Merry Men: The Real Yoruba Demons is an hour and forty six minute movie that is an hour and forty six minutes too long.
The movie follows a group of rogue bandits in Abuja (or Lagos?) who have taken it upon themselves to continue to be the robin hood of their society Made up of three Yoruba men and one Igbo man (an irony that even they point out), these Yoruba Demons each have their own respective part to play in the heists. The weird thing is bit is that asides from the characters of Falz and that of Ramsey, it seems like the only parts available are that of sleeping with various women for information. By that standard, all of Lagos is full of Merry Men… but I digress.
To be honest, there’s only one person with any significant enough skill or role to identify this movie with a heist film and that’s the character of Falz. Falz’s character is supposedly an IT wizard even though the only thing his IT seems to do in this movie is to poorly pretend to type code on laptops and to watch the download bar progress in awkward situations… but what do I know? I’ve never been an IT wiz before. Then there is the role Ramsey played which seems to be that of a pained and confused rich kid. A rich kid who insists on defying his father so instead of going to Harvard he goes to Oxford and instead of studying law he studies business… oh what a rebel. And when he no longer wants to live under his father’s strict rules, he takes a long field trip into the ghetto and bonds with the poor people. He feels soooo connected to them that when he unfolds a ploy that seeks to take advantage of them, him and his righteous ego decide to make it the Merry Men’s goal to foil this plan.
There’s only one person who seemed to grasp the confused foolishness of Ramsey’s character and that was Dera – and it was especially obvious in the scene where she calls him out and tells him to stop pretending like any of this is about his ploy to save ‘Garki village’. She’s absolutely right, because none of it (and none of this movie) is about anything at all.
If you sit wondering about plot holes and just generally the many many many things going on here that make no sense, you will hurt your head. If you wonder things like why a federal agent that is supposedly investigating a group of thieves keeps publicly going on dates and romancing a member of this group of thieves, you will hurt your head. If you wonder things like why they keep using all these unnecessarily forced coder/hacker graphics on the screens in their den, you will hurt your head. If you wonder about any of the many convenient plot bits that make no sense, you will hurt your head.
The best thing about this movie is the picture quality. The shots are crisp, the sets are luxurious, the aura is sold; but the action choreography is a joke, the lines fall flat, and all the impact is nonexistent. The nearly 2hr debacle is chock full with unnecessary cameos and forced insertion of party music to elevate the mood, but there’s barely any cohesion here to drive the movie along.