When Kemi Adetiba dropped the trailer for her sophomore feature, King of Boys, she built sky-level expectations. Nollywood trailers are mostly a mess, they do not get you interested in the movie but KOB’s was different.While it generated hype, it didn’t prepare us for what was about to hit us because in King of Boys Kemi Adetiba shows she has the biggest balls in Nollywood and the muscles to execute her bold ideas.
King of Boys Review: The Story
The story is familiar to us, Nigerians, even though it is one we see from afar: a girl runs away from home because of Daddy’s prevalent domestic abuse and gets exposed to the Lagos life at her young age; she ascends to the throne of underworld using bottom power and sheer ruthlessness, then she uses her influence on the street and money to campaign for a politician only to be refused opportunities deserving of her contribution to the success of the election because of her reputation.
That girl is Eniola Salami, played by the legendary Sola Sobawole, who stands tall in a sea of explosive performances.
Eniola Salami, also known as Oba by her criminal associates, faces her biggest obstacle yet in trying to cross over to politics while maintaining her stronghold over the underworld – even though she is no longer fully dedicated to her duties as Oba – much to the chagrin of a younger associate, Makanaki.
King of Boys Review: The Good and The Bad
One would expect Kemi Adetiba to take the tested and trusted route to box office for her sophomore feature considering she is the director of the original Wedding Party movie, which started Nollywood comedy ass-kissing. But she took a different route: aim for critical acclaim and respect from your peers with an eye on box office. That is why King of Boys is entertaining, visually compelling, engaging, and has an assembly of arguably the best individual performances Nollywood has seen in recent years.
A winning formula for box office success in Nollywood is assembling a rich cast and Miss Adetiba went even further here, assembling an enviable cast comprising old and new Nollywood – picking them from across the country – and some new faces. See full cast details.
One of the new faces here is the popular Yoruba rapper, Reminisce, who plays Makanaki, a villain you cannot hate. Not only is Makanaki a logical villain who simply got tired of a boss who wants to reap without sowing, but Reminisce’s performance was also perfect! An even better screenplay and we will be discussing similarities with Michael B. Jordan’s Killmonger (yes, I’m reaching but think about it). Someone tell Falz there is about to be another rapper with an AMVCA.
While Sobowale and Reminisce characters are explosive, there is the subtle yet intense Kemi and Gobir played by Adesua Etomi and Paul Sambo respectively. Paul Sambo’s Gobir is the hero of the movie and the hero we seek in our security agencies. He begs the question: could there be honest men in Nigeria? His heroics is strange as he is saving the Devil from Satan but that goes to show how complicated King of Boys is.
There is one problem here though: King of Boys is awfully long. Makes me wonder if I would survive the original director’s cut which stretches way over 3 hours because God knows I prayed for it to end while not wanting to end. No one should have to go through such a dilemma, it almost spoilt the fun and I wanted to pee so bad. But hey I am not the only one.
King of Boys Review: Conclusion
In conclusion, Kemi Adetiba’s temerity is commendable and she deserves box office success because we need to break free from comedy. It is noteworthy that she didn’t just go away from comedy, she told a daring Nigerian story and assembled actors who can act. Not just popular folks. Please feel free to catch your sub.
That’s my King of Boys review, tell me what you think in the comment section.