For a film that has gone through development and production for over three years, which is a lengthy timeline for a Filipino production, BuyBust by Erik Matti is definitely worth the wait. This Pinoy action flick showcases Anne Curtis in a new light, alongside Filipino MMA star Brandon Vera. On its second week, the movie is reaping it stronger at the Philippine box office, and it seems that a third week or even more is still to be expected. Here are what you have to watch in this dynamite action feature that will, suffice to say, make you feel proud as a Filipino.
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Having seen Matti’s previous films On The Job and Honor Thy Father, there's certainly a high level of expectation and anticipation entering the cinema. But this film turns out to not be in the mold of your usual Matti films. It's a slow-burn type, but once it sparks, it immediately shifts to high gear and does not seem to stop. +4
I’ve lost count of how many awesome action sequences there are, 'cause there are so many to wet your appetite for filmic violence. It seems like they just don't seem to stop. Halfway through, it does feel like an homage to Indonesia’s over-the-top action film The Raid, but this one certainly has its own unique flavor. +2
Anne is a revelation in this flick, not really as just an actress, but as an action heroine. Her months of training have definitely paid off. Throughout the countless action sequences that seem to have been done by her mostly, she shines and whoops everyone’s asses. She puts the B in badass and not the other profane word you were expecting me to say. Not having too many speaking lines benefits her character as well, as we are all familiar with Anne’s signature speech pattern. She isn't able to shed it off completely, but her body language is more than enough to carry the film on her shoulders as Philippine cinema’s newest action star. +3
Brandon also headlines the film as he kicks ass alongside Anne. Do we even have to discuss how he is in his fight scenes? Duh... But amazingly, he’s also got acting chops to back up those killer moves. His Filipino is spot on, too! +2
The action seems to go on for most part of act two, which makes up 75% of the film. It manages to keep the audience engaged with the use of some quirky fight scenes like that of Anne and Brandon versus some infuriated women and gay parloristas. Hella fun! +2
Watch for that one long take of that rooftop action sequence that as a filmmaker, will definitely drive you to bonkers. Matti is such a visionary. +3
After a while, the violence seems senseless. But wait for the powerful message in the end as Arjo Atayde as Biggie Chen drops it on you in that extremely potent final sequence. And just when you think it's over, wait for those glorious last few seconds of the twist of sorts. +4
I’m not a fan of drone shots, but that last aerial shot of the film looks magnificent and metaphorically powerful—showing the blood, gore and chaos beneath our seemingly progressing urban economy. +2
Dare I say, Matti would have to be the greatest Filipino director at the moment. Seeing his filmography and how his films feel different from each other, even though the range in genre and styles is quite similar, I would have to say, all his works are polished and craftfully made. Most of them carry a powerful message that he is able to subtlely convey. I really thought that the film title is already a dead giveaway to the plot, knowing how he is a staunch critic of this administration, but act three switches it up into a think piece that sheds light into the reality of our current political situation. +3
With a total of 25 points, equivocal to the 250,000 grams of gun powder utilized in making the film, or 25 points which could also stand for silver as this film is definitely precious. It still isn't my favorite film of Matti's compared to Rigodon and On The Job, but this is certainly a must-watch for every Filipino, regardless if you’re a fan of the action genre or not. Just get your hearts ready to be jolted for over two hours in the cinema. It is definitely a cinematic gem that will go down in history as the best Pinoy action flicks ever made.
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Photos courtesy of Reality Entertainment