Friday, December 26, 2014

Kubot: The Aswang Chronicles 2

Veron (Elizabeth Oropesa), the leader of the Kubot, avenge the massacre of the Tiktik in the hands of Makoy (Dingdong Dantes) by killing his wife Sonia and abducting their son Macky. He loses one hand in the encounter and barely survives with Nestor (Joey Marquez), Sonia’s father. Two years later, the two of them live a new life in Manila with his sister Nieves (Lotlot de Leon) who works as an assistant in an ob-gyn clinic. Her boss is young gynecologist Alessandra (Isabelle Daza), whom she suspects to be doing abortions on the side. The truth is, she is an Aswang, albeit a reformed one who has effectively assimilated with human beings. She is forced to reveal her secret, though, as she gets in the way of Dom (KC Montero), a fellow Aswang who is hell-bent on world domination through the production and distribution of hotdogs with human flesh as the main ingredient. Such product turns a human being into one of them after consuming an entire package. Despite his reluctance, Makoy needs to team up with Alessandra to save mankind from an impending Aswang invasion.

Hands down, this is one of the more enjoyable entries in this year’s film festival. It is funny without trying too hard. It is action-packed. The CGI is good most of the time. The weakest link would have to be the acting of the main cast, but the supporting actors make up for this. It is no wonder that Marquez and de Leon got recognized for their performance. They are both hilarious and did their best to maximize the appeal of their respective characters, with positive results.

The main problem would be with the story and it is obvious that they have run out of subplots to explore. It is a good thing, however, that they are able to inject enough comedy to the plot. Otherwise, this film would have been too dragging to watch. The ending is hinting on yet another sequel, but it is clear that they would be focusing on yet another revenge plot which does not seem to end. If they do not come up with a better storyline, the comedy and good CGI combo might no longer work in their favor, and the end product would just feel redundant and unnecessary.

Another notable observation is how there are less scenes shot outdoors this time around. What makes the first film memorable is the visual treat that it was, with each scene looking as though they were pages of a comic book which have come to life. We do see the same treatment here, but only limited to the opening scenes. If you saw the first movie and liked it because of that, you would definitely miss its absence. The CGI in the sequel is also not as crisp as that in the previous one, although still way ahead compared to its contemporaries.

Another way this movie could have been improved is if they hired a good choreographer for the fight scenes, most of which are done with swift camera motion and jittery movement of the actors. With competent CGI already making the film aesthetically pleasing to the eyes, it would have been really epic if the fight scenes were just as attention-grabbing. Instead, it felt as though they were cheating somehow. Perhaps, film production was rushed to meet the deadline?

If this movie’s purpose is to entertain, then it definitely does not disappoint, maybe because it does not take itself too seriously which appears to be the downfall of films falling within the same genre. Perhaps they just need to market it better, because a lot of people in the theater were commenting on how it is not scary at all. Newsflash: this is not a horror film! Or maybe the IQ of the general public has stooped that low to not even be able to properly interpret the trailer? Now THAT is scary.

2 creature(s) gave a damn:

Mariane Ballesteros said...

Just saw this today. I have to agree, the storyline was very simple and I felt like there was something lacking. Parang minadali lang. The trio (Lotlot, Joey, Dingdong) were pretty good, I just didn't know about Isabelle, first movie nya ba? And I also wished there were more outdoor scenes, pero with the first movie medyo OA HDR levels sya for me, so I guess they gave it all sa fight scenes (I agree we still can't compete with them Chinese/HongKong fighting moves) pero pwede na I think this was the best I have seen sa recent Pinoy movies.
Infairness, magaling ang naisip ng producers to add a sequel, banking on Marian and medyo matunog pa because they are soon to be wed.

Have you seen 'Trese' comics? Sana ganyan level din ng effect if they decide to make a movie for it.

ihcahieh said...

@Mariane Ballesteros - I think Isabelle has had acting projects before, but yeah, still considered a newbie I guess. Good acting in this movie came from the support cast, same as what happened in the first one. In fairness naman to the team, they really do introduce new Aswang breeds. Wala lang, good to know. At least gamit na gamit ang local folklore. Haven't seen Trese, but with Erik Matti at the helm, I know he'd still come up with a good output. Sana lang talaga ayusin ang story ng Part III

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