To help her cause, Badmus rallies on goodwill from some of her comic colleagues. Yaw, Helen Paul and Ushbebe respond with cartoonish performances but don’t expect Ghetto Bred to burst out the jokes a mile a minute. Experience with films like Head Gone and 200 Million will teach you to manage expectations. Crackling stage presences don’t always translate to film and where Yaw and Ushbebe try to conjure up funny from a not so pleasant situation, Helen Paul as Debby, a clownish best friend, does not help out in any way.
Badmus casts herself as Efe, a Lagos taxi driver with a motor mouth and a penchant for causing trouble wherever she goes. At home where she lives with her brother Ovie (Yaw) and at her workplace, the taxi park in Yaba headed by Chairman (Jide Kosoko,) Efe is a menace with a talent for getting on everyone’s last nerve. Angry and frustrated, she picks fights at home with the neighbours and at work with her colleagues and clients.
Because Badmus is the producer, Ghetto Bred demands that you stay on her side despite her deplorable behaviour. Much of the movie, especially the first half, is Badmus verbally and physically sparring with anyone that so much as crosses her path. No one is spared and while Efe’s tirades aren’t exactly funny- they are grating and unchecked most of the time- Badmus will manage to land one joke just as you have resolved to give up on the entire shebang.
Ghetto Bred makes a sharp detour into romantic comedy territory in its second half and all of a sudden, Efe is the damsel in demand, boxed into a situation of choosing between two suitors, the oily Onos (Ushbebe) and dashing Fred (Bolanle Ninolowo) with a bland personality.
Actually, this plot twist becomes Ghetto Bred’s biggest win. Badmus’ insistence on playing the desirable leading lady is a welcome middle finger to all of the filmmakers who would rather typecast her as the bully. She has a lot of fun in this role and even if the romantic subplot is handled as predictably as one would expect from a film like this- one of the guys cheats- it is still pretty fun to watch.
Ghetto Breed isn’t suited for the big screen at all but Efe seems like the kind of oafish character who will find success on the small screen, breaking hearts and bones with equal aplomb. The seeds have been planted, the market is there. Badmus only needs to find a resourceful team to help package and promote her stuff.