it is fairly predictable one dimensional fare.
- Deep Inside
How does Lancelot Oduwa Imasuen release movies that fall into our top 10 best films as well as our top 10 worst films? Only he can answer that. Starring Omoni Oboli and upcoming actor Uti Nwachukwu, Deep Inside tries to be many things other than the identity it chooses – romantic comedy. This is not helped by poor editing, bad sound and inconsistent acting by the supporting cast. It’s uneven, uninteresting and unacceptable – almost like an experiment of sorts.
- Devil in a Dress
The hallmark of a good director is in their ability to bring a script to life; to tell a story creatively and ultimately, elicit a response from the audience. In the case of Devil in a Dress, Pascal Amanfo fails to reign in the excesses of the script and allows the actors to have a ball on set reciting their lines and basically, doing their own thing. It gets worse as the production values are so low that the question easily arises: how did this make it to the box office in both Ghana and Nigeria?
- Make a Move
Parading the likes of Tuface Idibia and Omawumi, viewers were hoping to see these musicians assume new characters on screen. The film’s producer Ivie Okujaye had a different idea – come as you are and play a judge on a dancing competition. And just to add more colour and celebrity wattage, she featured Denrele Edun. The problem is that a dance movie needs to have bad (we mean really good) choreography. Make a Move doesn’t. And its low production make the whole thing look tacky. Okujaye and Tina Mba’s acting though strong are more suited for a heart-warming drama which this film is not.
- Mama Africa
While it is great to see Tonto Dikeh play a role that does not involve her pouting and showing off cleavage, the producer of Mama Africa would have done well to focus on giving us a good film than using her as a marketing tool. Drama, music and action – the film would have done well to settle on one – maybe, music. Many parts of the script are implausible and the overacting by some of the cast make it even worse. And how do you explain Dikeh carrying guns like their handbags or a leader shooting everyone to kill corruption? Only in the movies.
Article was written by Nolly Silver Screen.