MERRY MEN REVIEW
By Morris Abdul Newton
Dir: Toka McGrabor
Starring: Ramsey Nouah, Ay Makun, Jim Iyke, Falz, Ireti Doyle, Jide Kosoko, Rosy Meuer, Damilola Adegbite, Nancy Isime, Richard Mofe-Damijo, Osas Ajibade, Ali Nuhu. 105mins
Remi Martins (Falz), Amaju Abioritsegbemi (AY the comedian), Ayo Alesinloye (Ramsey Nouah) and Naz Okigbo (Jim Iyke) are Abuja’s most eligible bachelors as well as it’s most notorious. They possess thriving businesses, palatial homes, fast cars and the attention of women in no short supply. They are known as THE MERRY MEN… but the ladies call them THE REAL YORUBA DEMONS.
Well, in true honor of the description above, the ‘Merry Men’ were introduced excellently as they arrived an Owambe (Nigerian party) in four top-notch cars lined up in that ‘Voltron force-esque’ manner. The four men then alighted in flowing white agbadas apt enough for their nickname, ‘Yoruba Demons.’
Okay, the above paragraph is possibly the most “sweet mouth” I’ll give this movie. After the introduction of the Merry Men, quite a number of things just didn’t tie up nicely.
Apart from spending way too much time on the EFCC boss (Francis Duru) and his officers played by Damilola Adegbite and Ushbebe at the party, it was also pretty difficult hearing what they were saying. The sound quality was weak at the beginning of the movie. Also, the love-making sequence at the beginning was very tedious.
Some light technicalities also didn’t play out well. For instance, the first time Amaju meets Nancy Isime’s character, there was this light change issue which made the scene look like two different scenes. The first fight scene between Naz and the thugs in the restaurant featured shaky cameras and I am convinced this wasn’t the plan or style.
Now onto some other issues, Damilola’s character joined the ‘Merry Men’ way too early. I don’t see how a group of people engaged in such shady business will just allow some random woman they know from nowhere to join their group and even be involved in their secret operations. That just made no sense.
Jide Kosoko plays the opposition boss (Chief) that the ‘Merry Men’ attempts to steal from. Eventually, there wasn’t much resistance from him in my opinion. I honestly thought there would be more but I was very well disappointed. It was quite easy for the MM.
This is why I ask what the use of introducing badass characters that are associated with the Chief was for back when the MM was talking about their plans to rob him. What was their actual use in the story they weren’t used? It just didn’t seem right.
The relationship between Naz and Kemi (Rosy Meuer) was much more defined and refined than the one played between Ayo and Damilola Adegbite’s character. There was nothing organic about it. The growth was pretty much already stunted from the start.
Directing was fair but I had a major issue with some cutback and forth. It’s weird that a scene will be on and then they would cut to another in between then return to the scene again before returning fully to the inserted scene. That shoot or edit style is pretty annoying especially as it happened quite a number of times. There’s nothing wrong with just running through a scene as per usual before moving on to the next. Experimenting on the little things that matter in a film can be expensive especially as it applies to storytelling. Story is more important than any aesthetic. Everything serves the story.
Acting wasn’t exactly great. It only served as much of the purpose as it could. The movie holds an average laugh rate which is fine considering it wasn’t meant to be a full-on comedy anyway… Or was it?
‘Merry Men’ had some good dialogue which has become a trademark of the Anthony Kehinde Joseph’s writing. However, some of the work fell flat in story execution making it look like it lacked enough meat.
This is AY’s best movie yet but it was pretty much average from an execution point of view. There is just so little to be merry about. I wish.