“BuyBust” Review: Intense, Relentless Action Raises the Bar of PH Cinema

BUYBUST (2018) Review
Directed by Erik Matti

Two years in the making and all the sweat, the blood and the dirt are finally here and it’s glorious!

Erik Matti’s long awaited crime thriller BuyBust goes out with a bang with its production, its star power and its direction. It’s not easy to mount a action crime thriller in the Philippines especially with a lead actor like Anne Curtis. You have to not only take care of your artists but also the crowd these artists can summon with just their presence.

The film is relentless in offering action, in offering the dirtiest, the rawest depiction of the poorest of the poor that holds on to crimes for their living. Director Erik Matti made Tondo look and feel as if it was caged in a helpless situation and the agents are really entering their most dangerous task yet.

It’s intense that it’s also clever. The story isn’t as complex as his previous films like Honor Thy Father or On The Job but the production is really high. And it looks and feels that way. There’s just truth in his work visually and how he mounts his actors’ emotions make it easier for the audience to feel the severity of their situation.

One thing though is that the action or the killing in the film is stretched too much that it feels tiring in the latter part. But then again, as soon as the tiring part hits you, Matti inserts (maybe) the most difficult scene to shoot in Philippine cinema. A three or more minute long shot composed of Anne Curtis fighting for her life on top of the roofs. The camera work is excellent that it does not feel dizzying at all.

Apart from Curtis’ impressive portrayal of a damaged PDEA officer, rising actor Arjo Atayde steals the scene with his compelling performance that will make you want more from his character. The man can act. Really!

BuyBust raises the bar of Philippine action movies. It’s not your typical cop versus bad guy story but it’s also not as complex as some of Matti’s work which makes the film more accessible (except for its MTRCB rating which is understandable). It’s truly a different and overwhelming experience that even you, the audience gets to be tired from all the punching, kicking, stabbing, etc. It’s a game changer, no doubt and we hope other filmmakers will follow suit.

1 Buybust



“BuyBust” is now showing in cinemas nationwide from Reality Entertainment and VIVA Films. Rated R-16 by the MTRCB.

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