Saturday, December 28, 2013

Boy Golden (Chito Roño, Metro Manila Film Festival 2013)

Dashing through windows and essaying the signature dance moves of Elvis Presley, there had never been a group of hoodlums as elegant, acrobatic, and stylishly elusive as the Bahala Na Gang members led by Arturo Porcuna aka Boy Golden. But, all of them are upstaged by a smoldering, vengeful, good-looking killer.

The rip-roaring action film Boy Golden is based on the colorful, treachery-riddled life of Porcuna (Jeorge ER Estregan), a notorious gangster in the early 1960s. The pre-credit segment showed him mowing down enemies while a rollicking Elvis Presley song blares from the jukebox. He escapes unscathed and quickly merges with the shadows of the night. He meets shadowy characters out there in the dark.

I'm not happy with the way femme fatale Marla Dee (KC Concepcion) was introduced. She is barely recognizable from the dimly lit nightclub room. The filmmakers should have shown her with exceptional dancing skills. As it is, when she flexes her breathtaking fighting skills, it comes as a big surprise. How the hell did she come up with those phenomenal athletic moves? Okay, she's a dancer. But, she should have been shown doing a nifty move here and a powerful gymnast step there.

Marla Dee is a dancer out for revenge. In one surprising scene, she guts out an obese, fake attorney. That was a bit surprising for me because of the actress who played her. KC Concepcion sheds off her cute image and comes onscreen as a sultry lady oozing with raging sex appeal. Marla Dee is like a Hulk whose chest gets bigger because of anger. She is seen desperately trying to conceal her bulging mammary glands a couple of times. She bangs her head countless times on the staircase but she ends up alive and brandishing a fiercer, smoldering personality.

There are other wonderful surprises out there for moviegoers mostly involving the Bahala Na Gang members. You'll likely be amused with their confrontation with the henchmen of a crooked general. Then, there's the shoot-out segment that channels Gene Kelly, West Side Story, Chinese acrobats, and Dragon dance.

Year 2013 will likely be cited as the year good local action films sprung to life. The film OTJ blazed the screens in major cities around the world. Meanwhile, Kung-Fu Divas mixed a potent brew of humor and action. I've heard some good notes for Iskalawags.

Boy Golden is not a perfect film. Filmmakers could have trimmed down its running time. They could have made Razon a more monstrous villain or cast a more suitable actor for that role. However, Boy Golden's awesome action segments, beautifully choreographed by veteran foreign stunt directors, are a rarity in local films. It is not KC Concepcion's cleavage that I will remember about her but Marla Dee's fight with a lady assassin. 

Marla Dee is a kick-ass character you won't likely forget. The high octane action set-pieces and a strong lady character are elements that make Boy Golden a top-notch action film. Next on my action film viewing list is 10,000 Hours, winner of the Best Picture award in this year's edition of the Metro Manila Film Festival.

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