Movie Review: ‘BuyBust’

by | Aug 13, 2018 | Movie Reviews, Movies | 0 comments

Review by Bradley Smith

BuyBust is a Philippine action thriller with social commentary on their country’s drug war that could probably be applied to other countries. It follows a rookie cop trying to survive after a drug bust in a Manila slum goes bad in a community that is tired of the violence caused by both sides. As social commentaries go, this was interesting. But, as an action thriller, it was drawn out, repetitive, and underwhelming, to put it nicely.

Rookie cop Nina Manigan (Anne Curtis) joins an elite team of anti-narcotics officers on a mission to the slums of Manila. But, as the mission goes south, she has to defend herself and the team from drug dealers, settlers of the community, and even some of those to whose she has entrusted her life. In the end, it is debatable who was a good guy, if anyone.

The movie is just over 2 hours in length, but it felt longer. Aside from a few stand out scenes, most of the movie could have been trimmed and not lost any plot or excitement. For example, after about 40 minutes of build-up; in which we learn the characters, the mission, the training, and whatever else I had forgotten about when the action started; there is about 10 minutes of straight gunfire. After this, you’d think they’d have run out of bullets, but nope there’s more to come after a brief rest where the team starts to question loyalty and what went wrong. But then there’s other times where a scene goes by so quick that it leaves your head spinning and wondering what just happened (i.e. the very last scene).

The fact that I noted duration in the previous paragraph should highlight how glued I was to the movie. However, there were two really good scenes that caught my attention. The first was because of the excellent choreography, scenery, and apparently one-take filming of an extended fight scene. The second was the climax where our hero meets with her ultimate target, only to learn he is not the top bad guy, as corruption is revealed, and soon “confirmed”.

On the plus side, the story is thought-provoking, in the end. The idea that drug dealers are allowed to operate by the organization that has an ongoing war on drugs because there’s profit to be gained is not beyond the realm of possibility. This movie is worth seeing for the potential debate it raises… or if you’re into loads of gunfire and fighting.