Politics are already strained between English imperialists and the West African government of Kinjanja, when womanizing British diplomat Morgan Leafy (Colin Friels) is caught in bed with Celia (Joanne Whalley-Kilmer), wife of corrupt Kinjanjan Presidential candidate Sam Adekunle (Louis Gossett, Jr.). As punishment, Leafy is forced into bribing an official who has voted down a project that stands to make Adekunle very rich. Leafy thinks he's gotten off easy until he learns the lone holdout is none other than Kinjanja's own brick wall of integrity, Dr. Alex Murray (Sir Sean Connery). Meanwhile, Leafy must also contend with his absurdly stuffy boss Fanshawe (John Lithgow), Fanshawe's lusty wife, Chloe (Dame Diana Rigg), and their luscious, too friendly daughter.
Don't be fooled by the "East Africa" disclaimer. This is about Nigeria, specifically Lagos at the time of the oil boom, when it was the capital. Although many names have been changed, the Yoruba thunder god, Shango, is not, nor are some of the others.
There was so much humor possible in that time and place (you had to laugh just to keep from crying sometimes) that of course some of it found its way into the film. The author never understood what was happening, so of course he missed a lot, but then he made the very ignorance of the British one of the butts of his humor. God I love British humor, I envy them for it and I'm grateful to them for giving us Chaplin, Bob Hope, and so many others. But I digress. And this film is not on the level of Chaplin or Hope. I was disappointed.
The biggest disappointment was watching great talents like Sean Connery, Diana Rigg and Lou Gossett sleepwalking through their roles on their way to a paycheck. They could have done better.
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