“Merry Men 3” Is A Dizzying Walkway Littered With Candy
The Merry Men have returned, and they are in a merry mood too. Ayo Aleshinloye (Ramsey Nouah) is getting ready to marry his sweetheart Dera (Nadia Buari) and he plans to do this in grand style. He complains bitterly about his tie not being suede like he requested, and we get it; someone with that much steeze should have nothing less.
He is not alone as the other Merry Men – Amaju (Ayo Makun) and Johnny (Williams Uchemba) – are also getting ready to be in attendance. Naz (Jim Iyke) is running late, and they can hardly stand it. After giving a little victory speech on how far the crew has grown from being serial playboys to responsible men, Ayo is ready to tie the knot with his suede tie, of course!
The wedding begins with Dera walking down the aisle to meet him and they begin exchanging vows. The recitation of the vows is interrupted by a deep voice. This terrorizes the couple and their guests. Quickly, a video is projected on the wall and a car in a compound gets blown up.
Guess who the occupant of the vehicle is. This immediately becomes a not-so-merry situation. The guests scurry, the couple disappears, and the ceremony comes to an immediate end. The Merry Men have a new villain whose name is Dafe (Chidi Mokeme), and he is here to take revenge on Ayo.
Flashback. The film takes us on a journey to Dafe and Ayo’s childhood, showing us how they seldom left each other’s side as brothers in crime. An operation goes awry and leads to the shooting of Dafe, who is then left for dead after Ayo tries to revive him. That is what we are allowed to know about Dafe.
“Merry Men 3” is an action-packed, hilarious film with a very energetic cast, but it sadly ends there. It is the film we never thought we needed and for good reason: after a four-year interregnum since the release of Merry Men 2,” it is safe to assume that people have probably moved on from what now seems to be a film franchise.
Everything keeps happening all at once, and there is an introduction of many scenes that could have been done without. As a result, the film is packed with so much information that one gets a dizzying feeling, and the beautiful aspects are almost overshadowed.
This film has a talented cast. The replacement of Damilola Adegbite with Nadia Buhari is almost unnoticeable. Could this be because “Merry Men 2” was so long ago? Whatever the case might be, Buhari slipped comfortably into the role of Dera, and she killed it.
Williams Uchemba played the clown all too well in this film. One favorite moment is when he asks Amaju how he plans to break Mama (Ireti Doyle) out of prison when he is not “Michael Scofield”. Then, the film does the best thing. Mama is broken out of prison in classic Michael Scofield style. That subtle but not-so-subtle “Prison Break” analogy was brilliant. Getting this reference will leave you giggling like a well-fed toddler.
Ayo Makun does not disappoint. He rocks those locs pretty confidently too. We wonder if he has ever considered growing his hair out. He plays the role of Amaju as beautifully as he always has. He is still not free from Mama’s chains and will eat scraps off the sole of her shoes if she demands that he does so. He is also still a “finished man,” so we wonder if Ayo’s speech about finally settling down earlier in the film touched him in any way. Makun’s portrayal of this “finished man” is through his eyes. You can just see it in his eyes when he surrenders to his desires. Good job AY.
Ramsey Nouah also comes correct. His character, even though with a more serious role in this film, still finds a way to make us laugh when he winks on that hospital bed. That is a wink we never want to stop seeing. He is still as agile as he was in the beginning and his fight skills have improved. Jackie Chan could never!
Chidi Mokeme eats up his role as Dafe. Through the flashbacks, we watch him go from this child full of wonder to a man who performs the wonder. When he reads a passage of the Bible to his victim just before sending him to the creator, we get the chills. He gives a brilliant performance of evil with witty words.
“Merry Men 3” may have a dizzying plot but its cinematography is good. The film’s editing is smooth, ensuring seamless transitions between scenes. The editing choices enhance the comedic timing, allowing the audience to fully appreciate the humorous moments while maintaining the film’s energetic pace.
Although the film’s cinematography is impressive, there are a few instances where the camera work feels shaky, particularly during intense action scenes like when Dafe deals with the corrupt health minister. It is very easy to see that the camera shakes but that does not take away from the brilliance of it.
With Naz gone, how does the crew maneuver this new villain and deal with the authorities, who are after them? Join the Merry Men on a hilarious, action-packed, and emotional journey as they stagger on this not-so-merry-go-round.
Release Date: October 13, 2023
Runtime: 2 hours and 13 minutes
Streaming Service: None. Cinematic Release
Director: Moses Inwang
Cast: Ramsey Nouah, Williams Uchemba, Ayo Makun, Nadia Buari, Chidi Mokeme, Iretiola Doyle, Segun Arinze, and Sam Dede