‘The Revenger Squad’ Review: Just Another Vice Ganda Movie

*MINOR Spoilers Ahead*

Capitalizing on the popularity of superhero properties in mainstream media, Star Cinema’s first entry in this year’s Metro Manila Film Festival stars popular comedian Vice Ganda as Gandarra and teen star Daniel Padilla as Rappido, alongside Ms. Universe 2015, Pia Wurtzbach as Kweenie in her acting gig return.

Vice Ganda as Gandarra in ‘Gadarrapiddo: The Revenger Squad’
Vice Ganda as Gandarra in ‘Gadarrapiddo: The Revenger Squad’/Star Cinema

“Gadarrapiddo: The Revenger Squad" covers the popcorn flick, massively appealing films quota that usually come out every December, and most likely top box office stats.

Daniel Padilla as Rappido, Vice Ganda as Gandarra and Pia Wurtzbach as Kweenie in Revengers Squad
Daniel Padilla as Rappido, Vice Ganda as Gandarra and Pia Wurtzbach as Kweenie in ‘Gadarrapiddo: The Revenger Squad’/Star Cinema

From the surface alone, you already know that the film goes into comedic territory with its outrageous posters chock full of glitzy, supposedly superhero costumes There is no pretense that the movie will bring anything more than laughs -- hopefully well-earned ones to viewers who are willing to rush to the theaters and catch it on opening day. That is no problem given that there is a specific demographic that these kinds of movie cater to, but just because these people are on in for the fun, does not mean that they have to settle for a poorly constructed flick with a rather messy plot that is only there to evoke a few chuckles.

The thing about “The Revenger Squad,” however, is that it caters to a certain brand of humor. If you’re a fan of the sarcastic and snarky, Vice Ganda-trademark, then this film definitely delivered on that front.

Additionally, there are the witty names of other characters which Filipinos can definitely pick-up. Unfortunately, outside of that, it doesn’t venture much. The jokes are lazy and mostly rooted in making fun of people’s physical appearance. So, some moviegoers who would want some refreshing humor could unfortunately feel like it’s not entertaining enough, or very repetitive and worse, even offensive. Its demeaning quips that could almost be equated to bullying being passed up as something funny is not okay. Then again, it’s best to assume that people who endeavor to watch the movie is not looking for something new, but for something more granted this is Vice Ganda’s humor wheelhouse.

The Bb. Joyce Bernal-directed movie, however, is the most effective when it does not convolute its narrative with supposed superhero storyline. When it unabashedly embraces that it is a comedic film more than anything, then it’s easier to disregard its glaring plot flaws in an already very thin narrative.

By all means, it’s almost criminal to categorize the film as a superhero project as aside from expositions and campy supposed supernatural powers that the characters have, there is really nothing more to it in that genre. It’s actually a mystery why Wurtzbach is even part of it. Not that she’s not effective, it’s just that she does not really have any purpose other than to be the embodiment of being physically beautiful -- a plot device with which Vice Ganda can tap on to deliver her sassy remarks. If anything, it’s a comedy (the specific kind) -- and everything else is secondary.

Daniel Padilla as Rappido, Vice Ganda as Gandarra and Pia Wurtzbach as Kweenie in Revengers Squad
Daniel Padilla as Rappido, Vice Ganda as Gandarra and Pia Wurtzbach as Kweenie in ‘Gadarrapiddo: The Revengers’/Star Cinema

With the stars top billing “The Revenger Squad,” it’s bound to deliver in terms of box officer returns for Star Cinema and VIVA Films. But it’s kind of frustrating that this kind of disjointed and poorly-made flick is part of the MMFF -- an annual movie festival that should honor the best of the best in terms of Filipino filmmaking. Just because it’s a comedy and is made to entertain do not mean that it should be mediocre at best in quality. While it definitely has a target market, it’s difficult not to come to the conclusion that the only reason supposed blockbusters like this are made is because they are cash cows.

“Gandarrapiddo: The Revenger Squad” is one of the eight films partaking in this year’s MMFF. If this isn’t your type of holiday media entertainment, check out all the other movies and see which one tickles your fancy.

Watch full trailer of “Gandarrapiddo: The Revenger Squad” | MMFF 2017 official entry


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