The action is back! Although there’s more drama than hard core action stuff – THE JANITOR qualifies as an attempt to bring back the long lost genre and at the same time give a modern feel to old school Pinoy action movies.
To tell you the truth, I’ve heard so much about THE JANITOR since its Cinemalaya screening but I haven’t had the chance to watch it yet. So when an invitation came for a special block screening with Direk Mike Tuviera at the Podium last Friday, I immediately said yes! Since it’s an indie action film, I have no expectation whatsoever, except that at least it will be right up on the alley of Erik Matti’s recent exploration OTJ but a bit more conservative when it comes to props and effects since it’s on an ‘indie budget’.
Lo and behold! THE JANITOR almost made me wanna cry with tears of joy! I can’t believe it – they nailed the damn thing! It’s indeed an action film that a lot of us can relate to and with a theme that is as ‘now’ as the recent headlines, it sends a statement that action in the Philippines is not yet extinct! There is still life to that old dog.
THE JANITOR truly deserves the five awards that it got from Cinemalaya which includes Best Director (Mike Tuviera), Best Screenplay (Aloy Adlawan and Mike Tuviera), Best Sound (Mike Idioma), Best Editing (Tara Illenberger) and Best Supporting Actor (Nicco Manalo).
In brief, the story is about a dismissed police officer (played by Dennis Trillo) who now works as an instructor at a security agency. He is pulled out occasionally from the teaching job by a superior (played by Richard Gomez) to perform clean-up jobs or in other words to assassinate suspected criminal elements. He receives a list of targets and retires each one of them. His new targets which were all drafted from a suspect through questionable means (torture) were supposed to be members of a gang that robbed a bank and killed all ten employees. They all got away and it is up to Crisanto to track them down and kill each one of them. And that’s the only information I can give you, the rest you’ll have to find out for yourself.
The film is so realistic, even the fight scenes are wonderfully executed. There were no unbelievable circumstances, the characters are very human – there are no ‘bottomless’ bullet scenes, no unbelievable luck, no immortal villains and superhuman heroes – all the characters are flawed!
THE JANITOR stars Dennis Trillo, Richard Gomez, Derek Ramsay, Alex Medina, LJ Reyes, Nicco Manalo, Raymond Bagatsing, Sunshine Garcia, Ricky Davao, Jerald Napoles, Dante Rivero, Irma Adlawan, JC Santos and Ynes Veneracion. All these people delivered an A+ performance!
This is how you make a compelling action film – and because of this film and films like this, producers are now without any excuse for giving Filipino audiences quality and intelligent action-oriented movies. This film has no explosions and wild stunts, but it can still put you at the edge of your seats through gripping drama, suspense and thrilling fight and chase scenes. All you need now is an awesome story like THE JANITOR.
Direk Mike said that he’s planning a spin-off to The Janitor in the future and maybe a third installment. So that’s something we would really want to wait and see!
Graded A by MTRCB, THE JANITOR is now showing in theaters nationwide! Produced by APT Entertainment Inc. and distributed by Star Cinema
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