Manila Kingpin - The Asiong Salonga Story

A Movie Review

Its been ages that I had last seen a Filipino action movie. I can't even remember the last local action movie I've seen in a movie house. Usually I just get a glimpse of those from cable TV and those that came from "Manong Dibidi".

For the past few years, cheesy love flicks, intense dramatic movies, not-so-horrifying horror films and flat comedy themed movies dominated the mainstream cinemas. Especially in the Metro Manila Film Festivals.

But when I saw the trailer of this movie from another blog, I said -- "I wanna watch this effin' movie!" Guns, girls and goons, a good comeback for local action movies.

And after a few weeks of haggling with my schedule, chores and laziness... I was able to, at last, see the movie...


Manila Kingpin - The Asiong Salonga Story

Starring Laguna Governor Jorge ER Ejercito for the title role together with Baron Geisler, Philip Salvador and Carla Abellana among others. Tikoy Aguiluz officially directed the movie but pulled out his name from the credits because of some issues with some scenes of the movie. Produced by Scenema Concept International and released through Viva Films.

It won several awards from 2011 Metro Manila Film Festival including Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor(John Regala) and Best Screenplay among others.

Plus

With the black and white theme of the movie, it seemed that we were taken back to the 1960's era giving its realistic and time setting of the movie.

Yes, the three ingredients of an action movie was present. Girls, Guns and Goons.

I was astounded to find Valerie Concepcion, Jaycee Parker and Paloma Esmeria(which I don't know what role she did).

Carla Abellana's beauty rose up since the role fit her. The "manang" type that is.

The gun fights scenes were good enough to show how violent the movie was. I was surprised again to see the grease guns and the revolvers aside from the usual berettas.

And finally the goons. John Regala (as Totoy Golem)and Joko Diaz (as Hapon) played their part perfectly. Whereas Ronnie Lazaro acted naturally as the main character's antagonist while in jail.

I notably praise the cinematography especially the gunfight between Asiong and Hapon. And another one when Geisler (as Erning Toothpick) killed Asiong.

Deltas

I was expecting for intense bed scenes like from previous action flicks but I was disappointed. I realized it was an action movie and not a titillating movie.

I was hoping Valerie would able to at least show some skin instead of sweating her face and neck out.

The brawls, both between Regala vs. Ejercito and Lazaro vs. Ejercito was poorly made. You will notice the slowness and the uncoordinated choreography between the fighters. I guess they are too old already to do hand to hand combat.

I was unsatisfied with the flow of the story. There was no plot or mission in the movie. There are a lot of questions left hanging for me --
Why was Mayor (Jay Manalo) acted as a good samaritan for Asiong?
How did Asiong accumulate lots of money? Was he druglord? Gambling Lord or Gun Smuggler?
Why does Asiong look like older than his true age? Asiong was killed when he was 27 years old, by the way.
and many others
The movie might have been well done if Tikoy Aguiluz further handled the scene selections and other rights to movie itself.

Recommendations

Overall, the movie was good for me. It satisfied my cravings for real man movie, at least.

I guess this will ignite the comeback of action themed movies locally. Hopefully, we'll see some more improvements with other aspiring action movie that will be shown soon.

I'll try to see Cesar Montano's Hitman and may write another review.

Movie Review File Number 0118121520
Manila Kingpin - The Asiong Salonga Story
Rating - Good / Very Good



Credits to the original uploader/s of the picture/s shown on this post.