Niyi Akinmolayan’s (The Wedding Party 2, The Arbitration) latest movie, The Set Up produced by Inkblot is the current toast of Nigerian cinemas. With all the hype from its trailer to ads, it’s only a matter of days before the big figures start rolling in.
The Set Up’s biggest win is the strength of its story. It’s beautifully scripted with enough plot twists to keep you entertained for the duration of the movie. The twists are woven so tightly, it’s almost impossible to predict how it pans out. So, I guess it’s safe to say that it’s worth your penny on that account.
However, this is one of those flicks that’ll excite you but hours after you’ve seen it, you’ll realize that execution wasn’t as seamless as expected.
With as little spoilers as possible, The Set Up follows the tale of Chike (Adesua Etomi Wellington) and Grace (Kehinde Bankole) who find themselves caught in a mightily manipulative web spun by Enitan (Tina Mba).
If you are expecting to see Adesua kick ass, Kung Fu style … The clip from the trailer is all you’ll ever get.
At the base of The Set Up is the plot to bring the wife of deceased banker Tunde Elesho, to her knees over a vendetta dating back to nearly two decades. Her unassuming weapon is Motunrayo Elesho (Dakore Akande) heiress to the Daraja multimillion empire.
The Set Up’s key players in no particular order are Adesua Etomi, Tina Mba, Dakore Akande, Jim Iyke, Joke Silva and Kehinde Bankole. Unfortunately, this list of fine actors found a way to end up delivering near lifeless performances with exceptions only to Adesua, Joke Silva and Jim Iyke.
Jim Iyke clearly cause the actor’s Wesley Snipes days are long gone. Emotionally dead but fashionably woke characters are his forte now.
Quite frankly, after watching The Set Up twice, I maintain that Tina Mba was the worst pill to swallow. Her first few impressions were great. The swag in her catwalk, colored contact lenses and her face. Hold there, her expressions switched from smug to sometimes sinister then poker. It had me feeling like I had finally come face to face with the pictorial evidence of “Bad.Boss.Bitch”.
Her character, Enitan is a ruthless Villain who’s driven by revenge and greed. Albeit, when we are given an insight to the cause of her calculated revenge, all we find is the same version of Tina Mba, with streaks of grey hair (no fault of hers) and unconvincing tears for someone who had lost a child. The attempt at creating a young looking version was a grand flop!
The memory lane scenes were the flattest notes I’ve ever seen Mba sing.
Those scenes, you’ll discover should have embodied the entirety of Pathos required in the movie. They should have been the turning point for how we saw Enitan. Why give us a well rounded view of Enitan that isn’t quite fulfilling?
Disappointingly, the movie is not detail-driven enough to make a mark. It’s ridiculous to expect that the audience dots your (filmmaker) I’s and crosses your T’s. It’s not poetry that allows us come to our conclusions. All, I mean, All the facts should be on the table. For a story as exciting as The Set Up, detail is key to unfolding the motion picture paradise promised by the trailer.
On a grand scale, this movie will get a 6/10. It’s no average Nollywood production and I can guarantee it. The quality of the picture is above par. Set design, costuming, makeup and scoring are also high point earners.
If there’s ever a next time, perhaps a sequel, Guys, if need be, import full-time strippers. Those club ladies made me shudder in places I might be too ashamed to name.