Niyi Akinmolayan has directed some awesome movies over the years, so I was really hyped to watch The Set Up, which featured a really, really mouth-watering cast.
The movie started off perfectly, diving into the characters’ lives and giving us backstories that explained everything happening at each point in time. The movie turned out to not be what I imagined it would be, and the official synopsis set me up big time because it only told about 1% of what the movie was all about, and didn’t do justice to the overall storyline which was beautiful.
The story progressed nicely. Although I admit that, at about forty-five minutes in, it felt like the movie had hit its peak because nothing was really happening again, but I wasn’t ready for the series of events that transpired after. It was like a series of mini-set ups that coagulated to form one giant set up, which then broke off again into mini set ups of kpa kpa du kpas and gbas gbos gbases. You honestly have to watch the movie to understand what I just said.
I said earlier that the cast was mouth-watering, and they didn’t disappoint. Adesua Etomi-Wellington once again delivered a performance that I daresay was on par or even topped her performance in King of Boys, Kehinde Bankole has always been an actress that surprises me every time I watch her and this movie wasn’t any different. Jim Iyke and Dakore Egbuson need no introduction as they did what they know how to do best; act, and to say anything about Joke Silva owning her role at this point will just be me reminding you that water is wet.
For me, however, the best performance was by Tina Mba. Every scene she was in had a way of roping you in, to the extent that you had to stop yourself from blinking so you miss out on what she portrayed as the movie progressed. I don’t know if it was what Niyi Akinmolayan was going for, but her face was almost always dark (either obscured by the lighting or her hair,) which made her all the more intimidating, mysterious, and villainous. There was a scene in the hospital that was so raw, it actually put me in my feels. Both Tina Mba’s acting and the musical score playing at that moment was perfect. In general, the score in The Set Up was really awesome.
There were a couple of scenes that felt too generic. It felt like you already knew what was going to happen before it did. The most notable one was when everything came full circle and Chika was about to be interrogated by Madame, the setting didn’t have to be dark with one light shining in their middle like regular police interrogation scenes. It could have been as well-lit as possible, with the dialogue setting the dark undertone for them. Most movies (at least in Hollywood,) don’t use that setting anymore because it’s played out and this movie could have done without it as well.
The Set Up is definitely something because just when you start thinking you know what’s going to happen next or how it ends, something comes along and resets your thoughts, leaving you spellbound with your mouth open. In all, even you watching the movie would get set up.
RATING – 7/10
The Set Up is currently showing in cinemas nationwide.