A TRIP TO JAMAICA
Directed by: – Robert Peters
Produced by: – Ayo Makun
Starring: – Ayo Makun, Funke Akindele, Nse Ikpe-Etim, Dan Davies, Eric Roberts, Chris Attoh , Rebecca Silvera , Paul Campbell
Run time: – 110 minutes ( 1hr 50mins)
Another Akpos Story
30 Days in Atlanta was a 2014 Nigerian romantic comedy film produced by comedian Ayo Makun who many will know as AY and Nigerian director, Robert Peters, directed it. The film was shot on location in Lagos and Atlanta and it revolved around Warri-based Nigerians, Akpos (Ayo Makun), an impulsive but funny young man and his more reserved and his learned cousin, Richard (Ramsey Nouah), an I.T. consultant. They get invited to a luxurious real estate showcase party and Akpors unexpectedly wins a 30-day prize trip to Atlanta for a couple in the raffle draw. He decides to take his cousin Richard for the ride and hilarity ensues. The movie ended up becoming the highest grossing film of all time in Nigerian cinemas despite the negative reviews the critics gave the film. The critics were not enough to stop the movie’s success as the general crowd really enjoyed the picture.
With great commercial success comes sequels or spin-offs. So its really not a surprise that 30 Days in Atlanta got a follow up in the guise of A Trip to Jamaica. The film follows Akpos and his fiancé Bola (Funke Akindele) who he proposes to during a live Olamide concert. She accepts his proposal and decides to take a vacation to Atlanta to visit Bola’s sister Abigail (Nse Ikpe-Etim) and her stinking rich husband who is dubbed the big man. Even though Akpos and Bola are enjoying themselves things aren’t as rosy as it seems. Abigail is not happy with her marriage and her Husband wealth isn’t clean as he is involved in the shady business of Drug dealing. After a series of threats have been made towards him by his competitor (Eric Roberts) he decides to take everyone on a trip to Jamaica in order to escape.
I said it in an earlier review that Comedy sequels are notorious for being inferior to their originals. A lot of the time they are unable to re-discover the magic of what made the first film hilarious and tend to tread familiar ground without offering anything new. With a new location and characters can AY and Robert Peters prove that lightning strikes twice? Lets take a look at the pros and cons.
- The chemistry between Ay and Funke Akindele was initially funny to watch. As they constantly mock each other, which as a results provides for some of the films best jokes.
- Another aspect I like about this film is the various locales we see in it. From the clean streets of Atlanta to the beautiful beaches of Jamaica you won’t be complaining about the backdrops. The film had amazing shots of the country and showed of certain aspects of the Jamaican culture, which has certainly piqued my interest in visiting Jamaica one day.
- The movie is bugged with technical issues especially in the sound department. Some characters sound way too loud whilst some are difficult to hear a key example of this flaw occurred when Akpos and Bola were arguing and we couldn’t hear Nse’s character talk as the sound wasn’t picking up her voice. Normally I would give this a pass but it was very noticeable in this picture and it harms the overall experience.
- I mentioned in the pros section that Akpos and Bola’s chemistry was initially charming but their rapport will annoy you very quickly. They are constantly arguing in pigeon English and their words and actions are over exaggerated to the point it actually begins to get extremely obnoxious. The two actors are billed to be the leads of the movie unfortunately the characters they play are too annoying to be captivating in the lead role and they are not even funny most of the time. They won’t even qualify as good supporting characters in my book.
- Other than one or two laughs, the film commits the biggest sin a comedy movie in my honest opinion can do which providing the crowd with absolutely no laughs. A lot of the jokes are exaggerated, immature and not smart. The only line piece of dialogue that made me think the writers were smart was when Rebecca Silvera’s character says that Paul Campbell’s character; Caspar “is not a friendly ghost”. Going out of the cinema I shouldn’t be able to count how many gags in the film were actually funny.
- I don’t get the role Nse was here to play but she looks like an actress that couldn’t care any less that’s she’s in a movie. Her performance as Abigail is extremely flat and her action does not convince us that her character is Bola’s sister. This is a shame to as Nse Ikpe-Etim is without a doubt one of the best actresses in Nollywood but this movie has not helped her career. She’s not the only guilty party as Chris Attoh is also bland and delivers his lines with no conviction. Dan Davis as the big man was simply not good and Eric Roberts as one of the film’s villains was just there. Jamaican actor Paul Campbell as Caspar was ok if not a little too clichéd.
- The movie has a serious tonal clash, which makes no sense to me. The movie is advertised as a comedy but it’s also too serious and at most times especially during the latter half of the movie. It acts like a drama as the plot also deals with the world of drug trafficking, death threats and a loveless marriage in a film that’s supposed about a guy who goes to Jamaica for a ‘fun ‘ holiday. I certainly did not go to the cinema to see those themes in the movie and the movie could have been better if it didn’t have those sub-plots.
- The movie is littered with annoying ad placement and pointless and unfunny cameos. This is exemplified when Akpos gives the Big man condensed peak milk with croissant or when he mentions that he can call people with his Glo roaming service. The film also features artists Olamide, Patoranking and Cynthia Morgan. The cameos they make really didn’t need to exist as they don’t add to the movie and their appearances doesn’t make the scene they are featured in funny at all.
A Trip to Jamaica is a lazy comedy with potential in its locale and set-up that’s ultimately hampered by poor sound performance, unlikable leads and poor performances across the board. You are better off missing this flight.
RATING: – MISS IT!!!