Corruption [2018 Pascal Aka Film] Review

Screen Shot 2018-12-15 at 8.18.11 PM
AKA: N/A
Genre: Action/Crime Drama
Year Released: 2018

Distributor: Unlicensed
Origin: Ghana

Running Time: 9 minutes
Rating/Recommended Audience: 16+

Related Films/Series: N/A
For Fans Of: 24, Yugo the Negotiator, Lethal Weapon, Monster (Naoki Urasawa Anime), Dirty Harry, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
Notes:

-This film is streaming on YouTube.

Fun Facts:

-Director Pascal Aka has directed films such as Ghana Police, Mr. Q, and Mind Rush.

-The stunt choreographer is Kofi Adeji Maafo who is trained and certified in stunts in both Hollywood and NYC.

-Hilarious in Hindsight: Did Ajiman unleash his inner Roman Reigns by straight up Superman Punching one of the bad guys? Believe THAT!


If I had a map of the world with me right now, I would be able to add another country to that list. It would be none other than the West African nation of Ghana. I managed to stumble upon a short film made in that country not too long ago to see what movies were coming out of that nation and I found out an action short film was made there.

I wondered how this would be watching it.



Corruption is about a crime scene where numerous documents about corrupt politicians and police officers are stolen. There’s an undercover cop named Ajiman who infiltrates this nightclub where the criminals have all of this evidence. He tries to play it cool to fit in in this vice-ridden environment, but his guise is blown by the crime lord. This certainly doesn’t end well and everyone is forced to fight.

This was definitely a change of pace from the movies I typically review. Surprisingly, I haven’t reviewed that many straight-up action flicks on Iridium Eye. Sure, I’ve reviewed movies and series with fight scenes, but nothing that was so oriented on some fight scenes. Corruption may have been a (needed) change to spice things up on here. The fighting is legit and could stand pound for pound for many big budget Hollywood flicks in terms of stage combat and choreography. I also liked how the cinematography was well-shot and had such clarity while also showing the dark underworld in this criminal environment. It was also good on the creators to make Ajiman avoid some action star Marty Stu fodder. Early on in the film, he falls into the villain’s savvy trap by showing his a picture of his daughter which forces Ajiman to unintentionally admit that he has children. That was some good writing to show that the lead protagonist wasn’t perfect and to make the villain look intelligent. The music was good as it switches to Ghanaian hip-hop to fierce tribal drums during the fight scene. Corruption was certainly packed with enough intrigue and action to keep things fascinating.

Corruption does miss the mark on a few things though. Besides Ajiman, I don’t know the names of the other characters which made things very confusing. Much like Offside, I tend to get thrown off when I don’t know who to call whom when it comes to talking about the characters. This short film is fast-paced, but almost too fast. It’s certainly not boring, but this should’ve been longer or could possibly have been the climax to a full-length movie which could work. Also, I thought the overall message was preachy. Yes, the title is explicitly stated given the nature of the crime, but the final conversation gets preachy and a bit cheesy. Ajiman’s final lines are certainly awesome though: “I’ll make sure to see it. [And] So will you.” I won’t provide context to that conversation lest this film will be spoiled, but just trust me that the dialog leading up to those lines could have been written better.

Pascal Aka’s action-packed short film was a jolt of no-nonsense butt-kicking action that’s better than I expected as someone who’s usually turned off by action films. Everything was competently shot, the music worked so well, and the fight choreography was top-notch. I would bet you money that if someone like The Rock, Chris Hemsworth, or even Bruce Willis in his prime did those scenes, people would eat it up. I do wish there was more background on the characters let alone giving the rest of the cast names though. Corruption isn’t some mind-blowing film, but it was a gut check of some quality action fare in such a short run time.


Adjustable Point System:

Add 1 point if you like action movies.
Subtract 1-2 points if you prefer your crime dramas to not be so fighting oriented.


Pros:

-Excellent camera work
-Amazing fight choreography
-Good sound design and score

Cons:
-Preachy anti-corruption moralizing
-Unnamed characters besides Ajiman
-Way too short of a run time

Final Score: 8/10 points

Content Warning: Corruption would be better suited for older audiences. The action gets quite bloody, drug usage is going on, gambling, and the language is strong enough to pass that PG-13 threshold in both English and Twi.

-Curtis Monroe

All photos used under US “Fair Use” laws. Corruption is property of Pascal Aka. The screenshot is from YouTube and is property of Pascal Aka.

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