iNumber Number: Jozi Gold (2023)

iNumber Number: Jozi Gold (2023)

A "Robin Hood"-style action-crime-thriller with the expected good heart in the standard formula

5.4

Movie

South Africa
Afrikaans, English, Sotho
Action, Crime, Thriller
2023
DONOVAN MARSH
Brenda Ngxoli, Deon Lotz, Presley Chweneyagae
113 min

TLDR

Unfortunately, you never get used to the weird, CGI hyena.

What it's about

A jaded undercover cop must choose between following the law and helping an audacious heist crew succeed in this stylish and action-packed thriller.

The take

While investigating a gold heist in Johannesburg, Chili (S'dumo Mtshali) is jaded after an undercover operation fails spectacularly. With one chance left, he must choose between following the law and protecting the wealth of higher-ups or going against it and helping a heist crew dole out the riches to those in need. Wealth redistribution is at the heart of the film, with greed on all sides thwarting any prospects of prosperity for the city. The action-crime-thriller examines economic inequality via the lead cops trying to effect change, all while leaning into a warm visual style that shifts cameras to mirror the tensions. It's a nice touch to the average Robin Hood and "for the people" narrative, but the CGI choices and generic action scenes can get distracting at times.

What stands out

The chemistry between Mtshali and Presley Chweneyagae, who plays his partner Shoes, stabilizes the film as they conquer their dilemmas with the strength of their friendship. What the film lacks in finesse is easily redeemed by the sincere friendship between the two throughout. One such moment comes after Chili visits Shoes, thanking him for saving him from drowning when they were younger. Amid his indecision and desire to be a role model, Chili always takes the time to seek Shoe's understanding. The unwavering endearment between the two adds the substance the film couldn't do without.

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