Ani Mulalu? The Crazy World (2014)

Ani Mulalu? The Crazy World
Director: Nabwana I.G.G.
Writer: Alan Hofmanis, Nabwana I.G.G.
Cast: Isaac Newton Kizito, Kirabo Beatrice, Nattembo Racheal Monica, Kayibaare Fausitah, Lubega Jojo, Kyazze Phillo, Alex, Mukiibi Alex, Kabuye John, Nakabiiri Tisha, Kasigwa Diana, Wephukulu Anthony, Nabaggala Phionah, Bisaso Dauda, Kagolo Francis, Farouk
Part of: We Are One Film Festival
Seen on: 29.5.2020

Tiger Mafia have been kidnapping children at the behest of Mr. Big (Mukiibi Alex). When they kidnap the daughter Diana (Kirabo Beatrice) of the greatest commando (Bisaso Dauda) just as he returns home, it seems at first that they have bitten off more than they can chew. But in the end, Tiger Mafia succeeds and the commando turns crazy. But when another father (Wephukulu Anthony) stumbles upon him as he tries to chase after his son Kido (Isaac Newton Kizito) who has been kidnapped as well, the two fathers team up to save their children. Not that they need much saving, given that their kids are proficient martial artists themselves.

I haven’t seen many Wakaliwood movies so far (Who Killed Captain Alex? and Bad Black), but those I have seen have been utterly delightful in the anarchist way they pay hommage to action movies. Ani Mulalu? The Crazy World is another case in point. As long as you don’t expect the films to adhere to Western storytelling standards, you’ll have the time of your life.

The film poster showing a drawing of planet earth in a trench coat holding a gun to its head; and a bunch of kids in karate poses.

If you watch the film expecting any kind of coherence in the way Hollywood action films are coherent, you’ll be sorely disappointed. The timeline is all over the place, locations change erratically and it’s not always easy to see how the characters relate to each other. But that isn’t the point anyway. The point is that it is fun. Pure, unbridled fun not hampered by such things as “how much time has passed?” and “where did he come from now?”.

In the usual Wakaliwood fashion, everything is commented on by VJ Emmie, filling in some of the gaps, but more by chance than anything else. He simply provides another level on which the film can clown around and it works very well.

Two guys sitting in the street, one is using two plastic bottles as goggles.

But probably my favorite part of this film was the subplot with the piracy police who address the audience at the beginning of the film, warning us not watch it illegally – and then interrupting the film about halfway through to go hunt some of the pirating folk around the world, leading to a showdown in Paris that is looking for its equal. I laughed until I cried.

That there is a serious core in the film – there really is a problem with child abductions in Uganda – is not something the film lingers on. Instead it focuses on the ass-kicking kids (going so far as to say that it is a kids’ film. I’d say that’s debatable). But that criticism is there nonetheless, giving the film a bit more substance without really weighing it down. I definitely had fun.

Two kids in karate poses in a door frame.

Summarizing: Pure entertainment.

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