Movie Review: The Black Book (2023) On Netflix Is Great Instead Of Outstanding

Synopsis: In “The Black Book”, old scores bubble to the surface when a gang of corrupt policemen kill a man’s only son, and he begins a search for justice.

The Cast 

  • Alex Usifo – General Isa
  • Denola Grey – Jesu
  • Taiwo Ajai-Lycett – Editor
  • Patrick Doyle – Sen Dipo
  • Olumide Oworu  – Damilola Edima
  • Asabe Madaki – Baraka
  • Ikechukwu Onunaku – Deputy Commissioner
  • Femi Branch – General Craig
  • Kelechi Udegbe – Officer Abayomi
  • Shaffy Bello – Big Daddy
  • Ireti Doyle – Commissioner
  • Sam Dede  – Angel
  • Funky Mallam – Tanko
  • Bimbo Akintola – Prof Craig
  • Bimbo Manuel – Rev’d Omotoso
  • Ade Laoye – Vic Kalu
  • Norbert Young – Mr Craig
  • Richard Mofe-Damijo  – Paul Edima

The Crew

  • Produced by: Kemi Lala Akindoju
  • Directed by: Editi Effiong
  • Written by: Bunmi Ajakaiye
The Black book movie review

The Review

I had really high expectations for The Black Book. The anticipation built by the back story on social media made me expect so much, especially with the kind of funding we were told the producers and the director had to get, the length of the production, and the time in post-production.   

I have issues with some parts of the story and how the movie plays out. There are plot holes in the connections of the story. They feel forced and not natural. Because for the story to work the way it is, there are a lot of coincidences, and as this movie mirrors the Nigerian situation, we know such coincidences don’t happen in real life. Some of the story lines are incongruous, the market scenes and the angle of a Kaduna bomb blast being prime examples. 

We have a lot of veterans, along a few young actors, in the The Black Book. RMD has always been a king of his craft, and he demonstrates the training he had to endure in this movie. He is fantastic in the role. The role of Big Daddy played by Shaffy Bello is a nod to King of Boys, and she embodies the role well. Patrick Doyle’s role is not impressive at all: his falsetto in this movie grates. For the role he plays, he is too lily-livered, and does not embody the supposed power he has.

Denola Grey’s role in the movie is the most confusing, and for a supposed highly trained assassin, his death is too pedestrian. Kelechi Udegbe gives a great performance, and I look forward to him getting the lead role in a cinematic movie. It feels like Ade Laoye is distracted in the movie. I have seen her in series and other movies; her acting in this one feels forced.

The movie is the story of Nigeria; it feels so familiar, most of it is DeJa’Vu. I wanted some freshness, but it is not there. I kept waiting for more. Of course, there are holes in the plot, but it is still a great movie, with the lead actors giving us great performances.

I will still go back to the amount of money allegedly spent on the movie. This is a thriller, and we get the gritty picture quality to match the story. Weapons handling is good, not fantastic, and fights are well choreographed, just like we see in any good movie that does not have the budget spent on this one. I am disappointed in the cinematography, as it does not match. I expected much more in terms of angles and scenery. 

The Black Book is great. It is the Nigerian story, and we recognize it. However, memorable dialogue is the hallmark of fantastic movies. I find no quotable dialogue to speak of in this movie. Yes, the actors interact with each other well, but I find no meme worthy conversation in this movie.

The Black Book sits between Okay and Great. Unfortunately, we don’t have a 3.5 rating, so it gets a 4 (great movie score).

NollyRated Score for The Black Book

Score: 4/5 (Great Movie)

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

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

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