Rita Dominic continues her unimpressive run of mediocre movies that began with February’s The Guest, with this unnecessary sequel to the acceptable 2012 comedy of domestic dissatisfaction.
The Ikechukwu Onyeka directed original, written and produced by Chinwe Egwuagu remains largely unremarkable but at least it was saved from forgettable status by a fantastic turn from Nse Ikpe-Etim as Susan Abbah, the housewife who turns the tables and gets the better of her bullying husband played by Joseph Benjamin.
For part 2,- which no one asked for by the way,- Egwuagu hires a fresh cast to spin another interpretation on the whole marriage as fertile ground for the battle of the sexes agenda. Rita Dominic and Chidi Mokeme head a cast that also includes Tana Adelana, Steve ‘Yaw’ Onu and former MBGN, Munachi Abii.
This time, audiences are tasked with the uninteresting burden of following three well-heeled couples as they make their way through financial insufficiency, sociopathic exes and mutinous children. Mokeme is at home playing Kobi, a spoilt man child who works for his father and is rewarded more than handsomely for his non-efforts.
After a rash of trouble with the EFCC, the family business falls into hard times and Kobi finds himself out of commission. He overcompensates by drinking his worries away and bullying his wife Sharon (Dominic) into handing in her resignation, just to assuage his ego. Meanwhile his children are acting out in extreme ways right under his nose and he has not the slightest idea. Talk about #MenAreScum.
Kobi and Sharon have a teenage son who may have a drug problem, their daughter is in the throes of an identity crisis that is related to her sexuality. Both issues are handled shabbily and totally without depth. This biting superficiality makes it hard to take Mr and Mrs: Chapter Two seriously.
Kobi’s dad, Dede (Akin Lewis) has just settled into a May-December union with wife number two but his first,- Kobi’s mother, played by the awful Cassandra Odita,- is unprepared for the solo life and proceeds to fight dirty. The third storyline involves Zola and Timi, an attractive young couple whose relationship is going nowhere fast. The film juggles between these three couples and manages to sustain barely a spark of interest as it heads to a sickly sweet yet illogical final that presents everyone’s rewards tied with a bow.
Directed by Teco Benson, the picture is crisp and sets beautiful but that is about all there is to write concerning Chapter Two. There is very little depth to the writing and the amateurish work suffocates the reliable efforts of Dominic and Mokeme (both terrific in last year’s 76). Dominic is fine but she is no Ikpe-Etim and her scenes aren’t exactly written or performed to create sparks.
Mr and Mrs does raise timely issues about modern families but the writer has no capacity to distill them into contextual set pieces that could have elevated the film from its humble beginnings. Everything is basic, from the acting to directing, writing to production values.
No one will be demanding chapter three obviously. Hopefully the filmmakers read the writing on the wall.