Imus Productions was a brainchild of former senator and local cinema icon Ramon Revilla Sr. It produced some of the classics of our local action cinema, such as “Nardong Putik,” “Pepeng Agimat” and “Ang Panday” (the 2009 remake).
This year, they are making a comeback with the action thriller anthology film “TRES” starring the Revilla Brothers: Bryan, Luigi and Ramon “Jolo” Revilla III. The anthology is composed of three separate segments under the direction of Richard Somes and Dondon Santos, and follows the lives of people who were affected or ruined by the influence of drugs.
Produced by Imus Productions and distributed by Cine Screen, it hits theaters October 3, 2018.
The first segment of the film entitled “Virgo” features Bryan Revilla as a vigilante hunting down the people responsible for the death of his family. It also stars Joey Marquez, Carla Humphries, Paolo Paraiso, Jess Mendoza, Kiko Matos, Dido Dela Paz, Jeffrey Tan, Basti Artadi, Dong Abay and Mon Confiado, and is directed by Richard Somes.
Among the three stories in this anthology, this one is probably the bloodiest and most brutal. It also turns out to be my favorite among the bunch. Its story is pretty straight-forward. It’s your basic revenge-plot, really nothing new.
What makes this segment pack a punch is Richard Somes’ direction. Known for his works like “Yanggaw” (2008), “Corazon: Ang Unang Aswang”(2012) and the recent Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino entry “We Will Not die Tonight” (2018), Somes goes for the jugular with “Virgo.” It’s unapologetic use of violence, from bloody gun fights, brutal mauling and non-stop killings is definitely not for the faint-hearted.
This segment is also the most visually impressive, with Somes’ symbolism and metaphors mixed with some creative use of colors and lighting. It also boasts a smooth and effective storytelling, and even surprised me with its twist.
The next segment is entitled “Amats” and stars Luigi Revilla, along with Assunta De Rossi, Sandino Martin, Myrtle Sarrosa, Lito Pimentel, Markus Paterson, Patrick Sugui and Markki Stroem, under the helm of Dondon Santos. It follows the plight of a young man turned junkie who got pulled into the dark and dangerous world of the drug business.
More of a thriller than action, this segment is the weirdest and most demented story among the three. It starts out with some nonsensical meeting between a young guy and a strange woman, and as we go along, things soon spiral out of control, with the events becoming more and more twisted. And as if things aren’t complicated enough, we get murder, love triangles, and more brawls in the process.
Though this segment suffers a bit when it comes to pacing (since they were still able to insert a music video styled sequence to build up a supposed romance), this segment was still watchable because of its weirdness, and Sandino Martin’s scene-stealing performance as a crazed junkie.
The third and last segment, “72 Hours” stars Ramon “Jolo” Revilla III as a police officer who is on a race with time to catch a druglord who escaped their clutch. It is directed by Dondon Santos and also stars Rhian Ramos, Albert Martinez, Dominic Roque, Ronwaldo Martin, Benj Manalo and Tirso Cruz III.
This segment feels like an episode of “FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano,” only much more fun and entertaining to watch. This segment is the old-school action that we all grew up with. It’s complete with car chase scenes, gun fights and non-stop explosions here and there. It’s totally campy and clichéd, but it knows exactly what it is and is not afraid to embrace it.
To its credit, this segment benefited from fast pacing, as it leaves the audience no time to breathe until the next action scene. Plus, it’s also the most humorous story among the three.
The only issue that I had with the film was the writing. There were some scenes that were a bit cringe-worthy to watch due to some unintentionally bad dialogue. Acting-wise, the three Revilla Bros. were pretty much okay as the lead in each of their segments. Jolo nailed his role ala-Ang Probinsyano‘s Carlo Dalisay. His brothers, Bryan and Luigi were also effective in their roles.
The rest of the film looks pretty impressive and competently made, though there were some rough CGI in one explosion sequence. Still, audiences will surely get their money’s worth watching this film. To be honest, I’m not really a big fan of action films but I really had a fun time watching this.
“TRES” is one deftly crafted tribute to the Pinoy action genre – it’s brutal, weird, campy but nonetheless fun and highly entertaining.
5 – Excellent
4 – Very Good
3 – Good
2 – Tolerable
1 – Terrible