Movie Title: Gangs of Lagos
Release Date: 7th April 2023
Director: Jade Osiberu
Runtime: 2 hours plus
Cast: Tobi Bakare, Adesua Etomi-Wellington, Chike Osebuka, Chioma Chukwuka, Olarotimi Fakunle, Chioma Chukwuka, Bimbo Ademoye, Iyabo Ojo, Zlatan, Debo “Mr Maraconi” Adedayo, Yhemolee, Pasuma, Toyin Abraham, Tayo Faniran, Damilola Ogunsi, and Funke Williams.
Gangs of Lagos is another crime thriller that will keep viewers on the edge of their seats. It comes from the same creative mind that brought a new type of action thriller to our screens in 2022 with Brotherhood. Watching movies by Jade Osiberu transports you to a world that still feels fresh.
The film has set a high standard for producers in the industry with its precise casting, cinematography, and stunts.
The story of the movie centers on a group of friends who decide to live a life of crime on the notorious and intimidating streets of Isale Eko. In the wake of losing friends and family, they set out on a mission for retaliation to right the wrongs of the posses out and about.
Gangs of Lagos does have a few flaws, ranging from the dialogue to the storyline, despite possessing many unique qualities, including an authentic portrayal of Lagos street life. Let’s get started on the review.
In the first few scenes, a young boy played by Tobi Bakare is shown threatening to kill a woman if she doesn’t hand over her purse. She declined at first, thinking he was joking, but when she saw a knife, she accepted. Because the woman is an “omo aiye,” he was summoned to the “leader of the streets” as a result of this incident.
A gang leader by the name of Nino is interested in him and becomes his second father because of his bravery and intelligence. Obalola is forced to rely on a life of crime with his best friends Gift (Adesua Etomi-Wellington) and Ify (Chike Osebuka) after Nino unfortunately passes away. They begin working for Kazeem (Olarotimi Fakunle), a ruthless and avaricious gang leader.
When Kazeem kills one of the gang leaders and blames Oba’s friends, things get heated. This accusation results in his death, which enrages Oba and the members of the street and sets off a war in which death and destruction are the norm.
The excellent casting choices are a major draw for this movie. Adesua’s transformation from a pretty face into a tomboy with manly traits was refreshing. Along with Kazeem, Tobi Bakare gives an award-winning performance as Obalola, embodying what it means to be a street villain.
We can’t forget Chioma’s range in her moving monologue and Iyabo Ojo’s ability to convey the fierceness of a typical Nigerian mother, even though she only appeared in a few scenes.
Lastly, despite Nino’s flaws, Tayo Faniran made us fall in love with him.
Gangs of Lagos has top-notch cinematography because the various components make each scene look good for its genre. The locations were another ambitious aspect of the film that paid off. It is amazing to see that the movie was shot in locations that Isale Eko actually lived in.
Paying close attention to specifics that will keep viewers interested in the film, Gangs of Lagos accurately depicts street life to a certain extent. For instance, there was a lot of symbolism associated with the country’s current situation, particularly the recent elections. In many scenes, the themes of political dishonesty and corruption were heavily implied.
Last but not least, let’s talk about the effects and stunts. It’s possible that Gangs of Lagos was the first movie to show professional deeds being done. Because of this and the realistic blood effects, it probably should be the go-to guide for every Nollywood director on how to shoot an action movie correctly.
Gangs of Lagos has a lot of potential, but it still needs a lot of work. Some scenes, particularly those with stunts, seemed to drag on for too long. It seemed as though the producers were trying to hide the fact that the actions required a lot of money, time, and effort so that viewers would have more time to appreciate them.
It would appear that the plot has already been developed. Even though it would be hypocritical not to acknowledge the effort to change it, it seemed like it could have been better with a little more creativity.
Additionally, a few dialogues appeared to be uninteresting. Either the delivery was off or the words had little impact in the context of the situation.
Another issue is the possibility of making a movie out of “Gangs of Lagos.” It would have been such a ton better as a television series since then we would see character improvement for Obalola or Gift as well as for individuals like Kazeem.
Stream it! One of the few films that used reliable research to tell a story that the majority of Nigerians do not fully comprehend is Gangs of Lagos.