Yep, I came out of my blogging hibernation just to write my review for a local movie. HAH!
Well, actually the long story is this: a friend of mine wanted to have a catchup session with me and asked me if there was anything I wanted to watch. As she had watched Fast & Furious 6 and Cinderella, options for popcorn movies are pretty limited (I am not one for popcorn movies, but I thought that my movie-going companion is). Other option includes Insurgent and Child 44 but the IMDB rating for those two did not look too convincing.
Then I saw Unlucky Plaza on the list of movies and gave myself a good chuckling at the lame movie title. (-10 points)
Then I noticed that it was indie. (+30 points)
Then I saw the M18 tag. (+100 points)
Then I thought to myself, if I have to watch mediocre movie, might as well watch a LOCALLY-MADE mediocre movie, RIGHT?
The movie is a reminiscence of Fargo (Yes, I need to compare a movie with another movie because I am annoying like that) from the starting opening text: a note to audience that this movie is based on true story…. but I ain’t falling for that, Mr. Kwek! There is also the financial trouble and black comedy elements that enforces the idea in my head, but I digress.
Introducing our characters:
Onassis Hernandez, an Filipino single father and a restauranteur, who is barely getting by after a salmonella scandal in his food establishment. I love how he hires a PRC as a front staff and a Malay as a kitchen hand in a non-halal Filipino restaurant.
Terrence Chia a.k.a Sky, an actor turned financial motivational speaker whose complaints about Singaporean taxi drivers I can relate to 100%. Oh, and his $400,000 debt to a PRC loan shark triggers the chain of events that follows.
Michelle, Terrence’s wife, a promiscuous school teacher who is planning to elope with her pastor to Gili Meno, because obviously Bali and Gili Trawangan is too mainstream for her.
Wen, a submissive pastor. Also a godawful property agent (Wait, are all Singaporeans property agents in this movie?). Arguably the person who gets fucked most by the whole ordeal… in more ways than one ;D
Little Bear, a badass PRC thug/debt collector who is pretty damn good at his job.
Onassis’ and Terrence’s characters are well written, with enough dose of comic and human characterisation. Michelle and Wen in the other hand, felt a bit two-dimensional. Little Bear is so 2D and obviously there just to serve as a plot device (but still badass!).
If someone told me that the writer is a foreigner, I would have believed him, because it does feel like an Anti-Xenophobe movie (to me, at least) – one that tries hard to make a statement and still be politically correct.
…so I called the movie mediocre earlier. My apologies. It was surprisingly entertaining – the little things that I can relate to, such as Onassis’ love for Singapore from the eye of foreigner, Terrence’s inability to speak Mandarin and his rants of taxi drivers (oh don’t get me started on the taxi drivers!), made the movie an enjoyable ride. I will forgive the lame ending, as I know Asians love happy endings. Still, I thought it would have been better with a more toned-down end. I mean, whoever want to eat from a cleaver that has chopped a human!? Liu Maoxing will be appalled!