‘Jack Em Popoy’ Movie Review: Comedy meets action brings viewers back to the ‘90s


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MANILA, Philippines - Vic Sotto’s Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) 2018 offering, “Jack Em Popoy: The Puliscredibles” brings together his brand of comedy from Eat Bulaga! and Coco Martin’s knack for action as seen in “Ang Probinsyano” for a flick reminiscent of ‘90s action-blockbuster movies.

*Minor Spoilers Ahead*

Directed by Mike Tuviera, the movie stars Sotto as Perfecto “Popoy” Fernandez, a senior police officer that feels stuck in his career and Martin as Jacinto “Jack” Halimuyac, his brand new partner, together, they attempt to bring down crime and drug lord, Antonio Montenegro (Rolando Valdez).

Maine Mendoza as Em, Vic Sotto as Popoy and Coco Martin as Jack in ‘Jack Em Popoy
Maine Mendoza as Em, Vic Sotto as Popoy and Coco Martin as Jack in ‘Jack Em Popoy: The Puliscredibles’/APT Entertainment

As they dive deep into their latest mission, they discover a link from their respective pasts that connects the both of them, as well as Popoy’s adopted daughter, Maine Mendoza’s Emily “Em” Fernandez who’s also a cop.

Maine Mendoza as Em, Vic Sotto as Popoy and Coco Martin as Jack in ‘Jack Em Popoy
Maine Mendoza as Em, Vic Sotto as Popoy and Coco Martin as Jack in ‘Jack Em Popoy: The Puliscredibles’/APT Entertainment

For such a mesh of different personalities, “Jack Em Popoy” was surprisingly able to come up with a cohesive narrative with pockets of pure fun and entertainment that the whole family can enjoy. The movie will definitely tickle fans of ‘90s action-comedy’s fancy as it maintains a tone that is similar to those feel-good thrillers.

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Performances are decent - even for supporting actors. There’s a lot of moving pieces in “Jack Em Popoy,” and oftentimes, it’s inching dangerously close to being convoluted. But with a pretty much tried-and-tested narrative, it’s still able to give viewers a sense of familiarity - as if they’re part of the heist and not just mere bystanders. Perhaps it’s because we’re used to seeing Sotto, Martin and even Mendoza on TV every day that it’s quite easy to get behind them.

The fact that product placements are significantly lesser than past few years in MMFF blockbuster movies is also a win for “Jack Em Popoy.”

Nothing new here

For those who constantly watch either And Probinsyano or Eat Bulaga!, chances are the fact that the two unusual worlds colliding in “Jack Em Popoy” as one of the main reasons to catch the flick. All the usual suspects are in the movie, unfortunately, it’s also the movie’s biggest waterloo.

Considering that star power that the film boasts - each lead actor has their own massive following, it felt like a double-edged sword as the film doesn’t offer anything new other than what Sotto, Mendoza and Martin do on the daily.

Simply put, the only novelty in “Jack Em Popoy” is seeing stars from rivalring networks come together for a fun flick.

Maine Mendoza as Em, Vic Sotto as Popoy and Coco Martin as Jack in ‘Jack Em Popoy'
Maine Mendoza as Em, Vic Sotto as Popoy and Coco Martin as Jack in ‘Jack Em Popoy: The Puliscredibles’/APT Entertainment

Overall, “Jack Em Popoy: The Puliscredibles” delivers exactly what it’s set out to do - no more and no less. While it would’ve been made all the difference if the story isn’t a retreaded one (perhaps with little tweaks that would’ve updated it), it’s still an entertaining time at the cinema.

It’s also worth noting that the top two box office earners this year features melding of two worlds with ABS-CBN artists working with GMA stars, the other one being “Fantastica”. The mix and match of stars opens up fresh tandems on the big screen - a welcome change from seeing the same stars working repeatedly with each other.

RATING: 5 out of 10


— ALD, The Summit Express


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