All These Raves For Anne Curtis’ Movie "BuyBust" Are Making Us Very Excited Indeed
“Brazenly cynical and brilliantly executed,” wrote Screendaily.com.
“An outstanding genre outing by Filipino filmmaker Erik Matti,” said Variety.
“Erik Matti’s cop-survival thriller is this year’s major action discovery,” said birthmoviesdeath.com.
And those are just the article subheads.
These are just some of the raves that Anne's big action extravaganza BuyBust received after it premiered at the New York Asian Film Festival.
In the spirit of President Rodrigo Duterte’s controversial war on drugs, Erik Matti’s action-suspense film BuyBust centers on a botched drug bust in the slums of Manila. It stars Anne (in a look so far removed from her glamorous fashionista self, Victor Neri, the MMA fighter Brandon Vera, and young teleserye villain Arjo Atayde in a surprising role.
The premise is relatively simple. Two elite Drug Enforcement Agency squads are assigned to conduct an undercover drug bust in a Manila slum area. However, the initiative quickly goes horribly wrong and turns into a deadly cat-and-mouse chase within the maze of shanties.
After the NYC screening, BuyBust garnered mostly positive feedback from various entertainment websites.
“Filipino genre pioneer Erik Matti has delivered one of the most blistering action pictures since Mad Max: Fury Road (2015) on a fraction of George Miller’s blockbuster budget,” wrote John Berra in Screendaily. “Although robust streaming revenues are guaranteed, this masterful exercise in escalating chaos really should be experienced on the big screen.”
The Hollywood Reporter commends the director’s efforts to recreate what really happens in current Philippine reality. “Bombastic in some parts and derivative in others, BuyBust plays a significant part in the development of a socially charged genre cinema in the Philippines, while adding to the debate about the country's social realities,” wrote Clarence Tsui in his review online.
Variety also praised the other elements of the film.
“The film’s technical package features stellar work across the board. Cinematographer Neil Derrick Bion pulls off any number of mind-boggling tracking shots in narrow alleys and across rooftops that are filled with fight director Sonny Sison’s brilliantly staged mayhem. Topping things off is a terrific score by Erwin Romulo and Malek Lopez that employs everything from jaw harp to fuzztone guitar and pulse-quickening drumbeats,” wrote Richard Kuipers.
In the film, Curtis plays the lead as officer Nina Manigan, a tough and headstrong rookie tasked with apprehending a top-tier drug dealer in the sting operation. Her performance has not been lost on those who have seen the film.
“In a radical departure from her usual rom-com roles, dual Australian-Filipino national Curtis is convincing and charismatic as the determined and amazingly resourceful heroine,” said Variety.
“Curtis anchors the mayhem with great charisma, forming a terrific partnership with the stoic Vera, whose towering frame and tank-like indestructability are offset by a resolutely calm manner,” offered Screendaily.
From last night’s Q&A after the world premiere of BUYBUST. Couldn’t help but get emotional after seeing all the hard work pieced together on the big screen. 2 years of shooting told in 2 hours! ???? Thank you to everyone that came to our SOLD OUT premiere last night. We appreciate the applause and all the kind words we heard. Iba ung kilig, relief and happiness. Waking up to all the amazing reviews today has definitely made my year. ?? Congratulations to the whole team! Congratulations to our Team Captain @erikmatti ?? Thank you so much @newyorkasianfilmfestival for hosting and having us! What a memorable festival this has been for me. Truly am grateful! ???????? SoKor you’re up next then PINAS! ??: Arjeta Palevic
While in New York, Anne took to Instagram after the sold-out screening to express her happiness.
BuyBust depicts several layers of crime and humanity in an oppressed society, eschewing the standard good-versus-evil tropes. It’s a story that aims to illustrate how both the villain and victim exist in the same characters in a single ecosystem. It’s only apt that Curtis plays an equally complex protagonist that makes her more well-rounded and human. At the same time, Curtis’s Nina Manigan is an inspiring and game-changing representation of the modern Filipina.
No matter how good their training, nothing can prepare rookie Manila cop Nina and her colleagues for what will become the longest night of their lives. Prepare yourself for pure entertainment, bullets flying everywhere and fights in every corner in BUYBUST at #FantasiaFest! ?? Playing on July 18th! Tickets on sale July 7th, 1pm!!! . #action #adventure #phillipines #cops #festival #montreal #cinema
After the New York screening, Matti, despite the opening night applause, tried to keep it cool on social media. On Facebook, he talked about the fun closing night party of the NYAFF and the early good reviews, his words accompanied by a photo of a sad-looking slightly devoured “dry toasty hard as brick” sandwich from McDonald’s that he said was ordered for him four hours earlier.
But I guess you can afford to keep it cool what with everyone excited to see Buybust premiere in Manila on August 1, especially after reading the raves online. We mean, how can you not, with this quote alone from birthmoviesdeath.com, calling Buybust “an expert exercise in screws-tightening suspense and excitement, guaranteed to make Filipino director Erik Matti Hollywood’s next hot action import. See it before he gets hired to helm a Fast and the Furious spinoff.”
BuyBust opens nationwide August 1, will open Cinemalaya on the 3rd of August, and will be available on Netflix on the first of November.
Photos from @dinoplacino