Black Mail: Review

Ray Chinda (O.C. Ukeje) is a famous actor who seems to have the perfect life. He’s married to Nikki (Julia Holden), they have two beautiful children and despite a small blip in their marriage, things are looking fine once again.

Then one day Ray gets an e-mail saying that somebody knows a lot about his private life and will release details unless he gives them money. That includes a video of him watching porn and enjoying himself. Thinking at first that it must be a scam, he contacts his friend, Reuben (Alessandro Babalola) who is savvier with technology than him. However, things only get worse when whoever’s behind the scam starts demanding more.

Black Mail is a British crime thriller written and directed by Obi Emelonye. However, with the limited budget and the big ideas, the two don’t seem to gel all that well and neither do the two competing plots.

That’s because behind the computer screen is a failed footballer called Vitali (Ivan Papovec) who is part of a sex trafficking ring and he uses his knowledge of computers to scam people online. It seems that what with this being the subplot and Ray’s problems being the focus, then perhaps the plots should be switched around as Ray’s are very much first world problems.

Black Mail really tries to put across Ray’s troubles as well, but that only makes the movie feel like a consumer awareness show written like an episode of Line of Duty. This is especially prevalent because although Emelonye’s virus software knowhow is well researched, it does slow down the movie and makes it feel like the audience is being lectured.

There’s also a lot that doesn’t make sense considering that Ray Chinda is supposed to be so famous either, because he surely would have been able to afford proper security or at least hire somebody to do it for him. Then there’s the fact that he lives in a modest home and him and his wife treat their jobs like a daily nine to five.

In the end the two main plots do converge with each other. However, by this point the audience has had to deal with minor details including Ray’s sex addiction and they may have started wondering why they should care a long time ago.

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Joel found out that he had a talent for absorbing film trivia at a young age. Ever since then he has probably watched more films than the average human being, not because he has no filter but because it’s one of the most enjoyable, fulfilling and enriching experiences that a person can have. He also has a weak spot for bad sci-fi/horror movies because he is a huge geek and doesn’t care who knows it.