iNumber Number: Jozi Gold Review – a dynamic action picture with style to spare

By Marc Miller
Published: June 24, 2023 (Last updated: July 30, 2023)
2023 Netflix film iNumber Number: Jozi Gold Review


iNumber Number: Jozi Gold is a dynamic action picture with style to spare.

Here is our review of the 2023 Netflix film iNumber Number: Jozi Gold, which does not contain spoilers.

The history of South African cinema continually tells stories about people experiencing poverty and the working class, often viewing socioeconomic disparity in Johannesburg’s shanty towns and juxtaposition against breathtaking landscapes.

The influences of post-war British and Italian Neorealism themes are evident here, ingrained in the country’s cultural fabric for decades.

While iNumber Number: Jozi Gold is by no means a serious drama, it is essential to acknowledge the history and themes behind this enjoyable action film because this is a plot you have seen dozens of times before.

As the third installment in the franchise, it has faced a long and winding road to Netflix. The result is a solid action film maintaining its trademark focus on beloved characters.

iNumber Number: Jozi Gold’s Story follows two police officers as they navigate Johannesburg’s criminal underworld in an attempt to solve the most notorious gold heist in the city’s history. One is Chili (S’dumo Mtshali), a star undercover cop who breaks the rules to uphold them.

iNumber Number: Jozi Gold Review and Plot Summary

Chili’s partner and best friend, Shoes (Presley Chweneyagae), is an out-of-shape uniformed lieutenant with a family to feed, including a brand-new baby on the way. The partners grew up in the same orphanage and are best friends.

However, their partnership is so effective because they complement each other, Shoes reels Chili in, and Chili pushes Shoes out of his comfort zone.

So, when they bust a gangster known as “The Hyena Man” behind the heist, they find out they were on a fool’s errand because the gold is fake. Chili quits after refusing to accept a demotion, and Shoes is forced to move on.

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That’s until they reunite with a tip to help the top investigators, consisting of old white men, crack the case of how The Gold Gang produces genuine Krugerrands.

Donovan Marsh continues to work behind the camera of this well-received South African entertainment franchise. This is the third installment, with the first being the 2013 film Avenged ( rebranded as iNumber Number) and adapted into the 2017 television series “iNumber Number” (yes, confusing).

The third entry knows not to stray too far away from their formula — the characters.

iNumber Number: Jozi Gold is a buddy picture with Mtshali’s dynamic Chilli and Chweneyagae’s Shoes, who is the film’s heart and have very entertaining chemistry.

However, I wish they had added more of a comedic element between them, and they spent too much time apart during the film’s second half.

Marsh does saturate the film with style to spare, but it succeeds because it has a good story about giving back to the community. Sure, Marsh’s script is a tired cliche lifted from the fable Robin Hood, but the concept remains tried and true.

Especially with Johannesburg’s history of socioeconomic disparity in its working-class black community and the city’s rich history of Gold. This makes for an apparent division that lends to a compelling narrative.

Is iNumber Number: Jozi Gold good or bad?

iNumber Number: Jozi Gold is a good action film with a signature style and a dynamic character in Chilli. S’dumo Mtshali has created a character that stands out among the plethora of foreign action fare on the streaming platform.

This South African Netflix film offers exciting action and entertaining villains, albeit in a graphic novel kind of way.

Is iNumber Number: Jozi Gold worth watching?

iNumber Number: Jozi Gold is worth watching if you want an offbeat action with a signature style. While the film may suffer from a broad and cliched story, the magnetic lead performance and affection for the main characters pull you through to the end. 

You should expect the franchise to continue you on with more installments in the future.

What did you think of the 2023 Netflix film iNumber Number: Jozi Gold? Comment below.

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