‘Jagun Jagun’ (Warrior) is the current talk of the movie town, and it is easy to see why! It is a war epic that will keep you on the edge of your seats for the most part and leave you feeling incredibly satisfied.
Seasoned Nollywood actor Femi Adebayo clearly spared no expense in the production of this movie, leaving its near-perfect execution to directors Tope Adebayo and Adebayo Tijani. It premiered on Netflix on the 10th of August and quickly became the #1 trending movie in Nigeria and among the top 5 in the UK.
Spoiler-Free Plot Summary…
The plot follows the story of a young aspiring warrior, Gbotija (Lateef Adedimeji), who joins a school of warriors-in-training owned by the most revered warrior in the land, Ogundiji (Femi Adebayo). In the course of the training, his bravery and skills as a young warrior single him out among the others. However, this inadvertently spirals into a rivalry with Ogundiji, who, driven by insecurity and pride, sets out to kill him by setting a series of trap tests in hopes that he will die one way or the other.
What’s Not to Love…
Shall we start with the production design? Clearly, all stops were pulled for this! The design is rich in visuals, culture, and research. Location? Well scouted, accurate, and simply breathtaking. Cinematography? Off the charts and obviously intentional.
We can hardly fault the storytelling and execution. It was simply well-written and well-told; you could tell a lot of work, editing, and research went into it. If it were a written play, we would love it all the same!
The sound design and effects, VFX, SFX, costumes, music, etc.—are some of the best we’ve seen in any Nollywood movie. They were all beautifully executed and contributed greatly to making the movie worthwhile.
Hats off to Niyi Akinmolayan’s Ant Hill Studios for their very impressive work with the VFX. We’ve also seen major improvements in stunt and fight choreography in Nollywood recently, and ‘Jagun Jagun’ took it up a notch, somewhat giving everyone else a run for their money.
The movie also featured outstanding performances from its star-studded cast, with Lateef Adedimeji and Femi Adebayo leading the charge and completely blowing us away.
Other actors worthy of mention include Bukunmi Oluwashina, Fathia Balogun, Adebayo Salami, Bimbo Ademoye, Odunlade Adekola, Muyiwa Ademola, Debo Adedayo (Mr Macaroni), and lots more.
‘Jagun Jagun’s’ richness in language, culture, and tradition is one of the many things that made us fall in love with the movie even more.
All these things combined ultimately succeeded in transporting viewers into the movie’s fictional world, immersing you for its full 2 hours and 14 minutes and leaving you in awe of its storytelling masterpiece.
On the Other Hand…
This was nearly avoided, but we couldn’t help but notice a few things concerning the editing.
It wasn’t as clean as we would have preferred for a movie with this much buzz. The transition between some of the scenes was relatively poor and looked a bit amateurish, so we were simply unable to ignore it.
Also, while Anthill’s VFX in this movie is largely impressive, it’s not quite there yet. Some of the effects were too obviously computerised. It would have been better if they didn’t show them at all. However, we’re still going to duff our hats for their creativity.
For even the most seasoned of filmmakers, a war epic is not the easiest to pull off, much less an indigenous one like ‘Jagun Jagun.’ Femi Adebayo set the bar high with this one, and we are excited to see what more the veteran has in store. It may still be a bit early in the year to tell, but we are sure that ‘Jagun Jagun’ will be a strong contender for best movie, best actor, best director, and lots more.
The year isn’t over, but we’re here for the competition. Bring it on!