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MOVIE REVIEW: Merry Men 3: Once Promising Sequel Falls From Grace



Merry Men 3 Falls From Grace To Grass |

Category: Nollywood

Movie Title: Merry Men 3: Nemesis

Release Date: 13 October, 2023

Director: Moses Inwang

Runtime: 2 hours, 11 minutes

Cast: AY Makun, Ramsey Nouah, William Uchemba, Sam Dede, Chidi Mokeme, Francis Onwochei, Ufoma Mc Dermott, Nadia Buari, Caroline Hutchings, and Regina Daniels.

The exclamation “What the heck” is almost a natural statement when watching the 2023 action thriller drama Merry Men 3: Nemesis.

Nigerians’ affection for homegrown cinematic productions was rekindled with the introduction of Merry Men in 2018. This resurgence was primarily attributed to the film’s pioneering embrace of action sequences and the inclusion of both seasoned and emerging talents in the industry, such as Ramsey Noah, the iconic Jim Iyke, and the rapidly rising star Falz.

Despite the initial film in the Merry Men trilogy having its flaws, audiences willingly overlooked them as they were caught up by its Yoruba Demons narrative that sparked numerous social media challenges and discussions.

The reception to the announcement of the second film was mixed, as viewers pondered whether the producers would learn from the shortcomings of the first instalment or succumb to the tired narrative common in many action film sequels: a character seeking revenge.

Judging by the minimal buzz surrounding the release of Merry Men 3, it seems evident that the producers might not have heeded the lessons from the past.

Merry Men 3 yearns for a touch of originality; various elements in the film appear as if they were tacked on as an afterthought. From the overall storyline to the characters’ actions, the film gives the impression of what unfolds when a writer draws inspiration from too many action films without putting in any creative spin.

Merry Men 3 Falls From Grace To Grass |

The Plot

The third chapter in the trilogy continues the narrative from the previous film, unfolding Ayo and Kemi’s wedding preparations. However, the joyous occasion takes an unexpected turn when Dafe, Ayo’s presumed dead former best friend, disrupts the ceremony.

The backstory reveals Ayo and Dafe’s shared history in a past gang. In a fateful operation, Dafe is wounded, and Ayo, abandoning him, becomes the source of deep-seated resentment for Dafe. Years later, Dafe orchestrates a coup, leading a new criminal organisation in America with a singular motive: revenge against Ayo.

At the wedding, Dafe delivers a devastating blow by informing Ayo and the Merry Men of the deaths of Naz and Remi. This tragic revelation fuels their collective thirst for vengeance, leading them to a mission against Dafe.

As the Merry Men continue, they uncover Dafe’s grander scheme to eliminate top politicians and frame them for the killings. The group, enlisting the help of familiar allies like Dame Maduka and Zara, formulates a plan to thwart Dafe’s nefarious agenda.

In a dramatic face-off, Ayo falls victim to Dafe’s lethal shot, only to be unexpectedly resurrected. Amidst a shocking betrayal, the group is compelled into a final confrontation with Dafe, leading them into a perilous war where impending doom looms large.

The Good About Merry Men 3

Merry Men 3’s cinematography sets a high standard for future Nollywood action films with its good lighting, excellent camera shots, and beautiful yet practical locations. The sound accurately enhances the cinematic experience.

The casting choices, particularly Ireti Doyle as Dame Maduka, were excellent. She convincingly portrays a self-centred, evil, and intelligent villain ready to use any means to destroy everything. Chidi Mokeme‘s portrayal of Dafe is outstanding, with his body language and facial expressions perfectly suited for the villainous role.

The action scenes in the film are intense and well-executed. The characters display mastery of stunt moves, complemented by impressive special effects.

Merry Men 3 Falls From Grace To Grass |

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The Bad About Merry Men 3

Merry Men 3 falls short as a sequel because it lacks innovation; the plot seems like a repeat of the second film. The concept of a new character seeking revenge on a previous main character has been overused, as seen in the Fast and Furious franchise. While not a terrible narrative, Merry Men 3’s execution lacks nuance, feeling too straightforward.

The film could have benefited from unexpected twists, like concealing Dafe’s identity for a more dramatic reveal. For instance, creating uncertainty about Ayo’s survival and having him return later to aid the gang would have added intrigue. Unfortunately, the writers stuck to a predictable path, making the film uninteresting.

Several actors contributed to the lacklustre feel, delivering lines with poor tones and bland facial expressions. Even in scenes mourning Naz and Remi’s deaths, the characters appear unaffected, making it hard for viewers to connect with their grief.

The abrupt deaths of Naz and Remi raised questions, as their characters were killed off due to actors not returning for the sequel. A more thoughtful approach, like having one character drift away and potentially return in a future film, could have added depth.

While Dafe is a competent villain, his motivations lack sufficient strength for his actions. Dafe’s grudge against Ayo for leaving him when he was shot in the head feels weak, especially considering a headshot typically results in a quick death. A more compelling backstory or avoiding a direct connection between Dafe and Ayo in the past could have strengthened the narrative.

