Movie: The Set Up Director: Niyi Akinmolayan Genre: Action (Nollywood) Written by Naz Onuzo Produced by Inkblot Productions Released Date: 9 August 2019 (Nigeria)
Every once in awhile, a movie stands high in the pantheon of the greats, letting us know that no matter how far we think we have pushed the boundaries of our imagination, there is always room for improvement. THE SET UP is one of such movies.
In THE SET UP, Adesua Etomi-Wellington and Kehinde Bankole star as Chike and Grace, childhood friends thrust into the deadly world of espionage, lies, deceit, seduction and blackmail when they join a mysterious private club called The Academy.
Things get into high gear when Edem (played by Jim Iyke) recruits the services of The Academy to help in his scheme of marrying Motunrayo (portrayed by the pretty Dakore Egbuson Akande), the heiress to an empire. Chike and Grace are given the job and soon enough their friendship and bond is put to the test as things begin to spiral out of control. As the movie progresses, it becomes glaring that they are all pawns in a game that has far more deadly consequences that they envisioned. The question that comes to mind is: who is playing who?
THE SET UP is a thrilling drama that never runs out of suspense and is as fast-paced as it is engaging. The plot is a sheer work of genius and the director must be commended for juggling the elements together and mixing them successfully. The result is a witty dialogue, musical score that perfectly suits the movie and a little dose of humour to spice things up. Just when you think you know where the movie is headed, an unexpected twist suddenly puts you to shame. Almost all the characters have hidden motives and it’s hard to say who will succeed. For those who think they are good at figuring movie plots, I assure you that you may end up being entangled in the web of twists that you find here!
However, the movie isn’t without its downsides. There are just two action scenes but more work should have been put to make them look more convincing. They were laughable at best. Also, the character of Edem deserved a little more screen time so as to develop him more. At some point in the story, he seemingly becomes less relevant.
The cinematography is top-notch and the actors deliver. Kudos to two who tower above the rest with outstanding performances. They are Adesua Etomi-Wellington and Tina Mba.
Adesua is very convincing as the beautiful yet cold and calculating Chike, stealing every scene in which she appears. She is indeed a rare combination of beauty and brains.
Tina Mba is simply mesmerizing as the charismatically devious and intimidating leader of the shady organization known as The Academy. She was obviously born to play the role and does so effortlessly.
Other cast members who also impress include Joke Silva and the delectable Dakore Egbuson Akande. Also worthy of note is the talented Kehinde Bankole.
In all, Niyi Akinmolayan’s movie is a cinematic masterpiece that shines despite its few flaws. For movie buffs contemplating which one to see, this is a must-watch.