King of Boys’ is magnificent. But running for an excruciating two hours and fifty minutes, this plucky exploration teetering at the very zenith of Nigerian film-making, unfortunately doesn’t come without its flaws. However, and fortunately; at its core, ‘King of Boys’ is so damn good, all flaws are easily forgiven. With a gripping story and powerful acting performances, this is not a movie to be missed. No doubt about it, ‘King of Boys’ is a bonafide Nollywood triumph.
Masterfully telling an intricately interwoven story, the makers of ‘King of Boys’ succeed in saying so much, with so very little. So it was that, though ordinarily from its marketing and advertising, going in, one would expect to see just another gangster flick highlighted by explicit bouts of crude violence, deathly swag and ominous bravado. Yet while ‘King of Boys’ is as gangster as gangster comes, it goes beyond the violence and the swag to tell a story which juxtaposes pivotal national issues relating to life in Nigeria at these times. At its essence forcing a close examination of the ultimate consequences of criminal-desperation vis-a-vis the selfless sacrifices of patriotic-courage.
The good thing is that all that essence is eloquently marinaded in a stew of suspense, thrills and excitement that succeeds in keeping its audience captivated and interested for “most” of its one hundred and seventy minutes run time. “Most”, because while ‘King of Boys’ starts out very strong and stays laudably strong for nigh two hours; there’s undeniably approximately twenty minutes where it dips sharply as if feeling groggy and unsure of where next to take the story or of how to reach an explosive ending. Nevertheless, even with that little fumble, it does come out on top; triumphant in the end. Leaving us not a single grumpy-looking face to see when the lights came on. If you can find “three hours” in your life to spare. You can’t go wrong with this King from Nollywood. It. Is. Royalty.