‘Buybust’ Review': A panorama of the nation’s bloodbath reality

Eric Matti’s latest magnum opus, Buybust, is truly a world-class film with its vivid depiction of the sundry sides of the wanton war against drugs in the country. 

Anne Curtis proves again her versatility in acting with her superb stunts and fight scenes, after her stellar performance in the romantic movie Sid & Aya. Buybust sets a new path for the actress.

The film follows the story of Nina Manigan (Curtis) and the rest of her squad in search for Manila drug trade’s big fish named Biggie Chen (Arjo Atayde). After Manigan’s horrible experience as the lone survivor of her previous anti-drug operation, she is included in the new task force to catch Chen. Fighting the angry mob and Biggie’s men, the team is finding their way out of Gracia. Survival is their only endgame. 

With the flick’s opening, it promises a hybrid of humor and action. Middle-man named Teban (Alex Calleja) will surely make anyone grin or laugh.

Anne Curtis as a police officer in 'BuyBust.' Her character joins an anti-narcotic elite squad, whose mission is to conduct a buy-bust operation in the slums of Manila. 
Straightforward and honest, that is the best description of the film’s narrative. Also, the comical dialogues of the characters ease the vibe of the movie after brutal scenes. There are no trashy scenes, and fast-paced transitions don’t bore at all. 

Stab and gunshot sounds are dominating and make everyone anticipate series of gunshots in every scene. Every amazing move and fighting repertoire of the lead characters especially in Rico’s played by MMA Champion Brandon Vera is nerve-wracking. 

Without a doubt, the film is a roller coaster ride of emotions. At first, the violence brings enjoyment and excitement, but on the latter scenes, the mood changes to sympathy and realization that brutality isn’t fun anymore. All of the characters are trapped in their own emotions and hallucinations, they are the actors of the real-life movie. Everybody wants to get out from the deadly jungle, but no one knows how.

The film’s another uniqueness is its subtle features. There are subliminal meanings in some of the names of the characters in the movie, and it is up for the viewers to discover. 

Eric Matti never fails his audience. With his previous masterpieces such as On the Job and Honor Thy Father, the director has proven he is really a master storyteller. With this movie, Matti wants to change the view of his audience. He is not new in directing action-themed movies, but this one is different because of its brutal honesty.  

Soundtrack is the superlative element of the film. Coritha’s “Oras Na” summarizes what the movie wants to say to the people, that it is us who can make the changes we want. The movie songs perfectly fit every scene, and there is a diversity for Visayan novelty songs such as “Turagsoy” by Max Surban and a song by  Yoyoy Villame is played during the intense fight scenes, which is hard to imagine but surprisingly ear-pleasing. 

Buybust is a starter for the refreshment of Filipino action movies. It goes deviant from the usual cliché of action movies that heroes are always safe. There are a lot of twists, and with Manigan’s character, it revamps role of women to bring the torch effectively in the action-packed films. 

(Darwin Pesco is a senior Journalism student at Polytechnic University of the Philippines)

Topics: Buybust , Eric Matti , Anne Curtis , Arjo Atayde , Alex Calleja , Brandon Vera
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