This is the first experience with the interesting world of Nollywood, Nigeria’s shot-on-video film industry and well, there’s not much to say about this film but it seems there is a bit of a gap that leaves a major cliffhanger with a twist.
The plot is very simplistic. Two drug cartels in town are at war with each other. One is led by Clark, the self-proclaimed “King of the Jungle” and the other is led by Abbey, the self-proclaimed “Dragon”. As these two factions are constantly shooting up at each other, the chief of police has had enough and asks Inspector Yaro to finish the investigation quick and take out Dragon’s group and for good reason. The chief is getting payoffs from Clark himself.
When a major deal involving high-level drug runner Jackson is in fruition, Dragon is given the opportunity to make the deal which can earn him and his faction a whopping one billion dollars. However, Clark’s influence and power somehow convinces Jackson to switch alliances and thus, Jackson decides to make the deal with Clark rather than Dragon. Extremely ticked off, Dragon decides to set a plan in motion to take out Clark once and for all. However, while he begins his plan, Dragon soon unveils a revelation to his top man Tony: Dragon and Clark weren’t always rivals but at one point, they were the best of friends who had grown up together, but greed and power ultimately turned them against each other.
Seeing this as my first Nollywood film, it took a bit of time to understand what was going on as the opening minutes were somewhat confusing. The opening scene showed three men in military garb pulling over a truck and then one shoots the driver down. All of a sudden, the eccentric wearing group that would be revealed to be Dragon’s group shoots down the goons and it looks as if they are piling up the cargo that was in the truck, yet they tell Dragon they “lost the consignments”? Exactly, it is nonsensical and one would think that maybe they are out to betray Dragon, yet that is not the case.
Another aspect is the script, which for some reason or another, has the two drug lords at times repeating their self-proclamations over and over again to the point of annoyance. Clark keeps calling himself the “king of the jungle” while Abbey calls himself the “dragon born out of fire”. However, considering the title of the film, it is expected that the viewer is to be on Dragon’s side because Clark has more money, gree, and power and is influencing the police chief and even a high level drug runner.
The second half of the film is mainly filled by a huge flashback sequence involving both Clark and Abbey. It mainly shows their evolving relationship from childhood best friends who lost their families to becoming the sworn enemies we have been seeing to begin with. Okay, so there is a bit of redemption in the overall film with that as we get an understanding of why these two have such hatred for each other, even if for reasons of money and greed.
However, when there is no dialogue, the film is nothing more than just shooting after shooting after shooting. The finale of the film reveals a very strange twist that comes out of nowhere and thus, leads into a sequel entitled Dragon Warriors, which will be this reviewer’s next film to see what will happen in the war between “The King of the Jungle” and “The Dragon Born of Fire”.
WFG RATING: C
A De Blessed Mishack Production. Director: Vincent D. Anointed. Producer: Chiemelie Nwonu Mishack. Writers: Vincent D. Anointed and Chiemelie Nwonu Mishack. Cinematography: Ngozi Nkebacku. Editing: Ejiki Eze.
Cast: Emma Ehumadu, Gbenga Richards, Sylvester Madu, Jr. Pope Odonwodo, Diamond Okechi, Harry B., Browny Igboegwu, Zubby Micheal, Jerry Okpan, Charles Murphy, Ani Amatosero, Oge Anuke.