After the high of Living In Bondage: Breaking Free (A SEQUEL; Link for review); Play Network’s Rattle Snake story became one of the most anticipated movies of 2020. Living In Bondage was 10/10, this one fell short, scoring 4/10 on our critic scoreboard. Let me take you through the Good, the Bad and the Ugly of 2020’s Rattle Snake: The Ahanna Story. The most important thing to note is: THIS IS A REMAKE and like all GOOD remakes before it, it is BAD.
Bucci Franklin: This guy single handedly justified my 2000 naira spent on the movie ticket. The cost would have torn my chest given the present echoes of hard times but for Bucci, he dished out the performance of the year. If I could, I’d hand out the AMVCA asap (I’d go vote eh). He played Nzenozo to perfection, I loved him, I loved it. There is really no adjective that qualifies how great his performance was. I am not exaggerating, it was a joy to watch.
Picture: Play Network has set a standard on picture quality. Quality was again exceptional and we pray it continues as they keep playing with our Nollywood classics.
RW: Ramsey’s Richard Williams made an appearance and I loved it. The appearance offered hope, Richard Williams would continue his tour through Nollywood’s cinematic universe and I pray the writers are planning the best wrap up story ever.
Language: Igbo biko kwenu! Conversations between Ahanna and Nzenozo were legendary.
Story: Nicole Asinugo, the screen writer had this to say “There were already a lot of material to work with, I was just building on what the great Amaka Igwe wrote. As a remake, one is creatively allowed to think about things from a different perspective but stay true to the real essence of the movie which I believe we did. Even if you watched the original Rattlesnake, we made sure we incorporated experiences that are relevant now. We also had the freedom to build on and incorporate other characters.”
I do not agree that you stayed true to the real essence of the movie, 1995’s Ahanna was our hero, Amaka Igwe did her best to sell him to us, she made us love him, take his side and we could forgive him anything. That name Ahanna means so much to us. There wasn’t any effort at selling Ahanna on this one, the background story was rushed and botched, we surely didn’t fall for Stan Nze’s character (he fell short @ Lead role), neither could we even attempt to see things from his side. The story only succeeded in passing him off as GREEDY (surely was not the intention).
The Rattle Snake story has been said to be a REAL LIFE story and any deviation from the original film if done right could have been passed off as being closer to the true life tale. Only it wasn’t done right.
From the outside looking in, it felt like they were given 126 minutes as law, the story absolutely could not exceed the pre-set running time and the writers were compelled to fit everything in 2 hours of screen time. Are you aware that there is such a thing as Part 2 of a movie? Rattle Snake- The Last Operation? Tobi Bakare’s character- Ike deserved more and could have been a major focal point of the movie, well developed and all, giving freshness to the original story as your Ahanna did not do anything for us besides his great narrating voice.
The story was so rushed, the audience had to come up with explanations on their own or draw from the original story. Nothing was shown to us, cohesion was lacking. Makes you wonder why precious minutes were spent on lavish South African skydiving scenes and seconds on Nengi’s appearance. I wouldn’t hand out spoilers but what is the first thing you tell your pal after years underground? Definitely wouldn’t be your money problems, whatever happened to catching up.
Dear Uncle Ramsey, after Living In Bondage, we gave you license to play with our childhood, after seeing this one, we are tempted to retrieve said license. Kindly redeem yourself at the next try (I’ve got stories for you…Winks)
An Alien Among Us: Xenophobia is a thing and we sure felt a bit of it watching Osas Ighodaro play Amara. Her Nigeria-ness is not in question (thanks to her Edo given shape) but in a room filled with people speaking Igbo and talking Nigerian, her sparkling English and tone did not blend, it was LOUD, an elephant in an otherwise well arranged room. In my opinion it was poor casting or blatant refusal on her end to tone it down.
The Largest Crowd You Have Ever Seen: I would not say anything, go see the movie to understand why this makes the bad. Hint: Bella Ciao!
The Lekki Toll Gate: Following the events of 20/10/2020 and the much publicized ongoing investigation, Lekki Toll Gate featuring as part of the displayed Lagos scenery was distasteful and should have been cut before release.
Testimonial Match Feel: When a top player retires, he hosts a testimonial match inviting colleagues and team mates to a celebratory function. Seeing Fred Amata and Omotola Jalade made this movie feel like Ramsey’s testimonial. There was really no point of them being there, no significance. On the side note, Omotola looks like a member of the Klumps family (Nutty Professor), she is now twice as tall (sideways).
Getting Robbed On Arrival In Lagos: This cliché is tiring really.
Mispronunciation of ‘Egbe’: I believe we have “Egbe” as in Kite and not “Egbe” for gun i.e gun runner. The actually pronounced both variants in the movie (Horrible!)
The Story: The Rattle Snake Story reenacted with focus on the activities of the gang, how they constructed elaborate robbery plans (Ocean 11 style), how they recruited and formed a nationwide crime syndicate, how they evaded authority and held connections with top people, throw in the Robin Hood angle then leave the Last Operation for Part 2. Take the time to show why Ahanna wanted out and how he went about it. Show how undercover Ike infiltrated the syndicate and brought them down. I also believe the epic scene of Ahanna showing up at his own funeral should have been recreated for the love of God.
Actual Significant Cameos: Francis Duru (1995’s young Ahanna); Julius Agwu (Peter); Ann Njemanze (Amara); Stella Damscus (Recast Amara) and Bob Manuel (Adaugo’s brother) represents cameos that would have drawn an awwwwnnnn; not Nengi’s.
Chief Maduagwu Olisa: Adaugo’s Father should have made it to this NEW story.
SARS Protest: Remember my talk about the largest crowd ever seen? Imagine if the mention of the word “protest” was actually the END SARS protest. The absolute best of fusing fiction and reality. Sadly they did not pick that.
Smoke: I definitely want to see more of Smoke (Brutus Richard). It should be roles galore from here on out for him.
End Note: The is the Nigerian equivalent of attempting a remake of Mario Puzo’s The Godfather. The only way you can somewhat enjoy this movie is if you have not seen the original but then again without the original you would really struggle to follow the rushed work. Go take one for the team, go see this movie just because, Bucci would see you through.