King Invincible, the debut film by Femi Adisa kicks of 2017 Nollywood in epic style. We aren’t so enamoured by the stagey feel, and the film definitely missed the chance to end on a bang but we were still left impressed. By the twists that managed to surprise, the love story that charmed, the stunt work, the fight scenes and yes the acting.
Now this is not the case as seen in a film like last year’s 93 Days were every actor- both big and small, foreign and local- brought on their A-game. The credit for a film like King Invincible ultimately goes to the director for deploying cast and crew into achieving a certain level of competence not usually associated with this genre.
Peopled a fine mix of both old and younger acts, King Invincible works largely because of the efforts of the cast. Not all the actors hit their stride. Segun Dada hasn’t quite mastered techniques of acting for the screen. Elder Peter Fatomilola misses his cue on a few occasions. Tolu Fagbure’s character is not exactly the kind of comic relief that is needed and the less said about the other drunken character, the better.
But the fabulous foursome of Tope Tedela, Gabriel Afolayan, Omowunmi Dada and Mike Abdul put in powerhouse performances that enlivens the screenplay. Dada does not have plenty to do but she makes use of whatever time is allotted to her to melt hearts. Her romance with heartthrob Tope Tedela retains a certain purity even when they are taking off their clothes and her soulful facial expressions convey love and longing quite well.
Gospel band, Midnight Crew’s Mike Abdul has not been in a film before but it is hard to tell considering how he hams it up dramatically as the moody monarch caught between his duty to the crown and love for his family. Tedela who came to prominence when he won a surprising Africa Magic Viewers Choice Award impresses once again as he takes a character that could easily have been a punchline and keeps it grounded.
But Gabriel Afolayan, brother to Kunle, and son to the late great Ade Love is the most watchable thing about King Invincible. As the covetous Prince Adetiba, Afolayan is a delight to behold. He chews up the scenery lavishly and leaves an indelible presence.
These four central characters go a long way in making King Invincible as effective as it is. Who says acting isn’t serious work?