by Wilfred Okiche
They say Nollywood is improving. Maybe. But the films on this list make a strong case against any hopes we have for Nollywood Rising. We present 10 of the year’s worst duds. From most tolerable to the least tolerable.
- When love happens again
aka The sequel that no one asked for. Ordinarily, this film wouldn’t be on this list but because it is a disappointing sequel to a genuinely sweet and well-received film, the knocks are well deserved. When Love Happens Again certainly does not justify its existence. Unexplained changes in the cast, a plot that goes nowhere fast, bad acting and a genuinely underwhelming story add up to a disappointing experience.
- Wives on strike
Omoni Oboli is bae; we know this. Her movies eat up the box office and aside from AY, no one really matches her bankability. But her movies are bad, truth be told and Wives on strike is only the latest in a line that started with Being Mrs. Elliot. Oboli, Uche Jombo, Chioma Akpotha all slum it out in this one note jeremiad on the evils of child marriage. We appreciate movies with a cause but this one is a huge let down.
- Yes I don’t
This one is (loosely) based on the book 10 Kinds of people you must not marry, How to marry right by Pastor Dexter Akin-Aremu. The cast is quite loaded (Van Vicker, Omowumi Dada, Nancy Isime) but the film is pretty anaemic. Nothing to see here really, except zero acting, unengaging storytelling and a plot created to induce narcolepsy are your thing, then by all means jump in. But don’t say you weren’t warned.
- A Trip to Jamaica
But story is everything and this film barely has one to hang on to. The screenplay is shoddy and unsure of itself and the stars are immediately stranded on the island of mediocre jokes and bad acting. You know things are dire when even Funke Akindele is struggling to be funny. A Trip to Jamaica has trouble coming up with the laughs. No one near charismatic enough is able to save A Trip to Jamaica. AY sinks and everyone else sinks with him.
Lancelot Imasuen’s latest attempt at comedy falls horribly flat, it is a surprise no one on the team figured it out long before. Pining an entire feature length on the premise that a white girl speaking pidgin English would be enough to draw out the laughs and the crowds is itself a lazy, derivate filmmaking gimmick. Needless to say that it backfires spectacularly and the film, lazily acted, tackily shot and badly directed as it arrives dead in the water.
- The Grudge
There is nothing special technically that The Grudge has to offer, matter of fact the picture could be improved upon. The script is dull and ends badly as it tries to coalesce two separate stories into a whole that is less than satisfying. The acting, especially from the leads is basic Nollywood stock fare. Richard Mofe Damijo and Ireti Doyle phone it in, Adekola is overcompensating and Funmi Holder remains a presence for the small screen.
Half of Nollywood shows up for this film within a film debacle that must have read beautifully on paper. It is the only explanation we can figure out for why the likes of Dakore Akande, Wale Ojo, Funlola Aofiyebi would say yes to this hot mess. Think Fifty without Mo Abudu’s out of this world hype skills. Think Inception without any sort of thrill or action point whatsoever and you begin to get a clue on how bland Entreat is. See only if you like beautiful people doing nothing.
The presence of AY should have warned us off this one but ever the optimists, we decided to wade in. And boy was it bad. A star-studded cosmetic affair with little depth or reason. Director Niyi Towolawi manages to make the promising premise on the challenges that newlyweds face into a boring, dead in the water affair. See at your own risk.
Saddled with an obvious title, Stalker is the rare film that makes Nse Ikpe-Etim look bad on screen (and she’s been in some stale turkeys). Actress turned billionaire wife, Caroline Danjuma (bless her heart) makes a play for some thespian respectability as producer and star of this Moses Inwang misfire but there is just no escaping the ugliness of the effort. Danjuma still can’t act, Jim Iyke is still a bore outside of his bad boy shtick and dear Nse is human after all.
- For the wrong reasons
This one was made for all the wrong reasons. Armed with an okay budget and considerable connections, director Elvis Chuks continues his quest to leave a black mark on every film he makes. The meandering and totally self-defeating plot circles around a group of uninteresting characters played by an ensemble team comprising actors who have no clue what they have gathered for. And can you blame them? The story is a mess, scripting is even more so. Must be the paycheck that brought everyone to the yard.
– Post Script: Only movies that got a cinema release were considered for this list.