Nigerian Prince is a 2018 Nigerian-American Thriller written and directed by Faraday Okoro. It stars Chinaza Uche and Antonio J Bell, with Tina Mba, Bimbo Manuel, Ebbe Bassey and Dean Cameron.
The plot follows Eze (Antonio J Bell), a Nigerian-American teenager sent to Nigeria for what he thinks is a short holiday. He moves in with his Aunt, Grace (Tina Mba), and meets her son Pius (Chinaza Uche), an internet scammer. Eze decides to help Pius with his fraudulent activities in exchange for a ticket back home.
Nigerian Prince has a decent premise. It tries to tell us a story about the dazzling, criminal world of fraud in Nigeria. But the chosen storyline leaves much to be desired. You can’t help but think about how things could have been different while watching the movie. Seeing as the movie is called Nigerian Prince, a story about that particular type of scam might have turned out better. Instead, we have a plot that leaves us with too many questions, and an ending that has you thinking, what was the point of this movie?
Why is Eze here?
Eze is a protagonist but is used so poorly. He is sent to Nigeria by his mother, who thinks it makes sense to send him to Nigeria because he fought in school. Is Nigeria supposed to genuinely make him better, or just break his spirit? What is Eze’s character arc? Might as well cut him out of the whole thing. This would leave Pius to carry the movie, allowing us to enjoy the suspense of fraud and corruption, instead of waiting for a teenager’s coming-of-age story that will never come. Even Pius isn’t always done justice. We have a yahoo boy that keeps using the word scam to describe his business, even when he’s in public.
Great performance, despite…
Thankfully, the movie is full of great performances, especially from Chinaza Uche and Bimbo Manuel, who’s just a secondary character. Chinaza Uche is best when the movie is on mute, because his attempt at a Nigerian accent is distracting. Another thing that stands out in a positive light is the cinematography. Nigeria isn’t shown in the best of lights, but at least it looks pretty.
Great potential, but…
Nigerian Prince has so much potential but unfortunately, it falls short. There were so many opportunities to do great things with the premise and the talented cast. And in the future, foreign producers should do better research, so that a literal professor will be shown to possess a generator, unlike Aunty Grace.