REVIEW: Erik Matti’s ‘Buy Bust’ bravely tackles the controversial war on drugs

WARNING: possible spoilers ahead

REVIEW: Erik Matti’s ‘Buy Bust’ bravely tackles the controversial war on drugs-Gary Ann  Lastrilla
Gary Ann Lastrilla

Instagram: @iamgaryann


07/27/2018 09:35 AM
REVIEW: Erik Matti’s ‘Buy Bust’ bravely tackles the controversial war on drugs


Controversial and courageous with jam-packed action—it is now clear why Erik Matti’s Buy Bust film took two years to make. 

Buy Bust tells the story of a police team tasked to do a drug buy bust operation in a poor barangay in the metro. But things will eventually turn for the worst as the night settles in and ugly truths get discovered. 

With each scene efficiently executed, the film’s storyline takes moviegoers into a possible realm, and gives them the what-could-be’s surrounding the controversial national issue of the war on drugs. 

Among others, the movie tackled unexpected dirty secrets supposedly going on within the police force. It also highlighted the commendable bravery of our loyal policemen. 

Striving to show the “realness” in every shot, poverty porn was among the prevalent themes in the movie. As it was shot in a slum area, the iconography remained true to life, as well as the mood.

Acting-wise, lead protagonist Anne Curtis, as Nina Manigan, showed great endurance and bravery in her fight scenes. And with no question to his fighting skills, Fil-Am mixed martial arts fighter Brandon Vera’s acting is also commendable. His character as Rico Yatco showed a softer yet sensible side.

Funnyman Alex Calleja, although portraying the serious character of Teban, was the comedic relief with his sarcastic remarks. Arjo Atayde’s portrayal of his role was also a revelation, and a specific scene with Anne will definitely have viewers groaning in pain.

At different points in the action-packed movie, viewers will find themselves on the edge of their seats. 

In the end, although revolutionary in a sense, the socially relevant film does not seem to indoctrinate viewers with partial perspectives but encourages them to think, do their own research and to take action. One has to watch until the very end as it is where the important values are. 

Buy Bust, produced by Viva Films and Reality Entertainment, stars Anne Curtis, Brandon Vera, Arjo Atayde, Joross Gamboa, Victor Neri, Noni Buencamino and Alex Calleja, among others. Directed by Erik Matti, it opens on August 1 in cinemas nationwide. Having premiered at the New York Asian Film Festival in the US and at the Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival in South Korea, Buy Bust is set to be released in North America on August 10.