As I was walking from work today (I’m doing I.T in Lagos till school starts…hmmm! Nigeria!), the most amazing thoughts crept into my mind. So I’m here to share them with you.
Well, my after work route is a short walk to Obanikoro, boarding a BRT bus,…the rest doesn’t really matter (Stick with me, you’ll see where I’m going with this). But anyway, as I climbed up to the top of the overhead bridge at Obanikoro (cue the rocky music) and looked over Ikorodu road, it occurred to me… Stuntmen are crazy!… And then, I asked myself this, “why aren’t there any Nigerian action movies?”
I stopped for a few seconds and looked back and then forward again, and scenes from many a Hollywood blockbuster passed through my neural pathways in my brain. Coincidentally, a large lorry that had one of those “containers!” (Say that in an Igbo accent) went beneath the bridge.
For that moment, I was the star in my own movie, “push it” by Rick Ross started playing in my head and I was going to do the jump, you know, that timed jump from the railing onto a moving vehicle to run away from “the bad guys” (Angelina in “salt”, for example, amongst others)
But then, the music stopped and the lorry passed and I continued my journey, thoughts bubbling in my head. A funny thing is that someone would tell me, “Nigerian movies’ context pertains to the more realistic things of our culture and environment.” Ok! Yes! Maybe they are right. But, all the same, that’s why they are movies, play with our imaginations. Make us believe that Americans stand on moving trains and curve bullets; that zip lines are 150 Naira at your nearby supermarket. Apart from Africa magic Yoruba, and its juju (not referring to a genre of music), there’s really nothing realistic about naija movies.
Let’s honestly just think about it, one on one. Its all; lovey dovey, princess falls in love with her guitar player or agbero saves rich girl’s life or something. I’m not undermining Naij movies o! They are good (well some do give it the ol’college try). But those big screen giants they spend millions on?…smh. They end up buying expensive equipment and leaving loopholes in the plots and acting. Prioritize the big cheese better.
Tinie Tempah’s hit single “frisky”, I know you’ve seen that cool MOBO award-winning music video; they spent under 150 pounds on it.( not even 45k if converted) but quality nonetheless and all his videos “written in the stars”, “invincible”, “pass out” were about the same cost each maximum. If he can do it, why can’t we? (Tinie Tempah is Nigerian by the way…his real name is Patrick Chukwuemeka Okogwu)
But, I digress (as we all do), where was I? (Scrolling up…..AHA! found me) When I was about to take the jump (ok! I seriously just moved closer to the railing and looked down) and realized that without losing content or being out of the “realistic” Nigerian context, Naija could have some good action movies. I can see it in my head right now, overhead bridge chase scene, “Gidigbo” in a BRT bus, “action film” by M.I in the soundtrack/background…
Funny enough, action movies aren’t even supposed to be realistic, look at “wanted”, “matrix”, “salt”…even the ones that look real but with deeper thought, are half near impossible like “Once upon a time in Mexico” or “Enemy of the state” amongst a list of many others…
The lack of creativity with poor quality visuals and sound effects to maximize profit, is blatantly sad and says something about us as Nigerians… “I tell you solemnly, you need not spend exorbitantly to get a creative action movie” and by the time someone can use that Naeto C formula of adding little bits of Nigerian context to the mix, you’ve got it made.
High quality. Economic. Money maker. “Straight to the bank” by 50 Cent sign out…ha! hahaha ha!!!!!!
The music Geek.