Bonaventure (Alexx Ekubo) is a stranger in London. He is a recipient of a visitors pass to the United Kingdom, thanks to an academic exchange programme. Bonaventure makes like many a Nigerian before him and stays back in search of greener pastures.
Okon (Ime Bishop Umoh) is also in London for a similar program. He is a village bumpkin who manages to mix up his arrival dates in an untidy manner that the film does not explain in full detail. Okon arrives in the UK after the program has run its course. He decides to stay back too and hustle, although he attempts means that are less than noble.
Both characters find themselves in different versions of all the lost in the big city cinema tropes, one that Nollywood hasn’t tired of making since Kingsley Ogoro made a splash with Osuofia in London. They beg, borrow are taken advantage of, mislead people, fall in love and plot the ultimate return home. It is quite perplexing that in the year of our Lord 2017, filmmakers somewhere got together to decide on this tired narrative as the most pressing for a feature length.
Viewers who come to Lost in London are unlikely to expect director Olasukanmi Adebayo to breathe new life into this subgenre of comedy. Even with such moderate expectations, Lost in London falls predictably short. Producer Uduak Isong Oguamanam and her collaborator Anthony Kehinde Joseph make a misbegotten attempt to plug their film into the present national mood, one that has seen thousands fleeing the country on account of economic hardship. Nothing wrong about this but Lost in London has nothing intelligent to comment upon or no new body of knowledge to add to the discourse.
It merely rehashes old gags and tired tropes and doesn’t even bother to make them refreshing. Bishop Umoh plays his signature Okon character and he is as unfunny as he was the last time around. Ekubo is an appealing enough screen place and in some agreeable scenes he proves he could have performed better with decent material.
The screenplay does not help Ekubo’s cause though and he slums it, performing for the camera for the most part as if he were in a high school play. His timing is off, and he is merely going through the scenes routinely without ever settling into his character. It doesn’t help that the jokes are bad and he has uninspired actors to play off against.
The film, unexciting as it is, trundles along to a stinker of ending. Okon and Bonaventure suddenly discover their humanity and their collective patriotic spirits kick in. One wants to move back home to help the rebuilding process. The other, out of nowhere delivers a terribly inspired and badly cut speech that is for lack of a better description, supremely unwatchable.
This turkey ending is sure to test even the most patient of viewers and those who have elected to sit through every kobo of their earned money will find themselves throwing in the towel at this point. Or throwing up at the utter ridiculousness of what has just unfolded.