Movie Title: The Wedding Party 2
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Year Of Release: 2017
Cast: Bankole Wellington, Adesua Etomi, Enyinna Nwigwe, Daniella Down, Frank Donga, Ikechukwu Onunuka, Zainab Balogun, Richard Mofe Damijo, Ireti Doyle, Ali Baba, Sola Sobowale, Patience Ozokwor
Special Appearances: AY Makun, Funny Bone, Chigurl, Seyi Law, Wofai Fada
Director: Niyi Akinmolayan
Deardre’s parents, always quick to claim royal heritage, are not comfortable with the idea of having Nigerians as in-laws, but they relent and head off to Nigeria to visit Felix Onwuka (Mofe-Damijo) and his wife Uju (Doyle). What follows is a series of events which put the love between Deardre and Nonso to the test.
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One thing which this movie has going for it is its glossy nature. The cinematography is top notch, the sound is of premium quality, and relevant brands are on display too. “The Wedding Party 2” comes with the aura of a film for which a lot of work was done with respect to production, and the inter-cut between Lagos and Dubai boasts of tourism potential. The movie itself sheds light on the concept of exorbitant bride price, tradition and gender roles, with not-so-subtle hints at racial tensions and national pride.
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Daniella Down and Enyinna Nwigwe put up decent individual performances, and Down in particular is adorable, but both fail to replicate the chemistry that existed between Wellington and Etomi in the first film. Ireti Doyle nails the role of ice queen, Mofe-Damijo is not the most charismatic family head, and Sobowale’s role interpretation is of a more serious, “motherly” tone. Frank Donga weighs in with the facial expressions, and Zainab Balogun’s performance as Wonu is one of the bright spots in this film. Ikechukwu and Ali Baba do not find too much room to shine, and Patience Ozokwor, in trying to play the role of “mean village aunt”, appeared a tad rusty here.
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“The Wedding Party 2”, for all the anticipation that preceded its release, is pretty much all over the place, with patchy performances and the good moments being few and far between. The humour seemed forced and of a try-too-hard variety at certain points, and taking into consideration the high standards set by its predecessor, the movie is significantly disappointing. If you laughed out loud last year, you would only manage a few giggles here. If you held your chest in admiration twelve months ago, you would find yourself barely shrugging here, and if “The Wedding Party” was an enjoyable ride, its sequel was a forgettable flight, only stopping short of crashing spectacularly…and oh, the “dramatic event pops up so the wedding drags until NIGHT” reared its head again. Sure enough, it is by no means the worst movie that made it to Nigerian cinemas this year, but those who loved Banky and Adesua last time out will feel hard done by with this one.
The final scenes of the movie are predictable, but beyond that, they hint at a third installment, with the sudden bond created between Shola (Ikechukwu) and Yemisi (Somtokelechi). The crew has had a good run, but if they intend to birth Wedding Party 3, they should not let that water break, they have to abort it. Good PR and glossy scenes cannot cancel out sub-par acting, and for the love of all things good and fair, the franchise has to stop here.
Jerry Chiemeke is a lawyer and freelance writer who lives in Lagos. An amateur photographer and sports enthusiast as well, Jerry’s works have appeared on Blanck Digital, Elsieisy, Oshodi.tv, The Kalahari Review and Brittle Paper. He is the author of ‘The Colours In These Leaves’. Get the book here
You can follow him on Twitter @J_Chiemeke, and also check out his craft on his blog at pensofchi.com