BY IFE OLUJUYIGBE
The movie already begins at the entrance of the cinema, with a lineup of people bent on standing for ten days and under the sun of the city, if need be, just to see this comedy-drama film. It is incredible how people queue up about an hour before every show, and more people keep trooping in to get their tickets in advance. And to think this was the least marketed of all Ayo ‘AY’ Makun‘s films?
When, eventually, the real film begins, we are taken to Lagos, Nigeria and reminded of Monica (or Ese) from 30 Days in Atlanta. Monica is Akpors’ cousin’s ex-girlfriend who was determined to marry him at all costs. According to her, she moved to Lagos three years ago (the calculation doesn’t seem to add up as she was still in Warri at the time, but benefit of the doubt, people). Akpors brings his new girlfriend, Bianca, to Monica’s house from Warri, to prepare her for a beauty pageant. Monica is wealthy from getting in bed with rich men, and as soon as she attempts to influence Bianca into this lifestyle, Akpors leaves her place for his friend’s, Seyi, from where Bianca goes for the pageant and ultimately wins as queen of Nigeria.
Upon her win, she must go on a ten-day trip to South Africa to be the face of the multinational Otawi cosmetics, owned by the rich and powerful Otunba Ayoola Williams who sponsors the pageant. She agrees to this and takes her manager – Akpors – along but in South Africa, everything takes an unexpected turn for the couple.
The story, while not being the most ingenious, is a big improvement on the last adventure of Akpors. It has a lot more direction, but one cannot help wondering if it is the same Akpors that has had all three adventures, or just three different Akporses who look and sound very alike. It would seem like the same Akpors because of the return of Monica who witnessed the first adventure, but what happened with everyone else? For example, we do not see his cousin, Richard from that same adventure, or his American girlfriend, Kimberly, whose father looks just like the same Otunba in this latest adventure. What became of Bola, the woman he proposed to in his last adventure, A Trip to Jamaica? These are the questions.
One thing AY gets right in 10 Days in Sun City is the casting. From the first scene, it is a laughter fest with Mercy Johnson who plays Monica. Next is Alibaba and we laugh some more, but then Folarin ‘Falz’ Falana comes on the scene as Seyi, and we are nearly choking, holding our chests and trying to not fall over with laughter. The one, two-scene roles of these individually funny actors make the film more comical. There’s the inclusion of Faithia Balogun, who also even has a name in the credits, but we do not see her role in the film. Others who make cameo appearances are OAP Freeze, Uti Nwachukwu, Sexy Steel, Juliet Ibrahim, Gbenro Ajibade, Peter P-Square, Innocent ‘2Baba’ and Annie Idibia, and singer, Solid Star.
Adesua Etomi as Bianca is beautiful but doesn’t exactly nail the role, which is a first. She seems to not fit the description of ‘local helpless Warri girl’ with the way she speaks, and when she remembers she is the local helpless Warri girl and attempts to speak pidgin, it is way off. It is hard to see her and AY play an item, and like many other characters in 10 Days in Sun City, we have to ask, how did she end up with an Akpors?
One wonders why these films always have to end with action; action that is very badly done. When Akpors hits men with a bottle on their heads, they immediately go unconscious, even the man with a cap on. But he goes on to break bottles on his own head and he doesn’t even break a sweat. We find the rest of Otunba’s men running, and the hilarious ‘Ajekun Iya’ song is being played, but they didn’t even witness the conquering of their friends, so why would they run? It gets even worse when at an event ridden with bodyguards and armed men, two unarmed men with very little skill and wit, are able to override them all. And what with the long talks that always precede killing, or the tired “drop your weapon and let’s fight like real men” line? These clichés only go on to ruin a good meal.
There are discrepancies in continuity. When Otunba introduces 2Baba to his audience at the grand banquet, he is already done with his speech. The scene goes off his face for a bit, and when it returns, he is still on his speech, saying the same things he already said. We also find that, while the days are changing with Bianca and Otunba, indicated by the change of clothes and locations, Akpors’ day is still the same with him in a nightclub. The subtitling is fair, but faulty when he says Bianca Okumagba when we see Okamugba.
In 10 Days in Sun City, Akpors’ jokes are funnier, and thankfully, the jokes wrap themselves around the movie, and not the other way around. The visuals are lovely to behold, and the few foreign actors put up a good show. While this film was written and directed by entirely new people, Kehinde Ogunlola and Adze Ugah respectively, the predictable and poorly-executed resolution offers only dissatisfaction at the end of the film. A few laughs here and there, but nothing concrete to hold on to.