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‘The Janitor’ revives interest in the Pinoy action-thriller genre

The all-star cast of ‘The Janitor’ stays interesting from start to finish.

Rhea Manila Santos

Twitter: @allaboutmanila


10/09/2014 09:25 AM
‘The Janitor’ revives interest in the Pinoy action-thriller genre
100914-tj_main.jpgWhat started out as part of this year's Cinemalaya Director's Showcase has now been re-released by Star Cinema nationwide as the action-thriller film The Janitor. The movie, which stars Dennis Trillo as a former police officer-turned-hitman, starts off at an intense pace and tries to challenge its audience to keep up with its story in a series of flashbacks and vignettes. Dennis plays a tactical instructor by day and a hit man by night employed by his former partner Richard Gomez after he was discharged from the force. Ricky Davao plays the general who will do anything for good publicity. Throughout the film Dennis helps “clean up” a case by getting rid of all the suspects found connected to a bank massacre. Action fans will enjoy a good mix of fight scenes and the build-up of excitement with each new twist to the plot in this movie.

The Janitor boasts of an all-star cast which does not take away from the intense storytelling and gritty characters in the film. LJ Moreno plays Dennis's pregnant wife while Dante Rivero plays his alcoholic father and Irma Adlawan as his disabled mother. Nicco Manalo, the son of comedian Jose Manalo, plays the role of a witness tortured in unimaginable ways while the rest of the main cast play suspects in the film. Theater actor Jerald Napoles (from PETA's Rak of Aegis) plays a gun-crazy employee, Alex Medina is a mechanic who likes to bet on “sabong” fight, Raymund Bagatsing is a former policeman turned mechanic owner and Derek Ramsey is a corrupt drug-addicted police operative who has a mistress (Sunshine Garcia from Sexbomb dancers).

The movie intertwines scenes from Dennis's family life, his day job, and his almost perfunctory styled execution of each target. Unlike the usual Pinoy action movie, each scene of violence in The Janitor was necessary and far from gratuitous. Director Michael Tuviera tries to keep his characters interesting enough that audiences get emotionally attached to see them killed off too soon into the story. Hopefully, if the industry can churn out more good stories like this, we can hope to see a resurgence of the Pinoy action genre on the big screen again.