By Williams ‘Bantu’ Irubor
Friends, family, fans and lovers of good movies all gathered at Genesis Deluxe Cinema in The Palms Shopping Mall Lekki on Friday night, for what they hoped would be a night to remember. It was indeed a night to remember, but for all the wrong reasons.
Moses Inwang’s “American Driver” was billed to premiere on Friday, February 24th, with the red carpet scheduled at 5pm but as at 8pm most of the actors in the star-studded movie had failed to arrive. A few of them finally turned up and at about 9pm the doors of the theatre were flung open for guests to enter.
A hundred and five minutes later when guests began filing out of the theatre that unmistakable look of utter disappointment was evident on most faces, and I’ll tell you why.
For an award-winning director like Moses Inwang this is one of his worst jobs, you’d agree with me if you’ve seen some of his previous movies like “Torn”, “Number One Fan’, “Three Digits”, “Stalker” (which notched 12 nominations a the 2015 GIAMA awards by the way) etc.
Gone were the days when an all-star ensemble ultimately culminated into a great movie. Moses Inwang failed to impress even with such a rich array of stars like Jim Iyke, Nadia Buari, AY Makun, Comedian McPc, Emma Nyra, Nse Ikpe-Etim, Anita Chris, Evan King, Melvin Oduah, and cameos by Yaw, Korede Bello, Alex Ekubo, and a host of others.
Small wonder when he was called to say a few words at the end of the movie, AY said, ”This is not one of Moses’ best works, his next project come June would definitely be better than this, but still tell your friends to all come see the movie because the producers of have to recoup their money”.
The movie started earnestly with Jack (Evan King) and Sunny (McPc the comedian) being interviewed for driver positions by a company in charge of catering for the hospitality needs of Nigerian stars visiting America for the upcoming GIAMA awards ceremony. This scene was far more interesting than the rest of the movie put together. If the producers had ended the movie after the “Interview” scene, the result wouldn’t have been as catastrophic as it was at the end of the whole movie.
All the stars struggled to impress, almost as if they weren’t paid adequately so they decided to show their frustration by putting in a collectively poor performance, save Jim Iyke. Jim alone was able to bring an above-par performance, which he ridiculed at the end when he made an obvious blunder that left me wondering if the producers didn’t notice it or chose to ignore, because the viewers might just be too stupid to notice it.
Jim was supposed to host the GIAMA awards but was running late because his designated driver (Jack) stupidly caused him trouble multiple times. He finally made it to the stage at the nick of time and on mounting, said, “Today has been an eventful one, I’ve been hospitalised (true), chased by the cops (also true), arrested (very false: Only Jack, his driver, was arrested for over speeding) and shot at (Bros you can lie oh, lols). Not a single gun-shot was fired in the movie. Unless the shooting he referred to was by the cameras.
When the movie finally ended it suddenly dawned on me why the lead actors (Jim Iyke, Nadia Buari, Nse Ikpe-Etim, Evan King, etc) failed to turn up for the premiere, they weren’t proud of the movie. Feel free to share with me any blockbuster where the lead actors failed to attend the movie premiere.
As award-winning comedian Funnybone called for all casts in the movie present to come forward and take a bow, only three obliged. The trio (Melvin Oduah and two actresses) ended up taking what seemed like a bow of shame instead. Even Moses Inwang was reluctant to come forward when he was being introduced as the movie director.
It was indeed a night to remember….a monumental waste of time in epic proportions.