By Morris Abdul Newton
Dir: Mike Steve-Adeleye
Starring: Bikiya Graham-Douglas, Gbenga Titiloye, Uzor Arukwe, Daniel Etim Effiong, Kalu Ikeagwu, Alex Usifo, Eucheria Anunobi, Zack Orji. 112mins
‘Code Wilo’ features Eucheria Anunobi staring or crying a great deal. Although those aren’t the only things she possibly brought to the movie, right? There were cogent reasons she actually cried or gasped at times – Her kidnapped daughter, Nimi Thompson (Bikiya Graham-Douglas), her errant husband, Livinus Thompson (Gbenga Titiloye), her suspicious eldest son, Churchill Thompson (Kalu Ikeagwu), the other detective like son, Lucky Thompson (Uzor Arukwe) and then the movie itself. No, I’m not saying ‘Code Wilo’ is a horrible movie. It’s just that there were points in the movie that would make the viewer just want to join Eucharia’s character in her successive mourning.
A pre-campaign announcement party goes wrong when the yet to be announced Governorship Aspirant, Nimi Thompson, is abducted. The political elites and the law enforcement agents in the state become uneasy and after a call from the abductors, it dawns on her Father, Livinus Thompson, a rogue politician/businessman that the kidnap is more personal than just money. ‘Code Wilo’ throws a bit of light on the scheming and violence surrounding the electoral period in the movie.
There was something reminiscent about MNET’s Battleground here. Apart from some story elements, this movie had the same Executive producer and creative director as the show. Even some of the actors were not left out. While the actors in the movie managed to come good with their acting, acting which is majorly tested by the confinement to a particular location over a period of time, the script managed to give them a few good lines of dialogue and a lot of useless ones. There was a point Livinus was talking to the abductor on the phone and he kept on spilling gibberish lines about “lions being lured out” and some other bad ones that are not to be remembered in subsequent phone calls.
One thing though, the movie was colour good. Cinematography came correct. Mike Steve as a practitioner has over time been good with certain creative devices. Hence why the shooting scenes weren’t bad at all but sadly, the major issue lied was with the fight scenes. That one there was a problem – Major one.
Sound was not really great. It was pretty rough, especially with the echoes and some of the unnatural shoe sounds made.
The Villain/abductor’s “big brother” type of voice was really annoying. The big mask he wore too didn’t even save his non-deceiving body movements. Another annoying thing was with the dizzying camera movement when the villain first started speaking unseen? I had no idea what that was about.
A thriller must work and flow seamlessly. This one didn’t and felt dull at the edge for some parts. Holes poked are not great for viewers. I just couldn’t look beyond a couple of raised eyebrow moments – No clear Hero – I couldn’t even tell whose story this was. The investigators led by Osagie (Steve Onu Yaw) were really of no use. We had a whole lot of exposition via dialogue thrown at us. They traced Nimi’s wristwatch, found the wristwatch and not the girl and just came back home when they could easily have gone to where the wristwatch was found and follow-through (By the way, this really reminded me of an episode of CSI). Lucky’s continuous insinuations that his dad has run away after reading the man’s letter where he clearly said he left to go sort things out and bring back his daughter made no sense.
Let’s jump towards the end where more awaited us. I don’t know why reading the news should become a problem but we were blessed with a pretty bad newscaster (I don’t know if she was the producer’s sister or something but I don’t understand why they couldn’t cast a person that spoke well). She reeled out the news of Livinus’ passing but we were never told who let the cat out of the bag despite the CCTV camera in the study.
Also and very importantly, I don’t know why the filmmakers thought it wise to keep moving away from Nimi’s torture. That girl did not go through no real pain all through the movie and that was a problem because it, in turn, made the audience feel nothing.
Amidst all, ‘Code Wilo’ had a bad ending. The Villain was nowhere to be found when Lucky and Francis arrived at the hideout looking for Nimi. He only showed up at the tail end. I wonder how he had only two guys around while when Nimi was abducted there were lots of guys.
The fight sequence at this point was well underwhelming bordering on annoying.
And then, after one of the actors was shot and the Villain killed, they did a foolish kiss bit that didn’t make any sense. The man was shot in the back and still got up as nothing happened. Oh! I know. He was revitalized by the kiss. Rubbish!