Buy Bust, the action film of Anne Curtis, earned praise from critics when it made its world premiere during the 17th New York Asian Film Festival.
Directed by Erik Matti, this movie featuring Fil-Am MMA world champion Brandon Vera tackles the ongoing drug war and high-level political corruption.
It was previously reported by PEP Alerts that the Chito Roño film Signal Rock was initially invited to be the opening film of 14th Cinemalaya: Wings of Vision that will run from August 3-12, 2018.
However, Signal Rock was chosen as one of the 8 entries of the Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino organized by the Film Development Council of the Philippines.
For this reason, Signal Rock could no longer be shown as the Cinemalaya opening film. This is because all PPP entries must make their world premiere at the FDCP event that will take place in all cinemas nationwide from August 15-21, 2018.
Buy Bust will now serve as the opening film of Cinemalaya 2018, which will kick off on August 3.
In Buy Bust, Anne Curtis is cast as rookie police officer Nina Manigan who joins an anti-narcotic elite squad. Their mission is to conduct a buy-bust operation in the slums of Manila but when things go wrong, she and her comrades must fight for their survival as they battle against a brutal drug gang and hordes of bloodthirsty citizens.
The ABS-CBN actress was commended by film reviewer Richard Kuipers of Variety, the renowned American entertainment trade publication.
The Variety review pointed out: "In a radical departure from her usual rom-com roles, dual Australian-Filipino national Curtis is convincing and charismatic as the determined and amazingly resourceful heroine."
Anne spent two years preparing for her role as an agent of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency.
The long wait seems worth it as she also gained positive feedback from Screen Daily writer John Berra. The movie critic described her character as a "tough-as-nails heroine" who "has an uncanny sense that this mission is doomed."
Berra complimented the Kapamilya star by writing:
"Seizing an opportunity for career reinvention, Curtis anchors the mayhem with great charisma, forming a terrific partnership with the stoic Vera, whose towering frame and tank-like indestructability are offset by a resolutely calm manner. Their resolute performances give a vital human quality to a film that is otherwise as brazenly cynical as it is brilliantly executed."
As for director Erik Matti, his movie was described by Variety as "a superbly executed action film."
The U.S. publication cites Buy Bust for being an "explosive exercise in kinetic cinema that also offers potent commentary on the devastating social consequences of the Philippine government’s war on drugs."
Reviewer Richard Kuipers predicts that Buy Bust will enjoy a successful run when it opens in selected North American cities starting August 10.
The Screen Daily even called Buy Bust as "one of the most blistering action pictures since Mad Max: Fury Road.”
Charlize Theron and Tom Hardy top-billed the Hollywood film Mad Max: Fury Road.
Writer John Berra also praised the Pinoy director for depicting "increasingly elaborate, superbly choreographed fights in close quarters or on rickety rooftops."
Buy Bust, which will premiere in Philippine cinemas on August 1, is graded A by the Cinema Evaluation Board.