Friday, June 15, 2012

Kimmy Dora and the Temple of Kiyeme


Twins Kimmy and Dora Go Dong Hae are back for a sequel, this time haunted by a ghost from their father’s past who leaves the sisters’ fiancés in an unusual coma. As their engagements are put indefinitely on hold because of the vengeful spirit’s doings, the siblings travel to Korea to unravel their roots and to fulfill a promise of an arranged wedding in an attempt to appease the specter which has wreaked havoc in their family.

This movie IS enjoyable but that does not mean that it is free from flaws. In fact, there are just too many. The first movie benefited from the unusual take on comedy that was perceived as fresh in the midst of slapstick comedies prevalent during the time. While the said formula is retained for this sequel, the movie just could not help but succumb to the temptation of gearing towards hysteria to elicit laughter. It does work, but one could not help but look back to the original and think why this has to veer away from a formula that obviously worked.

The problem could perhaps be attributed to the plot. There are no significant additions to the cast to bring in fresh subplots that could be explored for a sequel. In terms of character development, pretty much everything has been resolved in the last movie that there is nothing much left to develop in terms of the relationship of one character with another. The only thing left to do then is to dig into the family’s past and find something that could be used as strong enough of a foundation for the movie to rely on. Too bad it had to be supernatural. Enter the ghost. The addition of horror is a welcome factor during the first half of the movie and makes it something more than a rehash of the original. However, this very same element could be blamed for the rather messy conclusion that ruins the momentum that the whole movie has strove hard to build up. 

Eugene Domingo’s performance is unquestionable. One could easily differentiate Kimmy from Dora, from their nuances all the way to their very persona. This is difficult to do if the actress is not versatile enough, and with all the movies that Eugene has done in the last few years it is already evident that there is nothing left for her to prove other than her box office draw. What the audience seems to have given more attention to though, is how she has slimmed down. This is very obvious given all the tight clothes she had to wear and how many inches of heels she had to walk on. While Dora is characterized more by Eugene’s signature elevator acting, Kimmy is more subdued and still very much the frigid bitch that everyone has come to love. However, added the new twist of being madly in love we get to see another side of her which makes one appreciate her more. While Kimmy’s scenes are the ones that pack in constant laughs due to her diva attitude, it is two of Dora’s scenes that bring the house, or cinema, down with matching applause (the signature scene, in particular).

And so the verdict, should you watch Kimmy Dora and the Temple of Kiyeme? I would say so. Why not? As a source of entertainment, it does work. However, when you start putting two on two together you would probably conclude that the movie has a promising premise at the beginning, but unfortunately could not sustain everything for a good finale. Well, every movie suffers from a sequel slump, so perhaps it is safe to say that this one is not excused. But did it really have to end with a dance number? At least Ariel Ureta gets to show off his hip-hop moves. Four clovers for the enjoyment, but overall, three would do.

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