Erik Matti’s first-rate film “BuyBust” took action films on another level with its exemplary depiction of crime, violence, and chaos.
What made “BuyBust” rose above other local movies was the issue it tackled – the war on drugs. It was far from the fictional storytelling that the Filipino cinematic scene is used to — it is darker and heavier with amplified scenes, making it a reflection of the present conflict prevalent in the Philippine society.
The astounding performance of the actors and actresses in the film, notably Anne Curtis, made the movie even more remarkable.
Curtis, who did an outstanding performance as an anti-narcotic elite Nina Manigan, made the exhausting sequence of a night-filled brutality a spectacle. It is also noteworthy that she performed majority of the stunts. The intense three-minute one-take scene of Curtis fighting thugs and hoodlums is something to be commended.
There are also notable performances made by other casts. MMA fighter Brandon Vera for instance also did not have any stunt double for his character. Arjo Atayde and Levi Ignacio made a quintessential portrayal of a cunning drug lord and an unforgiving right hand, respectively. It is evident that the rest of the cast displayed an outstanding commitment in the film.
The explicit gore due to the non-stop brawl that happened in one night was theatrical with the fervent sequential adversaries from every corner of the slum. The eminent neon lights surrounding the shantytown gave a deeper sense of the visual aspect in contrast to the darkness assaulting in the neighborhood during fight scenes.
The tension-filled movie revolves around the mission of PDEA’s anti-narcotics elite squad to search for the notorious drug lord, Biggie Chen (Arjo Atayde).
PDEA’s plan then spiraled in a cycle of deceit and corruption situated in the labyrinth slum of Gracia ni Maria. Along their mission to bust Biggie Chen, Manigan’s team decided to take a turn on their plan after realizing how wicked the system was. The movie becomes intense and maddening as it slowly unfolds this underworld scheme that is cultivated by narcotics. (Rokey Desingaño)