Erik Matti's BuyBust will hit theaters in the Philippines on August 1, but initial reviews from the film's world premiere at the New York Asian Film Festival are making that play date feel even further away. A handful of critics have spoken, and so far, it's looking pretty fresh. We've picked out some key appraisals that make a compelling case for the film. Suffice it to say that we're stoked.
“Pulsating action and lacerating social commentary are the ingredients of an oustanding genre outing by Filipino filmmaker Erik Matti.”
“Director and co-writer Erik Matti has delivered an explosive exercise in kinetic cinema that also offers potent commentary on the devastating social consequences of the Philippine government’s war on drugs.”
“The film’s technical package features stellar work across the board.”
“Filipino genre pioneer Erik Matti has delivered one of the most blistering action pictures since Mad Max: Fury Road on a fraction of George Miller’s blockbuster budget.”
“As much as BuyBust seems to be engineered for maximum excitement, it’s not without the complexities that are typical of Matti’s ambitious genre pieces.”
“The menacingly-realized, borderline apocalyptic urban milieu ensures that the fierce skirmishes in BuyBust are not only sweat-inducing but have pertinent social connotations that transcend the sophisticated mechanics on display.”
“Rivaling Gareth Evans’ brilliant film, The Raid, Matti delivers clever action set pieces with brutal fighting and top-notch camera work and choreography. The sheer scale of this film had me stunned early on, unable to pick my jaw up off the floor for the two-hour run time.”
“At times, BuyBust almost feels like a zombie movie as the police attempt to seek shelter from the neverending onslaught of bloodthirsty gang members.”
“Remember the extended chase scene through the Kowloon Walled City in the final twenty minutes of Johnny Mak’s classic Hong Kong film Long Arm Of The Law? Now imagine that amazing scene extended to over 90 minutes and you will have a pretty good idea of what this film is like.”
“One of the best aspects of the film is the cinematography, which creates an intensely claustrophobic setting, taking full advantage of the slum environment. Occasionally, the images are filled with different colors, blue, red, orange, that compliment the dark atmosphere that permeates the film, intensifying the sense of agony the dominates the whole narrative.”
“There were some action elements to Matti’s On the Job, but BuyBust is just complete and total mayhem. Yet, we care about Manigen and her colleagues, because Matti invests a full half hour to establish their characters and the dysfunctional system they serve.”
Quite a few moviegoers on Twitter have also been posting their thoughts about the film:
Catch BuyBust when it hits local theaters on August 1.