'KOB: The Return of the King' makes good its promise of nostalgia [Pulse Movie Review]

It is the 27th. Nollywood's most anticipated project from Netflix is finally here!

'KOB: The Return of the King' [ Netflix]

For several reasons, I want to see Nollywood win. Being a mere mortal, sometimes my goodwill is engulfed in a deep-seated scepticism birthed from years of disappointment and in 'KOB: The Return of the King', my demons are barely passive.

Sitting on this table are probably hundreds of fans anticipating the limited series with its glowing promise of the tale of the adored antihero of the 2018 political thriller.

As the title suggests, Eniola Salami (Sola Sobowale) returns in the series from a five-year exile with plans of starting life anew.

While the Kemi Adetiba Visuals and Netflix produced series spots the return of favourite characters from the original film, it also introduces new characters as the plot thickens on Eniola's quest to restore a new crown, away from the underworld and as the Governor of Lagos state.

The larger than life Eniola of 'King of Boys' takes on a subtle appeal in the series. There is less screaming and glaring ruthlessness. In its stead is a crafty player stacking cards as the story unfolds for the end game.

Drifting from Eniola is her young version reprised by Toni Tones. This time, the stunning actress graces the screen frequently, an impressive reminder of the Eniola we once knew.

So what about the story? Is it truly worth the wait and hype?

'The Return of the King' makes good its promise of nostalgia but struggles through some barely sellable subplots and less endearing characters.

The main plot following Eniola's governorship race and power tussle with the Randles is convincing, fresh and sufficiently takes its audience through the seven-episode series.

Another major hit scored by the series is how it explores grief. Shortly after the razzmatazz of Eniola's return in episode one, she retires to her room and proceeds to self-harm, expressing the grief she still feels for the loss of her children.

Eniola's conflict with good and evil ultimately becomes a fascinating theme in the series despite the voices of conscience being multi-faceted. Regardless, Adetiba's exploration of grief is both timely and potent.

Utterly strange is how poorly this teaser aged with the release of 'The Return of the King'.

Relying on the backstory of the teaser, Makanaki, a reincarnation of a dreadful demon has returned to wreck havoc on his enemies. But the subplot in the series sparingly captures the villain except as a well timed plot resolution.

Ultimately, a great deal of a film's tone is reflected by its lighting. One of the striking bits of the original film is how much is subtly displayed using dark lighting. Several crucial scenes, especially grief and gruesome murder, maintained their dramatic effect by being masked in shadows.

However, 'The Return of the King' opts for high-key lighting that strips it of mystery. While this is unforgivable for a thriller, this is KOB. Nothing. Absolutely nothing, is unforgivable!

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