(This is the BuyBust film review, which is a Philippines action crime thriller that serves as a commentary for the Drug War project in the Philippine)
This is probably the first time I have seen a Philippine movie, much less in a cinema. However, this seems to stand out among its peers in being something different from the usual. Essentially, it is a film that is wrought with controversy as it depicts the real lives of the slumps in the country and how the government is tackling the drug problem there. It is directed by the renowned Philippine director Erik Matti and features some well-known casts in the country such as Anne Curtis, Brandon Vera, and Arjo Atayde. But could these actually make a difference in the film quality? Read on the BuyBust film review below to find out!
The film solely revolves around several characters who are officers of Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency(PDEA) who are tasked to track down a drug lord in an infamous slump. Inside, they encounter resistance and learnt of various factions that are now causing all of them to get into life-and-death fights. Could they survive the events and capture the drug lord?
BuyBust Film Review\
BuyBust is an action film from the Philippines and I knew next to nothing about the film, deciding to watch it because the trailer was pretty sweet.
Plotwise, the premise is actually rather interesting as it is set in a mini slum where our main characters who are a police task force go in to hunt a drug lord but they end up getting trapped and hunted by almost everyone in the slums. There’s a lot of potential here. Pacing wise I found it actually got a bit tedious to watch after a while. Its not that there’s no action or tense moments but there’s a bit too much of it and it ended up becoming quite tiring as we rarely had any breather.
Another reason why it was so tiring is due to the fact that the technical prowess during a lot of scenes in terms of camera work was not quite there and there were too many shaky cam sequences, too many cuts and sometimes insufficient lightning which resulted in the action scenes being a bit hard to follow.
Character-wise, the film doesn’t really delve into any of the characters and they are mostly pretty one dimensional, not going through any growth. The main antagonist of the film also barely gets any screen time and I felt rather underwhelmed by him as he received next to no buildup.
With that being said, this film is honestly trying very hard. I can see that they are trying very hard and I can see what they are trying to achieve during many scenes although they often fall short. However, the world is not a fair place and sometimes effort simply isn’t enough. I will say that it is still impressive given that it seems to be a 100% Philippines crew. It is similar to The Raid but I do believe that although it was mostly an Indonesian crew, the stunt coordinator or something was someone internationally recognised.