BY IFE OLUJUYIGBE
Set in Texas is this 2017 Moses Inwang comedy film about an American man, Jack Curry, who decides to get a job as a driver for the guests of a Nigerian awards event known as GIAMA. For about ninety minutes, we are treated to his craziness, the way he has to deal with African celebrities with mischief, and make both friends and enemies of them. What Jack tries to do all round is not leave even one client without an impression; what he ends up doing is leaving us all with an impression.
American Driver starts out promising, showing off its unforced humor and good directing. Jack (Evan King) is a natural down to the way he looks. He has to go head to head with an ‘Auchi boy’, Sunny (McPc) for the job, and they are both put on probation. Up to this point, we are having a good time, laughing every two minutes. Until the guests begin to show up and then eyelids begin to snap up and down, struggling with the sleep that attempts to suck us in by the now boring directionless story. The writers (Bode Ojo, Moses Inwang and Patrick Nnamani) at this point are really just all about making the film long enough, and the plot fails to hit any climax.
But for Evans who is an exception from the many white talentless actors we have been known to cast in Nollywood movies, we would get cranky at the turn of events because, while Jim Iyke (who is one of the producers) is brought in to give the story some form of basis, his linear and sometimes exaggerated acting doesn’t help the movie. In truth, it makes it worse. The other celebrities do not do any better either: Emma Nyra, Nadia Buari, Melvin Odua, Nse Ikpe Etim, AY Makun. They appear in this film and put up forgettable performances that seem like a favour to a filmmaker who isn’t going to pay. Anita Chris Nwaezeapu who is cast as Kate, Jack’s boss and love interest, is perhaps the only one, apart from Evans, who seems happy to have shown up to work.
The movie treks on on an even plain for the next few minutes, and then goes further downhill. The back and forth with repetitive scenes doesn’t flatter the movie, and makes it one film you’re quick to forget all about as soon as you walk through the doors of the cinema. You’re bound to remember Evan’s face though; like I said, he really did leave an imprint.
The cinematography is notable. The sound, not so much. Jack Curry has occasional moments of imaginations that are shown, and these spice up the anticlimactic story, but this is as far as the film goes.
American Driver will entertain you and then not. It is meant to be hilarious and unserious, but it goes beyond that and quickly becomes some sort of shabby side attraction made around a real awards show (which doesn’t look very impressive either).