On The Job: (not a) MOVIE REVIEW!

"At the heart of the film is a really good dramatic story." -Direk Erik Matti
Sorry if this blog promo for On The Job is a bit late as I may say. Well, the movie is still shown in cinemas nationwide... I actually wanted to promote the movie before it was released but then, I wanted to experience the movie first so that whatever I say will not be just promotion but a genuine reaction from a movie goer. But let me set proper expectations that THIS IS NOT A MOVIE REVIEW. I have read A LOT of movie reviews left and right about this most anticipated action film and of course I know you all have had your own dose of spoilers, so I will spare you on this one.
Let me start by saying that On The Job is one of the bravest Pinoy film I have ever seen. And it maybe an understatement. I'm pretty sure that like me, you have heard/seen the feedbacks circulating around the cyber world about this movie too. And mind you almost everything that I have seen was positive! On The Job surely changed my views about action films. I was used to gunshots, brawling gangsters and of course the explosives that makes action films messy, noisy and chaotic for me. I appreciate more of the romantic-comedy, "pa-cute" and touching films than most deranged film genres. But here came OTJ and I was left awestruck. A brilliantly-crafted masterpiece that even got the attention of the world as it was part of the Director's Forthnight in Cannes Film Festival.
Piolo Pascual starred as an NBI agent, Francis Coronel Jr. He was a man trapped between the good and the bad. His character embodies life's choices, the decisions we have to make and the consequences or advantages associated with each of them. Piolo is still the ultimate heartthrob! This film have showcased that with his lot love scene with Shaina Magdayao who played as Nikki, his wife. I am actually surprised of Piolo and Shaina's chemistry. He was gripped by politicians and military people wanting to devour power, played by actors Michael De Mesa and Leo Martinez.
Piolo has been vocal on how proud he was for the film in Cannes, he also shared how he appreciated that many foreign film critics appreciated the film and even gave a standing ovation as the movie ended at the screening! Wow! "Once in a lifetime 'to, ibang klase." Piolo said, pointing out how OTJ has been an enjoying experience being far from all the other Star Cinema films that he has been a part of.
Joey Marquez played the character of SPO1 Joaquin Acosta. He is "one-of-the-few" left on the right side of the game. He is a policeman who had stayed in his rank for many years of service because he is in the side of the truth and justice. He is the one brave enough to fight against the ruthless military syndicate that runs the dirty business. Known in being a comedian, Joey Marquez was totally surprised when the project has been offered to him. "Now, I believe na kahit hindi ka pala magaling na artista, pag magaling ang direktor... mata-transform na yun" Sir Joey said.
Well, I must say that as I watched the film, he indeed is one gripping dramatic actor, but in one sense he is authentically funny. He is still the film's main comic relief amidst the serious and gripping action ongoing. Kudos Sir Joey, you executed it very well! Much respect! A good policeman, not praised but more than discouraged. His portrayal has been more successful with his personal family dilemma with a rebel, drug addict and a pusher, JM De Guzman and a tactless wife, the one and only... Ms. Rosanna Roces!
Gerald Anderson is Daniel Benitez, the hitman protege! A young, aggressive, big-headed, a bit cocky and egotistical back-up hitman. He was a man of dreams, but was pushed to do it the dirty dark way for his own survival. He is family-oriented, he has kept his true situation to everyone he loves.
Speaking of love, topping the steamy game of Piolo and Shaina, we got the sweet and sultry Diana, she is Daniel's romantic interest, played by Dawn Jimenez. A fresh face with something fresh to offer. Her fearlessness contradicts her endearing image. Well, they gave the film a quick but passionate love scene, back-to-back of the Piolo-Shaina's shots! Now that was something. I actually do believe that Gerald has a chemistry to any actress that can be paired to him because I feel his versatility in each remarkable role he had played.. and it transcends to his on-screen wrap with Dawn! They actually look great together on-screen.
