‘Detour’ Review: An Undercooked Mystery-Thriller

Jide Okeke’s 2021 film, Detour, is a mystery thriller about a journalist, Tara, played by Jemima Osunde, who wakes mysteriously in a forest without any memory of who she is or how she got there. She dials up Alex (Olumide Oworu), a contact on her phone, and pleads for his help. Alex is a corper romantically interested in Tara and, alongside Alex is his friend, Jide (Tomiwa Tegbe), the comic relief and sidekick to balance Alex’s character. There is much to write about  Detour but, summarily, it is a bad movie. It has all the tropes of a mystery and a thriller, but it is neither mysterious nor thrilling. This is because the building blocks are ineffective. Nothing intelligent is set up and when reveals are made in the third act, they all fall flat. 


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Via Afribold Capital

    There is something off about Olumide Owuru whenever he takes on a serious role. It is obvious he gives his all but it feels insufficient. While he was excellent in The Johnsons, a popular ongoing comedy series, he has not particularly succeeded at ‘serious’ roles outside comedy. His annoying sidekick, Tomiwa Tegbe, raucous and indiscreet, must be endured by both the audience and every character he shares a scene with. The buddy dynamic he is to have with Olumide Oworu fails woefully due to their inefficiency at challenging each other. Jemima Osunde struggles too, but it is obvious there is talent there when she shares a scene with Kanayo O. Kanayo. And the other characters simply float along, without direction, as the plot struggles over the finish line. 


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    Technicalities are terrible as well; the sound effects, the practical effects, the fight choreographies, the gaudy transitions in some scenes, all of them reflecting the incapability the story oozes. A badly-structured, badly-written plot; a film so papery that the end is obvious within the first thirty minutes. Yet there is the flickering light of Monalisa Chinda in her few scenes, and the unfulfilled promise of interesting cinematography in the first ten minutes. Perhaps a lot more patience at the workshop would have made this film better. But it is out there already. Suffer this one at your peril. 

Rating: 4/10

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Side Musings

  • The car chase scene where the villains shoot at the protagonist in a mildly busy street and everything goes on normally. 
  • Tara’s dead phone somehow keeps coming back on. 
  • The expert soldier cum assassin couldn’t track a helpless amnesiac woman for three days in the same forest. 
  • This could go on and on and on.

Detour is currently in cinemas.

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