MMFF 2017 REVIEW: Vice Ganda, Daniel Padilla, Pia Wurtzbach in over-the-top film The Revenger Squad



Pia Wurtzbach joins forces with box-office stars Vice Ganda and Daniel Padilla for her acting debut via Gandarrapido: The Revenger Squad.

Directed by Joyce Bernal, The Revenger Squad explores the complexities of family relationships using the backdrop of an over-the-top superhero narrative.

Kweenie (Pia Wurtzbach) has decided to turn against her older sister Gandarra (Vice Ganda) after the neglect she felt during their younger years.

After Gandarra’s successful conquest of one of their sworn enemies, she suddenly gets amnesia. She looks after Chino (Daniel Padilla), her younger brother with a secret identity.

Things seemed to have worked out. However on Chino’s 21st birthday, his true powers as Rapiddo come to light, shaking up things in their seemingly normal life.

THE GOOD.

The Revenger Squad manages to emphasize the importance of forgiveness in harnessing strong family relationships. This is especially highlighted through Kweenie and Gandarra’s characters, who reconcile in the end and came out of the experience stronger, together.

The film also attempts to bring to light the rampant spread of fake news, in a way that does not veer from its light and comedic tone.

Special mention goes to child star Justin James Quilantang, who is cast as Juvy or Enrique Heal. While answering questions posed by Vice Ganda's Gandarra, the young boy provides the voice of reason in this Star Cinema film. 

THE BAD.

The Revenger Squad is a film intended for families—children, specifically. For this reason, the violent undertones of the film, especially when partnered with comedic dialogue, send a dangerous message to kids.

It is also likely that the adults watching the movie with the kids may be so taken by a comedy that they're so used to, they could miss the danger.

As for the comedic efforts of the film—repetitive references, overused punchlines, and exaggerated acting—these fall short of reaching the film's potential to deliver consistent laughs to the audience.

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The film’s progression falls flat, as each sequence either drags or looks extremely rushed. The conquest of the villains lacks substance, making it seem as though each battle simply aims to bring in the action (violent), mix it with humor (poor delivery), and provide special effects (lackluster).

THE WORTHY.

Despite the areas where the film fell short, Gandarrapido: The Revenger Squad finds its redeeming qualities in its constant emphasis on the importance of having a close and strong relationship with the family.

Gandarra’s overwhelming love for her family members is one of the qualities that makes the audience drawn to her character, and root for her in every battle she faces with her team.

While watching it, you could still have a good time with the family, as there are still various key takeaways in terms of moral lessons from the film. But do guide your children accordingly, especially in scenes that seem too violent for them.

Ed's Note: The 'PEP Review' section carries the views of individual reviewers, and does not necessarily reflect the views of the PEP editorial team.




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