A pseudo-magical mirror spawns members of a terrorist cell, whom a flamboyant superhero recovering from amnesia fights off with a spear of lipstick in director Bb. Joyce Bernal’s latest offering. If this premise comes off a little too eccentric for you, that’s because it is.
The aforementioned superhero is Gandarra (Vice Ganda), who lives with her brother, Chino (Daniel Padilla), years after losing her memory. In her new life, she is Emy Mariposque, a makeup reseller and rag maker. The two live reasonably normal lives together, unaware of their earlier history. A testament to his selfless brand of machismo, Chino wants to join the military, much to Emy’s displeasure. When he turns 21, his powers that initially lay dormant emerge, and they are once again thrust into a world of heroes and villains.
From the get-go, it isn’t hard to see that The Revenger Squad is a trademark Vice Ganda film through and through, and at times this does more harm than good. For a superhero movie, it ends up feeling like a costumed special on Gandang Gabi Vice.
Her usual brand of snarky beki humor is given its time to shine in this offering, and that’s just it: This becomes the main focus. Where the film could have explored the family’s mysterious backstory, or the emerging tension between Gandarra and her brother, they instead choose to slap on yet another sarcastic and borderline offensive charot line.
The special effects are decent at best, but maintain the impression of being professionally done throughout. Just the same are the costume designs, which are overblown enough to look exactly like superheroes while preserving the atmosphere you’d expect from a comedy featuring Vice Ganda. Even in the technical aspects, it’s clear that this is a popcorn flick first and a superhero movie second.
Despite the star-studded casting choices, the movie still isn’t completely salvaged. Vice Ganda and Padilla put on strong performances, with the latter even convincing you that this is a serious outing at times. On the other hand, Pia Wurtzbach’s presence seems purely for the fanservice, carrying over fans from her Miss Universe fame; it’s one of her first major acting gigs after all, and it shows.
Bernal and company don’t seem to aim for anything above meaningless entertainment, which should still be okay. It isn’t the worst idea in the world to come up with a no-frills, easy to watch comedy. After all, it’s an idea that still seems to sell in today’s market. It’s entirely possible, too; it’s been done before, and it’s been done well.
Unfortunately, this just didn’t quite get there. Despite all the effort put into it, The Revenger Squad doesn’t seem all that interested in taking even itself seriously. One wonders why all this creative effort was put into the film if the goal was to come up with another comedy.
Featured photo retrieved from lionheartv.net