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



  1. yeah ur right, the "should've last shot" would suffice but they added "happy-ending-so-that-people-will-still-be-happy-after" thingy. which killed it, but it's a nice movie.

  2. Hi there!

    It's typical for local mainstream films to do the happy-ending. We really hope that soon, the film industry matures enough to accept that daring to be different is actually a good thing at times.

  3. agree,esp about the flashback techniques.

    Overall, notwithstanding the commercial ending, it remains to be an outstanding film. It could very well be the standard by which local films are assessed in the future. Reminds me of the classic Maynila, Sa Kuko ng Liwanag in terms of quality. But this one is more richly textured and delivers a broader and more satisfying viewing experience.

  4. gma halatang bitter kayo!!!!!!!!!!!!!magbagong buhay kayo,,lagi kayong ganyan pag may lumilipat sa abs cbn!!!!!!!!!!

  5. lubayan ninyo si angel,,di niya kayo ginugulo!!!

  6. you're right the key dramatic scenes for Aga might actually have happened to him
    but what I will probably remember most about this film is Angel's way of using her eyes...larger than life and unforgetable...for me she's an unbelievably amazing actress

  7. it wasn't a good movie for me. it's a typhical love story, sobrang babaw. Also I can't understand Angel's lines, she needs to practice on how to speak clearly parang kinakain kase ung salita. For Aga, well parang sobrang matured nya na dito which is ang baduy. But I commend Jake for his acting, mukhang sya lang ang nagdala sa movie. All in all i'm not satisfied, not worth it. :(

  8. "But I commend Jake for his acting, mukhang sya lang ang nagdala sa movie."

    Tanga, ala ngang papel si Jake sa movie. Napanood mo ba iyong movie o taga GMA ka?

  9. ayaw ko po ng away.. mag cocomment lng po ako sa movie.. pra po sakin mganda siya, masyadong malalim ung story nya. ang galing ni angel ramdam mo ung feeling nya lalo na nung unang nag sayaw cla ni aga.. nag sasalita ung mata nya, pero po ung ending prang d kagandahan cguro mas mganda kong ung ending eh namatay nlng si aga pra mas nakaka touch hehehehe.....

  10. "But I commend Jake for his acting, mukhang sya lang ang nagdala sa movie."

    Mas magaling si Smokey Manaloto! Hahaha!

  11. i like angel locsin. she could be an international actress. they should add english translation in their movie so we can watch it in netflix.

  12. I love Angel, I like Aga and I believe in Star Cinema but I don't like this movie. sobrang babaw that I think it could have been better kung sa pocketbook na lang. Still, if you love Angel, it's worth watching. She's good sa kahit anong ibigay sa kanya. yun ang kahanga-hanga kay Angel.

  13. "it wasn't a good movie for me. it's a typhical love story, sobrang babaw."

    -tatanggapin ko yan kung bibigyan mo ako ng movie review with critical views and opinions at kapag tinama mo na ang spelling ng TYPHICAL.

  14. This is one of the best Filipino films I've seen so far this year. Kudos to Angel Locsin, Aga Mulach and Jake Cuenca who deliver great performances. My only complain is the title. Yes, i always cringe when i hear it. It's a shame because the movie is outstanding and the title killed it for me a lttle bit. And Why do they have to settle for a title that's so cliche? They should have called it, "Pusong Ligaw". Now that could have been perfect and stand on its own as a classic Filipino movie.

  15. its not exactly an outstanding movie but for me it gives us a very nice observation of how a subdued performance could stand out
    in particular, given Aga has the longer lines in the movie and yet those looks and stares of Angel at him would have to be the most memorable for me
    simply because we see melodrama often and although this is all about that, the decision to emphasize Angel's smoldering screen presence every time she shows those deep emotions
    the impact is memorable watch
    we hope to see more of Angel doing these on the big screen
    she certainly has a wide range gauging from the many transformations her character had in this movie
    she is so versatile we have to see her more often in movies
    in a way, projects like this which is mainly melodrama seems to be just a taste of what else Angel can do given more top notch scripts that dare to veer away from the usual melodrama
    its not difficult why Angel caught the attention at the Emmys for Lobo, she can really project very well on screen with this strong persona and yet that one was an entirely different role
    case too is in the movie itself as Angel transforms from the young more carefree Japayuki to what she's become later