ASIAN FILM - Review
13:30 - 24th April 2014, by Calum Waddell

Metro Manila

Opening with the sound of a bullet being fired, this Filipino heist flick - shot-on-location throughout the country's capital city by the British director Sean Ellis - is frequently eye-opening and awash with the grit and concrete glamour of local life. With a pervasively vibrant feeling throughout its running time, the film tells of a peasant man who moves to the hustle and bustle of metropolis living with his family. The man may be seeking a good life, but, before long, the opportunity for criminal activity - and the potential for fast cash - becomes a little too much to resist. The consequent twisted journey that takes place, inside Manila's night-haunts and housing tenements, and outside on the tropical highways and urban sprawls, makes for suitable eye candy whilst the actors handle themselves efficiently. Clearly produced on a tiny budget, but with plenty of style, a touch of sex and obvious consideration for his surroundings, director Ellis frames his tension with operatic sounds and a delicacy of touch that might make some thrill-seekers tune out. Nevertheless, with plenty of cynicism, and a conclusion that is effective without being overly sentimental, this story of temptation and the trials of trying to stay afloat in a world that doesn't offer many breaks is well crafted and imaginatively produced. One word of warning, though, if you already have a fear of flying, well... this won't make you feel any better.

An unexpected crime-delight that does a first class job with its locale...
SCORE: 4/5
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