Praybeyt Benjamin: Movie Review

"Praybeyt Benjamin" is the weakest Vice Ganda film we have seen yet. Its either his comedic style of "stating the obvious" (pamimilosopo in Tagalog) is getting pretty old and redundant already or that the film itself lacks any sense of originality in its story or comedic styles used - maybe even both. We can sense a hint of "Mulan" in it, some "Police Academy" and old local 90s action movie elements and while those did bring some nostalgia, it further emphasizes the mediocrity of the film. The bottomline is simple - "Praybeyt Benjamin" may make you laugh at times but there are also numerous times that it will fail to eke out any interest from the audience and that's pretty bad for a comedy film to begin with.

The Benjamin Santos family has always fielded a male person on key historic battles. Benjamin "Ben" Santos VII (Jimmy Santos) is the first son to decide to forego his military background and live his dream as a scientist and inventor. Ben is disowned by his father, a high-ranking general (Eddie Garcia) in the Philippine Army. Fast forward a few years, Ben's son, Benjamin "Benjie" Santos VIII (Vice Ganda) turns out to be gay and further off from their storied family heritage. But when a terrorist group kidnaps key military personnel (including Benjie's grandfather) and putting the whole country hostage, the Philippine Army requires all families to enlist one male for immediate military training. Benjie decides that even though he is gay, he needs to enlist to keep his ailing father from joining.

Creativity is the last thing you will get from watching "Praybeyt Benjamin". The story was typical and definitely predictable. While the cast did a pretty good job on the acting side, the characters they portray are uninteresting at best. Some are overtly stereotypical while some lack any appeal (the worst of them is probably Kean Cipriano's character of Emerson Ecleo). You can only do so much as actors with badly conceptualized characters. Another thing are the various comedic segments littered across the movie. Most of the segments are either old-fare (meaning they have been used countless times before) or just completely lacks any sense. Even the "breaking the fourth wall" segments failed stupendously. As you can see, there is little or no reason to watch "Praybeyt Benjamin". At first glance, it may seem to be an interesting movie but it really isn't - it's comedy alone fails on so many levels. Add on top of that a mediocre story and characters and you get a pretty sad film.

Rating: 1 and a half reels

Why you should watch it:
- there's no significant reason to watch "Praybeyt Benjamin"

Why you shouldn't watch it:
- a typical story and mediocre characters make the film uninteresting at best
- Vice Ganda's comedic style fails to make us laugh this time around



  1. I just watched it and everyone in the cinema was laughing hysterically almost all throughout the film. When you go to a movie which is a comedy, you expect to laugh, and this movie did just that...As you pointed out, the actors were great so even the old jokes make people laugh, because they deliver it well..

    Here are some of the funniest bits..

    Di ba pwedeng malas muna?

    Vice covering his armpits, uring the lifting scene..

    The Hilda Colonel joke..

    And even the deliberately obvious usage of harnesses during some scenes is funny...

    Yung mga pasundot ni Vice ng tsnasing sa mga lalake sa movie was pretty funny too...

    I could go on but I'd rather not spoil the fun for those who haven't seen the movie yet

  2. i think sa dami ng problema ng Pinoy ngayon, we go to comedy movies to laugh and praybeyt benjamin gives u that...

    the lame setting and the lame characters even the plot was part of the comedy package, an intelligent critic will know that.

    so if u watch it as an award-winning film, madidisappoint ka kasi di nga yun ang purpose ng film......

    bakit sya pumatok? kasi we all need a good laugh! - and not some oscar-winning film.

  3. i agree sa dalawa!
    ako, nanonood ng movie for 3 reasons: to relax, to laugh and to think..isa lang sa tatlo ang meron sa movie, gumagastos talaga ako..and with "praybeyt benjamin", i was relaxed and i sulit na! take note, i watched the movie twice (sa movie house mismo - MOA),and i still laughed.
    ang movie ay form of entertainment..en-ter-tain...asikasuhin, libangin.
    having sense or non-sense - is a matter of perspective.."salot agad, hindi ba pwedeng malas muna?"...
    good day people!

  4. Funny. Pero at the same time, nakaka spoil kase like any other filipino movies walang originality. And, this is true for all the mainstream pinoy movies out there. Kung sana may award sa kopyahan, lahat nang awards napunta na sa mga pinoys. I think the only reason this movie made so much money is because there was so much hype through his showtime show.




  6. I totally agree with your review. I was yawning more than laughing through this film.

  7. Watched this movie last night and wasted 1 1/2 hour of my life. Actors/ actresses should not accept projects that are poor in nature, it slaps their credibility back when the writer should be the one to be shoot at.

  8. Not recommended for hardcore movie critics.

    This is not the type of film that must be taken seriously.