To put it simply: I loved it, and I’m glad I watched this first among this year’s entries.
- The action scenes are not exactly as flashy as say, Asiong Salonga. Probably Not too artsy as OTJ. It’s not overly stated. It’s grey and gritty, but it kept me on my toes. Even though it was just a very long chase sequence at the end. It was crawling. The music probably helped.
- I haven’t watched that much Joyce Bernal films, but I think she was allowed to be creative on this one with the handheld camera shots, the CCTV-like scenes, that Manila Day-to-Night shot transition, and it was fresh seeing things like those in an MMFF entry.
- Don’t get me started on the casting. It’s like they got the characters downright pat: Mylene Dizon as the wife, the casting of the Senator’s kids, even the Madam President character and her Busangot-ness and her generals – not your typical contrabida faces, but unmistakably sinister. Bela Padilla as the spunky reporter Myra Limchauco was a surprise, and I wouldn’t dismiss her again as another token Kapuso talent. Carla Humpries as the former Kidnap Victim turned diplomat was also a nice casting choice.
- But mehn, Pen Medina was it. Very generous with the cursing, and I loved it! Ang lutong mehn. He was very colloquial and very believable, like he’s some street-hardened thug you could run into when you’re walking down an alley in Manila.
- Alchris Galura. Even though he had a small role. That is all. (HAHAHAHAHA)
- Robin Padilla probably looks too fresh to be a seasoned Cop in his 50s (?) – it is a film loosely based on Panfilo Lacson’s life – but he did well with the action scenes and his acting is okay so I guess I could live with it
- Speaking of acting, everything was subdued. No overly dramatic and dragging iyakan scenes in here. Which is the best.
- There were subplots which helpfully peppered the Main story. Without these scenes, it would’ve been just a fugitive story and it would’ve been boring if they weren’t around. Myra Limchauco’s plot rounded everything up nicely in the end.
- It would’ve looked cool if they’ve gone with the whole typography treatment – especially with the Newspaper headline clip scenes, but that’s just me nitpicking
- The opening credits looked cool, even though it’s just letters
- It really makes me wonder how much of the story is really fictional. So was there a reporter that helped Sen.Lacson when he was hiding and knew the whole story? Whatever that was?
- If there’s a phrase that sums the movie for me, it’s this. Just Right. The right amount of acting. The right amount of action (and humor, yes there were light moments). The right amount of holding back when you could’ve gone wild with the drama and the action scenes. And everything just, works.