Cinephile No. 729 “BuyBust”
“Violence, Violence, and More Violence,” A Review of “BuyBust” by Nathan H. Box
Recommendation: 1 Star, SKIP
Director: Erik Matti, Writers: Anton C. Santamaria, Erik Matti, Starring: Anne Curtis, Brandon Vera, Victor Neri
Plot: An anti-drug enforcement agency stages a massive drug bust in the slums of Manila.
Review: 729 times, I have driven to a movie theater, purchased a ticket, visited the concession stand, found a seat, and watched as an enlarged screen came to life with a story and experience that only cinema can provide. Over those 729 visits, I have been treated to films I will never forget. I have also been treated to films with a good idea, but poor execution. Then there are times when I am treated to films such as “BuyBust.” So, let’s begin this review with a bold statement. After 729 films, I can say without hesitation, this is the worst film I have ever seen.
Stories must possess basic elements. They must give you a protagonist, antagonist, or someone operating in the middle. They must provide a setting that will serve as the basis for everything to come. They must develop characters in a way that allows the audience to experience growth, change, or a challenge to overcome. They should make you care about the fate of these people on the screen. They should give you a plot. That plot can be difficult to follow, simplistic, or somewhere in between, but you must be able to understand or, at the very least, grasp the thesis. On every single level, this film fails. So much so, that you will spend much of its 2-hour run-time wondering what the hell is happening.
For nearly two hours, you will watch a police force move through the slums of Manila. You will be treated to violence, violence, and more violence. The death and destruction will be loud, close, brutal, pointless, and without merit. The pain will cut like cocaine. You will find yourself wishing it would all stop or just pause to explain itself. Instead, you will come to realize this thing is terrible at every turn.
If you are like me, you will then be left to wonder who we are as an audience. What does it say about our culture that a writer, director, and actors could produce such a product under the assumption that the violence would be enough to keep us entertained? Are we craved for such madness and bloodshed? Has our society become this? Are we any different than the Romans and their Coliseum? I hope with every fiber of my being that we are not that, which is why I must implore you to skip this movie.
Be good to each other,
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