Crazy World delivers ballistic kung-fu action with a gleefully irreverent comedic sensibility in a familiar but satisfying addition to the Wakaliwood cinematic universe.
Achieving cult cinematic status with no-budget hits Who Killed Captain Alex? and Bad Black, director Nabwana IGG adds another explosive entry to the growing canon of Wakaliwood films with his latest international release, Crazy World. This time around, we are introduced to Uganda’s greatest action stars, the Waka Starz, a group of child kung fu masters who are kidnapped by the evil Tiger Mafia to be sacrificed for the supernatural properties in their blood. Meanwhile, the missing children’s fathers, including Dauda Bisaso (Uganda’s greatest commando) and Bruce U (Uganda’s best kung fu cop and hero of Who Killed Captain Alex?) mount a rescue mission to save them. Martial arts fights and gunplay ensue, featuring Wakaliwood’s trademark rapid editing, blood squibs, cheap CGI explosions, and endearingly creative passion for filmmaking.
Crazy World is the first Wakaliwood film shot in HD, and, while the images look crisp and the colors pop, the visuals don’t quite capture the same amateur lo-fi aesthetic of Who Killed Captain Alex?. If watching this on YouTube, I’d recommend turning down the video quality to enjoy the film in all its low-budget glory and preserve the kitschy grindhouse atmosphere. Meanwhile, the set pieces are impressively choreographed, if a bit similar to past Wakaliwood films, and the riffing commentary from the now self-proclaimed “world’s greatest tongue fu master” VJ Emmie is hilarious as ever, even as he rehashes old lines like “supa commandos” and “movie movie movie!”. It’s not unreasonable to find the film a bit derivative and reliant on these familiar elements, but, at the same time, Crazy World seems to be iconizing its own cinematic universe, which will no doubt delight its most devoted fans. We’re even teased with a preview of the “world’s greatest documentary,” the upcoming The Return of Uncle Benon, which VJ Emmie tells us will premiere at Cannes in 2021.
What’s most captivating about Crazy World is that it truly embodies a maverick, delirious cinematic spirit in new and surprising ways. Like Bad Black, the film fully embraces its exploitation film, bent with its pulp premise of child kidnapping and hyper-violent set pieces. The film’s attitude is carelessly self-deprecating, as it makes fun of life in poverty in Uganda, and self-reverential, as it declares itself “the best kidz movie eva,” among many other superlatives. The self-confidence on display is gleefully amusing, and the constant references to characters like Rambo or Jackie Chan, the “Terminator back from future,” not only namedrop Wakaliwood’s Hollywood inspirations but also position the film into the canon and legacy of action cinema, where it rightfully belongs.
Finally, it’s also worth mentioning the film’s best running joke—interruptions from the Ugandan Piracy Patrol warn the audience against watching the film illegally, even cracking down on the director watching his own film while a group of “supa soldiers” travel across the globe to hunt down the digital delinquents. This culminates in a sequence where a helicopter flies backwards over London only to be blown up in France by baguettes, all set to an electric guitar rendition of the Indiana Jones theme. Now, where but Wakaliwood, the “home of da best of da best movies,” would you ever see anything like that?
Crazy World premiered at the We Are One Film Festival on May 29th: head to Wakaliwood’s official site to stay up-to-date on its future release.
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