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In the Name of Love: Movie Review

"In the Name of Love" is the 18th anniversary film of Star Cinema. Unsurprisingly, even as a tribute presentation, the film is a romance drama film. Like all mainstream films that have come out the past five years (except Metro Manila Film Fest films) it's either a film about drama or comedy or romance or a mix of both or even all of them. It shows how lackluster and dry the local cinema scene is (and yet people still come in droves). The future sure looks dreary and our outlook for "In the Name of Love" is right on the same page. Still, this we still expect this to be a comeback film for both Angel Locsin and even Aga Muhlach - a pretty weird and awkward tandem at best. Can both overcome all the negative apprehensions? Read on to find out our verdict.

Seven years ago, Emman Toledo (Aga Muhlach) is ready to go back to the Philippines after making a living in Japan for a few years. Emman though makes a bad move on his home trip as he decides to be a mule to the Yakuza. He was to transport illegal money out of the country into the Philippines. Unfortunately, the authorities are able to find the money in Emman's belongings and he is sent to jail. At present time, Emman is now back in the Philippines struggling but he is able to open his own dance studio. It is also election time and Dylan Evelino (Jake Cuence) is running for vice mayor in Emman's city - a decision made by his corrupt father. Dylan is also set to marry his girlfriend, Mercedes Fernandez (Angel Locsin). When Emman becomes the dance instructor of Mercedes, both reveal that they have a dark yet passionate past together.

"In the Name of Love" feels like a film ripped out of a telenovela plot and yet we are not complaining. In our opinion it actually helped the film by making it more interesting, more suspenseful for the viewers. "In the Name of Love" defies all odds as it presents the viewers a style rarely seen in local cinemas and a veteran actor who decided to just carry the whole film in his shoulders. Of course we are talking about Aga Muhlach and his soon-to-be-remembered plot reveal scene with Angel Locsin. The way Aga Muhlach acted was just outstanding and utterly unbelievable. It literally had our jaws dropping straight to the floor. He was so genuine with his emotions, his swagger and tension that we wouldn't be surprised if all those things actually happened to him. Angel Locsin mentioned that Aga Muhlach was so good that she at times even lost character and ogled at him - we think that statement is no exaggeration. The movie was almost perfect except for the confusing character of Jake Cuenca and the ending that we still feel was a botched opportunity. "In the Name of Love" (surprise, surprise) is a local movie we can recommend and a worthy tribute film at that.

Rating: 4 and a half reels

Why you should watch it:
- Aga Muhlach's and Angel Locsin's key reveal scene sealed the deal for this film
- the presentation was topnotch especially the flashback scenes

Why you shouldn't watch it:
- some may hate the telenovela plot and feel but we actually liked it
- they botched the ending - we really hated it

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