The record bursting, chart topping, money spinning AY machine is all revved up and ready to go once again. The third installment in the comedian turned movie star’s unjustly popular Akpos adventure series hits the screen barely eight months after last year’s one joke misfire, A Trip to Jamaica. Not keen on rocking the boat, 10 Days has all the elements that have made the first two movies so financially rewarding.
Like the title declares, 10 Days is set in a foreign country with plenty tourism potential, recycles plot highlights, – and jokes,- from the previous movies and benefits from a host of cameo appearances by industry heavyweights and Hollywood B-listers.
30 Days in Atlanta employed the services of Ramsey Nouah to accomplish the dual challenges of holding down the dramatic end while dragging bums to seats. In A Trip to Jamaica, these roles were spread evenly between Nse Ikpe-Etim and Funke Akindele. At this point in his career, AY can practically write his own check as far as Nollywood is concerned but for 10 Days in Sun City, he does the most business man like thing by hiring Adesua Etomi, the most buzz worthy leading lady presently working.
Akpos finds himself on a new hustle, this time as manager, boyfriend and protector to a small time beauty queen, Bianca (pun intended) played by Etomi. Akpos plucks Bianca from obscurity, and is looking to make her into the next big thing. His motives are far from altruistic though as he latches hungrily onto Bianca’s rising profile, riding on her coattails to fame and fortune.
A spanner is thrown into the works when Otunba Williams (Richard Mofe-Damijo, campy yet dignified) whose Otawi cosmetic company sponsors the national beauty pageant Akpos has entered Bianca in, takes a fancy to the pretty but not-so-smart ingenue.
Otunba whisks Bianca away to Sun City, South Africa, – she is chaperoned by Akpos,- on the pretext of shooting a commercial and orchestrates a high powered, if demented plan to keep Bianca for himself. His tricks include pampering, soliciting, bullying and downright violence.
As a Warri boy, Akpos fails to carry last and finds himself in a race against time to keep the woman he loves from slipping beyond his reach. The last 30 mins of 10 Days are essentially a rehash of A Trip to Jamaica’s action scenes, only with more fun injected.
Give the credit this time to director Adze Ugah (Mrs Right Guy) who is slightly more capable with technical scenes than Robert Peters of the previous two entries. Points must also go to the screenplay written by Kehinde Ogunlola which while heavy on the repetition and obvious with the pop culture pilfering, still manages to come across as refined property, especially when compared with A Trip to Jamaica’s no fun mediocrity. Switching the technical team and staying out of the writing process might have saved AY’s franchise. Or at least prolonged its lifespan.
AY hasn’t improved as an actor one bit but it can be argued that he has stayed faithful to his bumbling ‘fool’ of a character. His range of emotions are limited to one perplexed facial expression and he still imagines, three films in, that watching Akpos run through a golf course, buttocks jutted out, may be the height of comic timing for his viewers.
At the end of the day, the primary thing expected of AY and his Akpos movies are that they be funny. Not smart, not sensitive, not coherent. Just funny. It is a low bar to scale and the last film was quite generous in lowering it further. This probably explains why 10 Days in Sun City is an easier watch despite the hit and miss jokes and the random continuity errors. The sights too help as Sun City’s tourist designs are highlighted in beautiful aerial takes.
Rounding out the supporting cast are rapper Falz, who steals his scenes easily, Mercy Johnson (characteristically over the top,) American actor Miguel Nunez Jr (suitable) and Gbenro Ajibade. Etomi looks great as usual but every time she opens her mouth, she defeats her casting as a Warri bred damsel. More British than B-side, she has neither gumption nor grease to pull off the role and plays it sweetly like her routine girl next door character.
The best thing to be said for 10 Days in Sun City is that it isn’t as bad as you feared. That doesn’t mean it is any good either.