Release Date: May 26th, 2006 (Cinema Village) by Truly Indie.
The Cast: Ian Gamazon, Dominique Gonzalez.
Directed by Ian Gamazon, Neill Dela Llana.
In Tagalog with subtitles.
BASIC PREMISE: Upon his visit to the Philippines, Adam (Gamazon) must follow the orders of a kidnapper who communicates through via his cell-phone.
ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: Although the plot does have mystery, the initial suspense diminishes once the action gets tedious and improbable through the majority of the second act. Adam travels to the Philippines to attend his fatherís funeral, but, immediately when he arrives from the airport, he receives a phone call from a mysterious man who claims to have kidnapped his family. Meanwhile, his girlfriend Dana (Gonzalez) waits for him back in San Diego. The fundamental question going through Admaís mind as well as the audienceís mind is ďWhat does this mysterious man really want?Ē. This question takes a while to be answered as Adam goes all around the town of Cavite according to the manís direct orders. He rarely interacts with anyone besides the man, except when he must steal a cell-phone from a stranger when his runs out of batteries. The only sign that the mysterious man on the other end of the phone is actually a bad guy is when he sends him part of his sisterís finger who he claims to hold hostage. Unfortunately, thereís not enough build-up of information about whatís going on and no character development to generate any real suspense. Moreover, the third act falls prey to contrived twists. On a positive note, Gamazon does give a convincing performance without overacting throughout his many scenes. Ian Gamazon and Neill Dela Llana, who write and direct, shoot in digital with an overuse of shaky camera movements which reflect Adamís mental state as he goes through the ordeal, but often feel nauseating. They also include a lot of sounds from the background which somewhat heightens the reality, but doesn't help increase the suspense.
SPIRITUAL VALUE: Unfortunately, none.
INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: Too many shaky camera movements, no suspense, and a contrived third act.
NUMBER OF TIMES I CHECKED MY WATCH: 5
IN A NUTSHELL: Well-acted, but often nauseating, contrived and lacking in real suspense.
RECOMMENDED WAY TO WATCH: TV
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