Final Thoughts

Merry Men gets a 3/10 rating.

The trilogy, which started strong, disappoints in its third and likely final instalment.

You can watch Merry Men 3 on Netflix.

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7 Movies That Defined Nollywood Career For Mr Ibu



7 Movies That Defined Nollywood Career For Mr Ibu |

The Nigerian entertainment industry is in mourning after the passing of veteran actor John Ikechukwu Okafor, known to audiences as Mr. Ibu. He died on Saturday, March 2nd, 2024, from a cardiac arrest.

Mr. Ibu was a comedic giant, known for his infectious laughter and larger-than-life presence. His contributions to Nollywood, the Nigerian film industry, have left an indelible mark on the hearts of fans worldwide.

As a tribute to his legacy, revisits some of Mr. Ibu’s top movies, highlighting his exceptional talent and comedic genius.

“Mr. Ibu,” the film that shares its name with John Okafor’s iconic stage name, is a true testament to his comedic brilliance. The movie perfectly captured his essence, showcasing his impeccable timing and endearing personality.

Okafor’s portrayal of Mr. Ibu navigates various hilarious situations, solidifying his place as a comedic legend and a beloved figure in Nollywood.

Another notable film in Mr. Ibu’s repertoire is “Mr. Ibu in London.” This movie throws his iconic character into the heart of the British capital, leading to a hilarious string of mishaps and cultural clashes.

Through this cultural fish-out-of-water story, Okafor demonstrates his remarkable ability to connect with and entertain audiences from diverse backgrounds.

His performance in this sequel is not only laugh-out-loud funny but also surprisingly heartwarming, showcasing the wider range of his acting talents.

One film that truly showcases Mr. Ibu’s versatility is “My Son, My Treasure.” This heartwarming story explores the often-complex bond between a father and son, played by Mr. Ibu and his real-life son.

The movie seamlessly blends humour and emotional depth, highlighting Okafor’s ability to deliver not only side-splitting comedic performances but also portrayals that resonate with audiences on a deeper level, touching on the importance of family values.

7 Movies That Defined Nollywood Career For Mr Ibu |

“9 Wives” is a film that demonstrates Mr. Ibu’s ability to navigate more complex narratives. The story tackles the topic of polygamy, a sensitive issue in some cultures.

Okafor manages to weave his signature humour throughout the film, but it also serves as a commentary on social issues. This movie highlights his impressive range as an actor, showcasing his ability to be funny, thought-provoking, and socially aware.

Before becoming synonymous with the iconic Mr. Ibu character, John Okafor displayed his early comedic talents in the film “Police Recruit.”

This movie tells the story of a man’s hilariously unsuccessful journey through police training. Okafor’s natural comedic timing and ability to evoke laughter shine brightly in this early performance, hinting at the comedic genius he would later fully develop.

While renowned for his side-splitting comedic roles, John Okafor also possessed remarkable versatility as an actor. This was evident in his performance in “Issakaba.” This is a film that delves into the complex issue of vigilante justice in Nigeria.

In this movie, Okafor stepped outside his usual comedic persona, showcasing his impressive range and adaptability by portraying a character significantly different from his usual comedic heroes.

John Okafor, fondly known as Mr. Ibu, was a beloved Nigerian actor and comedian who sadly passed away. He brought laughter and joy to millions through his films, leaving a lasting legacy in Nollywood and beyond.

One of his most iconic portrayals was in “Mr. Ibu,” a film showcasing his comedic timing and lovable character. Other notable movies include “Mr. Ibu in London,” where his character navigated hilarious cultural clashes, and “My Son, My Treasure,” a heartwarming story about a father-son bond.

Okafor’s versatility shone through in films like “9 Wives,” which balanced humour with social commentary, and “Issakaba,” where he tackled a serious societal issue. Even in his early days, his comedic talent was evident in “Police Recruit.”

Mr. Ibu’s ability to blend humour with meaningful storytelling made him a cherished actor. His films will forever stand as a testament to his talent, humour, and the mark he left on the world. His legacy will live on in the laughter and smiles he brought to millions.

Rest in peace, Mr. Ibu.

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Nollywood Actor, Mr Ibu Passes Away




Nollywood Actor, Mr Ibu Passes Away |

Nollywood is in mourning today after the passing of legendary actor John Okafor, known to fans as Mr. Ibu. Mr. Ibu succumbed to a long illness at Evercare Hospital in Lagos, Nigeria, at the age of 62.

The beloved actor battled a series of health conditions that ultimately led to the amputation of both his legs in December 2023. 

In an unfortunate turn of events, the actor was found to have developed a condition affecting his blood vessels. This resulted in frequent blood clots in his leg, along with other health complications that significantly jeopardised his well-being. This ultimately led to the difficult decision to undergo an amputation.