Gerald admitted that he got teary-eyed as the film was highly appreciated in Cannes and more so it inspired him more to do better in his craft. Direk Erik said that Gerald gave a strong presence in the film and as an actor he is striking in portraying his role as Daniel.
Gerald only proved that he is an action star in his own rights. I have seen his career grow since PBB and this is his most memorable and eye-catching portrayal for me. All praises to you Gerald!
Joel Torre as Mario "Tatang" Maghari, the lead hitman. The main "eliminator", ruthless, cold-blooded and unyielding. He is Daniel's mentor, he taught his everything he knows about the job. He trained him to follow his footsteps and molded him to be ready and capable. Tatang's character is a man doing the job for his own survival. It is touching how despite his "crime-oriented" his acts were, at the end of the day, he is still a family-man who struggles to keep his family together. His pure love for his one and only daughter, Empress, was showcased when he was being over protective for her against her boyfriend played by Joseph Marco. Empress impressed Direk Erik Matti in a way that he was confident to say that Empress is great in her performance for her role as Tina, "hindi pang-TV ang acting!"
And he deeply in-love with Lulette played by the timeless, classy and fab Ms. Angel Aquino. She was superb in portraying the unfaithful wife of a prisoner who only stays with him for money. Sorry, I can't help it because I am a fan of Ms. Angel Aquino, sadly she wasn't part of the blogger's conference for OTJ but I would like to voice-out how breath-taking her last scene was. It sent me chills. Empress was gripping on that scene too. Well done! Please forgive me, but the powerful act of the women of the film deserved to be magnified.
So, going back to Sir Joel Torre, (haha) given his tenure in the industry, I already expected so much from him, but I would like to say that his performance in OTJ was way beyond what I expected... I can't even describe it. No words can put-across how brilliant, praiseworthy, extreme, commendable, striking, remarkable, and exquisite Sir Joel was! As I witnessed OTJ, I must say that Joel Torre is here to stay in the entertainment industry almost forever, and he holds his own spot!
Truly more than deserving to take home the best actor award from Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival from South Korea! It was definitely one of my most memorable showbiz encounter to have a chit-chat with him and I called him Tatay Pepe (his character from the hit TV series Juan Dela Cruz). It was a humbling experience for me. He is someone to look up to by every aspiring actor! Sir Joel Torre "has been and will always be" one of my most admired actors. Oops, let me also commend, Vivian Velez for being the perfect mysterious "middle man" that adds the goosies to the film and Sir William Martinez as an effective jail warden and Rayver Cruz as Piolo's NBI partner who somehow has a hanging scene at the end of the film that made me and my friends gather for a quick discussion, well.. is he good or bad? I think its the latter!
Everyone who had seen the film will surely agree how the film is more than just a form of entertainment, but as a whole it is an effective social awareness attack, a mind-boggling experience and a penny-worthy work of art. And with that being said, let me give my endless congratulations to the genius, Direk Erik Matti! He is the hippest and coolest director I have ever encountered so far. He deserves all the praises bestowed upon the film.
His vision in creating this film marked everyone who had watched it. And I clearly admire how his vision was backed up by his research for the love of this project, the truth speaks to my heart. OTJ came in the right time, exactly when we need this kind of movies.. For me it was a bit weird that after watching On The Job, instead of being ashamed of how dark deed can be definitely domineering in this country, I am surprised that I felt proud after watching On The Job. I am deeply and sincerely proud that we have a movie like this.Direk Erik Matti contributed a big impact on taking our local movie industry a step higher to the international market. And for this I must consider Direk Erik as a "bayani ng pelikulang Pilipino". Yes, I know it is a big word but all is deserved for me. Salute to you Direk!
OTJ is not your typical action movie, go ahead an catch it in cinemas while it is on! Still showing and making waves! Congratulations to Star Cinema and Reality Entertainment for a distinguished and acclaimed movie for this generation! WATCH ON THE JOB, don't miss it! Support Pinoy films, STOP PIRACY!

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