Verdict: Good, when it was meant to be Great! Definitely, an astoundingly ambitious project, but in the end, a far cry from its billing. ‘King Invincible’ aka ‘ọba àìrí’ ends up being more a ‘filmed’ stage play, than it is, an actual motion picture. Ultimately, its attempt at being a top-notch movie, turns out to be a story of diverse betrayals.
Its solid high quality production, betrayed by an obvious lack of fluidity resulting in a seemingly mechanical feel to transitions, from scene to scene. Whilst the altogether great performances by its troupe of very good actors is betrayed by a wobbling Gabriel Afolayan, whose performance here is so obviously deliberate that, when his history of superb deliveries is considered, his performance here is an outright travesty! A sham of sorts. An unpleasantness we suspect was occasioned in him by an over-dose of HBO’s Game of Thrones (GOT).
In fact, the influence of GOT is quite heavy in ‘King Invincible’, to the point of being palpable, especially since, more than a large portion of its background music was sourced from GOT, we think. Which brings us to what seems to be its undoing; far from being its fault, even with its ambitious fight scenes, there is just too much of a saturation of great movies and series, telling the basics of the story it seeks to tell.
And in a world with a proliferation of connectivity, with cinemas where Nollywood and Hollywood exist, in competition, side by side, ‘King Invincible’ just doesn’t bring enough to the table to cut it. Not even close.
The one scene that got us really fired-up with our heads swelling, was where the King foretold is revealed and his subjects bow in consonance, turned out to be a missed opportunity. In our opinion, that had all the makings of a perfect ending, inviting of applause.
But somehow, and that is a Big “Somehow”, not knowing where to stop, the producers missed it. And ended up diluting the head swell with several subsequent irrelevant scenes, resulting in the hall emptying in silence rather than applause. Deflating. Phew!
Recommended, for folks with a desperate love of stage performances. Because, in the end, its greatest value as a movie might be as a stage play running on a discount.
For everyone else, there’s just too much good stuff going on in the cinemas right now for this to be worth more than a foregone alternative. If you jump am pass, you miss nothing.