The Black Book is a refreshing take on Nigeria’s numerous socio-political issues, particularly police brutality and corruption.
The Black Book Synopsis
The Black Book starts with the kidnap and killing of husband and infant of Professor Craig (Bimbo Akintola), the kidnap and killing of her family emanated from the professor who also doubles as a minister revealing some dark secrets of corruption in the ministry. To cover their doings, the plotters of the killings, sort to pin the killing to an innocent Damilola Edima (Olumide Oworu), son of Paul Edima (Richard Mofe-Damijo). Paul was formerly part of this gang, but has since gone low and settled to serve the Lord as a deacon. Following the killing of his innocent son, Paul Edima seeks to avenge the death of his son and goes after the mastermind, who also doubles as his former boss, General Issa (played by Alex Usifo), Paul wins the fight and retrieves the black book.
As one of the most highly anticipated Nollywood films 2023, The Black Book delivered on numerous fronts. However, it also had its flaws. The film’s plot is engaging and entertaining. It revolves around Paul (played by RMD), a deacon whose son gets murdered by a group of rouge policemen. He then, in pure John Wick fashion, decides to exert revenge on them. In doing this, the film adopts a unique perspective for portraying a Nollywood action movie, which is worth commending if Nollywood is to continue evolving.
However, the plot got convoluted towards the end. There was too much going on to keep the audience engaged. Paul goes from avenging his son to trying to find the black book where he documented General Issa’s misdeeds. While also attempting to protect the daughter of the investigative journalist he killed for the General. In the chaos of it all it’s easy to forget that Paul’s primary goal is to avenge his son’s death.
Further, the film’s cinematography is also excellent, particularly the outdoor scenes. Another highlight was the casting. The casting directors killed it by bringing in a mix of new and old Nollywood. Including the likes of Richard Mofe-Damijo, Alex Osifo, Shaffy Bello, Patrick Doyle, Sam Dede, and Ireti Doyle.
RMD brought his A-game, delivering a stellar performance with fight scenes that fans have compared to the iconic John Wick. Shaffy Bello, who plays Big Daddy, also delivered a masterful performance.
However, the black book, like many new Nollywood productions, also struggles with the inclusion of too many popular faces, many of whom delivered subpar performances. Some performances were barely passable for a production of this caliber.
Although it struggles in some areas, The Black Book is still an enjoyable watch with a 7/10 rating.