Movie Review: Eagle Wings (2021) raises the bar for NollyWood War/Military movies

Eagle Wings (2021) Synopsis: Eagle Wings is a poignant action war drama about an Air Force fighter pilot who is caught in the harrowing world of insurgency. The film explores the often tragic, yet thrilling, business of fighting for life, peace, and the freedom to love in the face of great ferocity. 

Eagle Wings: The Cast

  • Enyinna Nwigwe
  • Francis Duru
  • Femi Jacobs
  • Paul Apel
  • Keppy Ekpeyong Bassey
  • Patience Ujah

Eagle Wings: The Crew

Paul Apel – Writer, Producer, Director

 

Eagle Wings (2021) movie review

Eagle Wings: The Review

As part of propaganda for the Nigerian Airforce’s efforts to put an end to terrorism in the north, Eagle Wings is a well packaged movie.  It has quite a bit of loopholes, but it is an overall feel good movie, and you will come off impressed with the beauty and capacity of the Nigerian Airforce both in the air (pilots) and on the ground (special forces).

The movie starting with a bang, a cliffhanger moment, is a very good technique, making you look forward to what is ahead. The opening score is one of the best I have heard in Nigerian movies, and I have heard a lot.  The score is reminiscent of James Bond movies, and that felt really good. 

The day your life changes is usually an ordinary day, and it is good to see the movie build up to the bomb explosion that triggered the rest of the action in the movie.  It showcases ordinary Nigerians living their lives, oblivious it was their last day or that their lives would be forever altered. 

Enyinna Nwigwe is the protagonist and lead actor of this movie, but as the movie progresses, that role sort of grows on Femi Jacobs and he becomes the star. The way he handled weapons and commanded his team showed he put in the work in studying and training for the role. He embodies it, and his delivery and performance here is top notch. 

One of the challenges I have had with many Nigerian movies is achieving the balance between building a background for the main characters and their story arc. Eagle Wings put some effort into ensuring that some of the lead characters had some background and humanity that we can relate to. 

The visual quality of both interior and exterior scenes makes for good viewing and adds to the overall quality of the movie. It is also good to actually see the acting pilots be in the cockpit of fighter jets and simulate flying them. I enjoyed seeing Nigerian airforce jet fighters and helicopters in action. However, some of the flying shots are recycled and the audience noticed. This could have been better showcased. 

Eagle Wings Femi Jacobs

The Ugly

Having pointed out the things I really like about Eagle Wings, the movie still has a lot of room for improvement, and hopefully we can learn to do even better war movies in Nollywood.

Most of the time, the music is way too loud, so loud I had to strain to follow the conversations. Thankfully, it is subtitled, and that helps a bit with keeping up. But it must be said again: the soundtrack is just too loud.

In some regular, non-action scenes, the soundtrack is too heavy. An action movie provides moments of mundane activities to give a rest from the adrenaline the audience is experiencing, and the soundtrack ought to match it. In Eagle Wings, we are treated to heavy, adrenaline music in many scenes that do not require one.

The actors who played the roles of the service chiefs are too laid back in those roles. It also seems like they were just reciting the scripts, not fully embodying the actions. And their conversations were too bland, far below what is expected of seasoned military officers.

The helicopter lift off scenes are low points. Those choppers take off like they were piloted by learner pilots. Whether with the helicopters, the generals, or even the special ops troops on the ground, there is no real sense of urgency displayed. Perhaps we have been spoilt by Hollywood, but we expect that special operations demand a certain level of urgency that is lacking in Eagle Wings.

Also, some cool CGI would have come in handy to capture that moment when the pilot’s jet went down and crashed after developing trouble in the air. That would have been a high point of the movie, but it went bland and we are only shown the wreckage later (which was well done). 

Lastly, some of the iconic moments in the movie are spoilt by emotions. The director’s quest to show some emotions and build a love story don’t quite work out well. 

Despite those niggles, Eagle Wings is a good and enjoyable movie. It is certainly a good outing for the Nigerian Airforce. The War/Military movie genre is not something that we get to see often from Nollywood. This is easily the best we have seen so far, much better than any others in the genre. We hope to see more of such movies showcasing the Nigerian Military apparatus in action. 

We would easily give Eagle Wings a 4/5 but for those sour points I listed.

NollyRated Score: Okay Movie (3/5)

NollyRated uses a 5-level scoring system, as follows:

  1. Poor
  2. Sub Par
  3. Okay
  4. Great
  5. Outstanding

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Watch the Eagle Wings official trailer:

NollyRated Score

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