Anikulapo (2024) – Rise of the Spectre – Movie Review

In Rise of the Spectre, a race against time to avoid a dismal fate, traveler Saro returns to the Oyo Kingdom with orders to complete a nearly impossible task.

The Cast 

  • Sisi Quadri – Ghost drummer
  • Owobo Ogunde – Bashorun Ogunjimi
  • Deji Olofaina – Oloye Oyo
  • Oyindamola Sanni – Olatorera
  • Bimbo Ademoye – Arolake
  • Uzee Usman – Prince Kuranga
  • Rasaq Olayiwola – Oloye Oyo
  • Eyiyemi Afolayan – Princess Omowumi
  • Rọpo Ewenla – Asohun Oba
  • Moji Afolayan Olayiwola – Olori Wonuola
  • Ronke Oshodi Oke – Olori Agba
  • Adeniyi Johnson – Ara Ilu Ede
  • Damilola Ogunsi – Onibode Orun (Heaven’s Gatekeeper)
  • Layi Wasabi – Ghost Bridegroom
  • Toyin Afolayan – Iyalode Oyo
  • Taiwo Hassan – Alaafin Ademuyiwa
  • Funky Mallam – Ara Ilu Ede
  • Kunle Remi  – Saro
  • Jide Kosoko – Oloye Oyo
  • Titi Kuti – Adigun
  • Sola Sobowale – Awarun
  • Aisha Lawal – Olori Sunkanmi
  • Adebayo ‘Oga Bello’ Salami – Oloye Oyo
  • Lateef Adedimeji – Awolaran
  • Gabriel Afolayan – Akin

The Crew

  • Produced by: Seun Soyinka, Kunle Afolayan
  • Directed by: Kunle Afolayan
  • Written by: Kunle Afolayan, Shola Dada

The Review

No matter your opinion of Kunle Afolayan’s productions, you can’t fault his technical prowess – the views of his movie and the quality of his costume and makeup. The makeup in this series is much better than the first offering of the movie. I want tribal marks now.

Rise of the Spectre is an expanded and continued story of Anikulapo, a fictional Oyo, and surrounding towns and villages.

It is a story of the interactions between the natural, unnatural, and supernatural worlds, and myths and folklore are woven into it. There is no point in trying to connect it with history.

I love how the story is slowly marinated. I generally don’t like filler scenes, but this production is slowly told in different time lapses.

The first few episodes establish what happened to the characters since we left them in the first offering.

The first few episodes also introduce new characters, and the introductions are not jarring; they naturally segue into the story.

The new actors are great additions. Owobo Ogunde is eye candy. I wonder why more women are not falling over themselves to be with him in the story.

Owobo is evidence that talent can be truly hereditary. He embodies the regal mien of his late father, Hubert Ogunde, and as young as we were when he died, we can see him clearly in his son.

Oyindamola as Olatorera is a breath of fresh air. Her acting is thoughtful and unrushed, even when the situation would get others to shout in the moment. I like how the main characters from the first installment took a step back to allow the new characters to shine. That’s the product of solid directing.

I wouldn’t say I like how Alaafin is portrayed. He seems like a spinless, sex-crazed man who is mostly pushed around by others, including his wives.

That may be what the director wants us to see.  The endless council meetings without actions are rather tedious, but they don’t take too much away from the production.

Rise of the Spectre is fiction. Hence, there are artistic liberties in portraying the timelines and the preter- and supernatural characters.

One major drawback for me is the ending: we have such a build-up and the series fizzles out in the end, and I am left with, “What sort of ending is that?” Also, is Saro dead or alive? What about the sacrifice that is to be made that is not made? What happens to Princess Omowunmi, seeing as Kuranga is dead? So many questions.

The producers may plan another installment. Nevertheless, Anikulapo’s Rise of the Spectre is a great production, and I will watch it again.  

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