After waiting for what feels like forever, the D-day is finally here! Today, August 27, 2021, excited fans get to watch the highly-awaited sequel to King of Boys, one of the most critically acclaimed movies and highest earners of Nollywood’s blockbuster era. Back as a seven-part series titled King Of Boys: The Return of The King and Netflix’s first Original Nigerian Series, the political thriller starts with a gripping performance by Eniola Salami played by Sola Sobowale guaranteed to keep you glued till the end.
As the title suggests, our protagonist returns after a five-year exile ready to become the Governor of Lagos state and what ensues is a dark, yet relatable story of a woman who has to fight against all odds to hold on to her ambition.
Young Vs Older Eniola
At first, Eniola is calm and unlike her usual ruthless self as she mourns the loss of her children. Amidst her grief, we see her struggle with the concept of good and evil. On one hand, she wants to become a better person and perhaps ‘save her soul’ as Reverend Ifeanyi played by Richard Mofe-Damijo (RMD) keeps preaching but she is plagued by her young self played poignantly by Toni Tones.
Unlike her older, tortured version, the younger Eniola is unrepentantly out for blood, desperate to get revenge against her enemies in her quest for more power.
Apart from this internal struggle, the main plot of the series is focused on Eniola’s governorship race. Alone, with no kids, she has to compete against the Randles- the sitting governor and his wife, First Lady Jumoke Randle wonderfully played by Nse Ikpe Etim.
She also has to contend against her replacement Odudubariba (Charly Boy) and old opponents; Odogwu Malay (Ill Bliss), Aare Akinwande (Akin Lewis), and President Mumusa (Keppy Ekpeyoung).
Arguably the best thing about the series is the power dynamics between Nse and Sola. These two play so well against each other which is understandable since their characters are two sides of the same coin.
They both come from nothing, are extremely ambitious, will do whatever it takes to get what they want in spite of the obstacles from the men in their lives. Kemi Adetiba’s writing and directing shine brightly in these two characters. Their chemistry carries you through the seven-episode series.
Laburu came, saw, and conquered?
While the project certainly makes up for the wait with believable acting, good writing, great costumes, and lighting that often adds to the storytelling, it does have a few issues.
Some of the subplots including the family drama involving dedicated reporter Dapo Banjo played by Efa Iwara felt unnecessarily long and overdrawn. Reminisce, who plays Makanaki, delivers as usual, but his role as a villain lacks the punch it should have had. Some of the dialogue and scenes carried on for far too long than they needed to be. There are also some characters that just get on your nerves every time they pop on the screen.
Unlike the first movie, this sequel is a lot darker. You can expect more violence, deep, provocative Yoruba proverbs and the usual over the top drama that comes with politics.
Ultimately, The Return of the King is worth the wait!