Saturday, May 4, 2013

Movie Review - Last Flight to Abuja

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Last Flight to Abuja came out last year. It was trailed as a cinematic Nollywood movie - meaning that its production values were supposed to be much higher than your run-of-the-mill Nollywood movie; so much better that it was suitable for showing in cinemas. The assumption is that this also means that it is better and much more watchable than your average Nollywood movie. [Watch Last Flight to Abuja online]

Atala's Review - As it turned out, some aspects of Last Flight to Abuja were much better than what you would normally find in a Nollywood movie. The sound, music score and cinematography were much better - quite good, in fact. But unfortunately, it takes much more than this to make a good movie, and in other areas, the movie was sadly lacking.

One big deficiency for me was the acting. I usually have quite a low bar in this regard, but the vocal delivery of many of the actors was too wooden stilted for me to ignore. Then the graphics that were used in the film made it quite obvious that the flight scenes they were supposed to depict were not real. I wouldn't have minded if it had just been one or two scenes, but again, these were used so pervasively, especially towards the end of the movie - that I found it as hard to ignore as the high-pitched whine of a mosquito.

The plot, always a key consideration for me, had its good sides. I liked the idea melding of the various storylines of the passengers on the eponymous flight. I also felt that the non-linear narrative worked quite well, although it took a bit of getting used to. And the final scenes on the flight were satisfyingly dramatic.


But again, there were areas where the plot fell down. Some of the characters had stories that went nowhere, as though they were introduced as filler. And I felt that some of the stories that could have had interesting endings were abruptly terminated once the high drama of the flight was over.

Myne's Review - Though I generally support Nollywood, I am friends with Obi Emelonye on Facebook, so supporting his work came easily to me. Since the movie premiered, I had asked him when it was coming online for those of us not in Nigeria, and since he's also not based in Nigeria, I think he understands. I was quite excited when I found out he put the movie on Distrify.

To the movie proper, I don't know whether it was that I went in with very high expectations, but I was sorely disappointed. There were good techincal aspects like Atala mentioned, great camera angles, a slow-mo aspect of the pilot and the air crew walking to through the airport lounge, a moving and dramatic score, Kazeem as a charming and engaging actor.

However, I always look for the story when I see a movie, or stories as the case may be in Last Flight to Abuja, and when that falls apart, everything else follows. The only solid story in this movie is Kazeem's, it has a beginning, middle and ending, all the others were floating in ether with no connection to each other or anything.

Instances of these disconnected stories are of the secondary characters on the plane, an old man going for a medical check-up, a young footballer who just got a deal with a premier league side in England. And are we to assume that Jim Iyke and Omotola would start dating after surviving the crash, when their chemistry on the plane was almost zero? I don't think so.

Atala's Score - All in all, I'm afraid that Last Flight to Abuja doesn't quite fly for me, and I have to give it a 2.5 out of 5.

Myne's Score - LFTA was just above average for a Nollywood movie, and for a movie that tries to be more, I'm afraid it didn't make it. Since my movie review scores are across board whether Nolly or Holly, I have to give it a 2 out of 5.







6 comments:

  1. Nice! Y'all were actually more lenient than most of the commenters on the site (if commenters is a word).

    I don't know, I think with this movie, what you get out is grossly dependent on what you expected, like you stated.

    When it was showing the "half baked" stories of the passengers on the flight, I didn't think of it as THEIR INDIVIDUAL STORIES, more of as the incidences that led to this... if that makes any sense.

    So, I don't know I probably need to up my expectations a little bit more hehe

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    1. Most of the reviews I read were quite on the negative aspects of the movie, but I didn't want to focus too much on that. There were good parts, and you're right, maybe the expectations one goes in with has a lot to do with it.

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  2. Since Obi is your friend, please tell him to make a good movie. Mirror boy was terrible and this was bad too

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    1. I've not seen Mirror Boy but I heard it won awards?

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  3. As a veteran in the international movie biz, its always interesting and mostly fun to read movie reviews and especially from Nollywood reviewers, if you can call them that.

    Anybody who is is anyone will tell you that the only review that matters is the one your box office gives you and in this instance and that of The Mirror Boy, for all the fancy words of the reviewers, the Nollywood box office gave its opinion.

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  4. LFTA for me was a huge letdown. After watching the movie, I felt like I had invested too much time and I didnt get premium entertainment in return. The accents were fake, the storyline was flawed and the casting horrible. All the while the plane smoked, I kept wondering; when air pressure drops in the cabin, are the face masks not supposed to fall out. LFTA was for me an over hyped movie, one that is worth watching nonetheless, but is completely forgettable.

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