In a bid to secure funds for the actor’s critical medical needs, his family took the step of publicly revealing his health struggles. A video message showed the actor battling “constant blood clotting” in his leg, a condition attributed to “diseased blood vessels.” They further disclosed other life-threatening health complications. This move aimed to rally public support for a necessary leg amputation, a last-ditch effort to save his life.

News reports indicated a steady recovery for John Okafor, also known as Mr. Ibu, following his recent leg amputation.

Further boosting the positive outlook, Nollywood star Ken Erics shared a heartwarming video on social media. The video showcased his visit to Mr. Ibu, offering reassurance to fans about the actor’s improving health and positive signs of progress.

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A post shared by Ken Erics Ugo (@kenerics)

This has dashed the hopes of Nigerians, who assumed he was recovering just fine.

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Here Are 5 Nollywood Films To Watch In March



Here Are Five Nollywood Films To Watch In March |

Watch Out for These Nollywood Films

March is a month packed with an impressive lineup of Nollywood films that are sure to keep movie lovers glued to their screens. This month, there are several exciting movies to choose from, featuring a diverse cast of talented actors. If you’re a fan of Nollywood movies, check out some of the captivating ones that will be released this month. For those who love epic movies, there are plenty to choose from, with thrilling action sequences and captivating storylines. If romance is your thing, then you’re in luck, because there are several romantic films to watch this month. You can also look forward to thrilling movies that promise to keep you on the edge of your seat from start to finish.

March promises to be a fantastic month for Nollywood film enthusiasts, with a wide range of movies to choose from. Check out the schedule and movie catalog below to see which films are coming out this month.

1. Anikulapo – Rise Of The Specter

Anuikulapo- Rise Of The Spectre (2024) - Nollywire

Anikulapo: Rise of the Spectre is a six-part epic series. It is a follow-up to the 2022 film “Anikúlapó,” both directed by the acclaimed Kunle Afolayan. Premiering on Netflix on March 1, 2024, the series takes viewers back to the world of the Yoruba people, exploring themes of betrayal, revenge, and the struggle for ultimate power.

In a race against time to avoid a dismal fate, traveler Saro returns to the Oyo Kingdom with orders to complete a nearly impossible task. Filmed at the expansive KAP Film Village in Nigeria, the series boasts a cast of prominent Nigerian actors, including Lateef Adedimeji, Kunle Remi, and Bimbo Ademoye.

Prepare to be immersed in a visually stunning and culturally rich narrative as Anikulapo: Rise of the Spectre brings Yoruba myths and legends to life on the global stage.

2. Rainmakers

The documentary film “Rainmakers,” directed by Niyi Akinmolayan, investigates the intriguing idea of controlling the weather. It explores the claims of certain individuals who believe they can influence or stop rain through prayer.F1

Rainmakers, a documentary by Nigerian filmmaker Niyi Akinmolayan, explores the age-old tradition of rainmaking in Nigeria. It delves into the lives of 20 rainmakers across three states, contrasting their practices with modern scientific weather predictions.

The documentary juxtaposes the power of tradition, including beliefs in deities like Agemo, Sango, and Osun, with the data-driven forecasts of weather apps. Narrated by Ade Obatoyinbo, Rainmakers premiered on March 1, 2024, on Prime Video.

3. Two Aishas

“Two Aishas” is a Nigerian film. It focuses on the friendship between two women named Aisha. Their bond is tested when their husbands become political rivals and compete for the same gubernatorial seat. The film explores themes of betrayal, forgiveness, and religious diversity. The film is now available for streaming on Prime Video, showcasing the complexities of relationships, faith, and power dynamics in Nigerian society.

4. Beast Of Two Worlds

Eniola Ajao, an actress and producer, joins forces with Anthill Studios to present “Beast of Two Worlds,” a thrilling Yoruba epic film arriving in cinemas this Easter.

A king faces exile because his current wives cannot bear him a son. Desperate to save his dynasty, he takes a wife from another world who promises an heir. However, her arrival throws the kingdom into chaos, forcing the king to confront his fears and fight for his legacy.

Starring renowned actors like Odunlade Adekola, Sola Sobowale, and Femi Adebayo, “Beast of Two Worlds” promises a captivating cinematic experience with its gripping plot and talented cast. Prepare to be transported by this epic adventure this Easter.

5. Green Fever

Of all the Nollywood thriller films in 2023, this was one of the most captivating yet underrated. Green Fever is a 2023 thriller film. After a crisis, a father and his ill daughter find shelter in a strange mansion. They soon uncover the house’s dark secrets. Suspense and mystery unfold as they fight for survival.

 6. Dead Serious

A romantic comedy starring Nollywood veteran Nkem Owoh. “Dead Serious” is a Nigerian film tackling suicide and depression. It follows a young man’s desperate attempts to end his life after heartbreak. Jonny embarks on hilarious attempts to end his life, but ends up discovering the beauty of life. The film features popular Nollywood stars like Sharon Ooja, Deyemi Okanlawon, and Sabinus. Moses Inwang, known for “Blood Vessel,” directs this compelling drama.

Check out more movie updates here.

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