MARIA (2019) Review
Directed by Pedring A Lopez
Director Pedring A Lopez, a self-confessed geek, known for directing not-your-ordinary films like the sexy thriller ‘Nilalang’ starring Japanese actress Maria Ozawa and the found footage horror film ‘Darkroom,’ finds a new material to express his geekiness in the form of ‘Maria.’ A stylish action thriller starring Cristine Reyes as an ex-assassin turned family woman, until one day when her past comes back to haunt her. The film isn’t an exception to Lopez’s goal in offering more than the usual as it presents more than gun-shooting, fist-fighting and sexy kick-ass ladies.
The film works remarkably because of its lead actress Cristine Reyes. You can feel her grit, her pain, her anger by the time Maria gets to start her revenge. She carries her role as ‘Maria’ flawlessly that it more than elevates the genre, it also gives female-led movies here and abroad a run for their money. Reyes impresses with an impeccably convincing talent in throwing and receiving punches and in handling guns and knives. But aside from her, other notable actors in the film are Jennifer Lee, KC Montero, Ivan Padilla and Freddie Webb as the film’s antagonists.
It is relentlessly action-packed and gory. From Anne Curtis in ‘BuyBust’ to Erich Gonzales in ‘We Will Not Die Tonight,’ ‘Maria’ rises as superior as its action scenes are not tiring to watch. How the action scenes are shot and how they are choreographed, it’s easy on the eyes and colored beautifully. You won’t have any complaints with its visuals.
‘Maria’ is a great time at the movies. Especially if you’re a die-hard action fan and I guess, also for those who are into torture scenes. It’s not something we see every month from Philippine production houses and it’s well-made. Like the film’s ending, I do hope that these kind of films and filmmakers keep on making movies for the audience, locally and internationally.
3.5 OUT OF 5 STARS
‘Maria’ is now showing in cinemas nationwide from VIVA Films, BlackOps Studios Asia and Pysops8. Rated R-16 and R-18 by the MTRCB.