I watched ON THE JOB last night to give in to my curiosity. Part of Star Cinema’s continuing grand 20th anniversary celebration, the much talked about “OTJ” is set to unleash the braver Piolo Pascual and Gerald Anderson through the edgy direction of Direk Erik of the story that features Piolo as an NBI agent who aims to hunt down Gerald’s character who is a professional hitman. At Puchon International Film Festival, OTJ” won jury’s choice, while one of its lead actors, Joel Torre, bagged the best actor trophy.
Joel played as a middle-aged hired killer in the film. If “OTJ” is memorable for Piolo and Gerald because it is their first action movie, it also made a mark in the heart of Joel because of the important character given to him by Star Cinema at Reality Entertainment.
Cast: Piolo Pascual, Gerald Anderson, Joel Torre, Rayver Cruz, Joey Marquez, Shaina Magdayao, Angel Aquino and Empress.MTRCB: R16 (Rated 16)
CEB: GRADED A
Screenwriters: Erik Matti, Michiko Yamamoto
Director of photography: Francis Ricardo Buhay III
Production designer: Richard V. Somes
Produce by Reality Entertainment and Star Cinema
Directed by: Erik Matti in 121 Minutes.
I have to give credit to Direk Erik Matti for winning my heart on cinematography. From bloody and messy prison to street shots up to the bed scene — all of it were very commendable. The story telling is strict and well shared. Enough for me to believe that I was there. What I can also commend on the script is that despite all the gory situation, family is huge part of Pinoy’s life, whether you’re a fugitive or an ex convict or an addict. The movie tells a great Filipino culture.
The screenplay of Matti and Yamamoto is nothing but one of the well crafted writings I have seen in the last 10 years of Action movies. Yes, Action movies died many years ago. Some didn’t even make it to breakeven. I would love to read a novel version of it though.
Glad to have seen Piolo Pascual again doing another important movie to date. From his Dekada 70 brilliant performance, he did another brilliant portrayal of his character. I think he’s crafted to do this kind of projects. His role as an honest Government gave me relief to the sad reality of the story. And by the way this is based on true events.
There is a new Gerald Anderson in this movie. This is the break every action star would dream of, or any matinee idol should do in order to elevate oneself as one serious actor. His portrayal of the character is an indication that he is ready for more. And is willing to do more. I loved the effects and camera work – the chase scenes, the long single shots in the prison with Gerald Anderson. I have never Shaina Magdayao this sexy! She gave justice to her character as someone who wants just a simple marriage wanting to hideaway from her family’s politics. Angel Aquino, on the other hand on her less glamorize performance is an effective supporting role to BIG JOEL TORRE character. Joel Torre deserves an actor award for this. His facial expressions on almost all of the scenes gave me away. I’m giving him a slow clap.
I hope there is more collaboration like this with StarCinema and other brilliant script writers and movie makers. This is the kind of film we have to see every year. This is a celebration of Pinoy’s talent. A real festival. A legitimate CINE MALAYA on a COMMERCIAL strata.
The movie deserves its cannes screening. While Cannes, Well Go USA bought North American distribution rights and announced a fall release for a film with reasonable small-screen potential.
My 5 favorite scenes:
1. Joel Torre and Gerald Anderson bidding farewell to each other and.. (spoiler free) with Anderson’s dialogue.. “Tang.. Baket? Tang….)
2. Piolo Pascual and Shaina Magdayao Bed scene. It was artistically done.
3. Joey Marquez rage. No more question. I cried with him.
4. Piolo Pascual on Manila City Hall scene. (This is the scene I shouted HOLYYYYY!)
5. Joey Marquez and Joel Torre scene in prison
ON THE JOB now Showing Nationwide!
Rod Magaru Show: 5/5