BuyBust: Movie Review

Erik Matti once again delivers with "BuyBust". While not as brilliant as his previous outing with "On the Job", "BuyBust" still delivers a package totally unexpected from a locally-produced film and there's no denying it was one heck of an action thrill ride. Here's a film that delivers fantastic cinematography and a social commentary twists that were at its core entertaining and pure fun.

Newly-appointed PDEA Agent Nina Manigan (Anne Curtis) and her anti-drug unit are on their first mission as a group - to conduct a buy-bust operation in the slums of Manila. The team will have their hands full as they are outing one of the biggest drug lords in the country - Biggie Chen. The mission is poorly executed though and the team finds themselves trapped in Gracia ni Maria and must find a way to escape or lose their lives.
The first thing you'll notice with "BuyBust" was how everything looks so damn good. The cinematography was world-class and top-notch. Not only was Matti able to capture the dirt, grime, and ugliness of the Manila slums on the big screen. More importantly, it all felt authentic and real. On top of that, Matti employs various shot styles that truly put audiences right in the middle of the fight scenes. There were a lot to commend but one that really caught us off guard and applauding was a scene near the end of the film featuring Anne Curtis in one continuous shot fighting through an endless group of thugs across a huge portion of the slums. On the acting front, the film was pretty good but definitely not perfect. Anne Curtis and Brandon Vera were the standouts but most of the shortcomings came from the film's basic and repetitive fight choreography and limited character development. While the effort was certainly there, the film lacks any jaw-dropping moments when it came to the fights. And while it featured a barrage of these fights once all hell break's loose, there's little distinction between each one of these occurrences. The overall screenplay was basic and efficient. It's one that pulled our strings throughout its runtime as it teased us on the prospect on who Biggie Chen and Judas were. The social commentary was subtlety hidden. The biggest drawback though was that the film falls flat with its big reveals. Overall, "BuyBust" was a fun romp that should at least entertain even with its shortcomings.
Rating: 4 and a half reels

Why you should watch it:
- world-class cinematography and set pieces
- no-holds-barred and action-packed from start to finish
- makes political and social commentary a gory fun experience

Why you shouldn't watch it:
- the fight choreography was repetitive and basic
- the pacing was a little bit long

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