Friday, November 7, 2014

Wenn Deramas' "Moron 5.2 The Transformation" - One Big Blooper

Albert, Isaac, Aristotle, Mozart and Michael Angelo (Luis Manzano, Billy Crawford, Marvin Agustin, DJ Durano and Matteo Guidicelli respectively) have grown up and gone “wiser” after graduating from high school. 

Albert (Manzano) takes up law, but is disenchanted by the course’s constant debates so he ends up selling hopia in Ongpin, pretending to be Chinese. Isaac (Crawford) seeks the limelight, doing auditions for roles he’s unlikely to get cast in: they want everything he isn't – thin, woman, child, ballerina, gay, etc. Aristotle (Agustin) dabbles into culinary, but his take on dishes are discrepant from his superiors’ (He serves paella for a “sinigang na tahong”). Mozart (Durano) manages a gym but ends up hurting his clients. And Michael Angelo (Guidicelli) recovers from an incident that has accidentally burned his face. His plastic surgeon has done wonders for his facial reconstruction (thus Moron 5’s Martin Escudero becomes Matteo Guidicelli).

On the home front, each of our protagonists has raised a family of his own, with beautiful wives (Yam Concepcion, Danita Paner, Nicki Valdez, Mylene Dizon) and smart bemedalled children (named Fidel, Macoy, Gloria, Corina) to boot. (Except Michael Angelo who shall serendipitously meet his princess.) Unfortunately, the children are embarrassed of their fathers’ bungling antics. “Sana ice cream na lang ako… para matunaw ako sa kahihiyan,” quips one of the kids. They’d rather hire strangers who shall pretend to be their fathers to attend their commencement ceremonies than be caught dead with their biological, albeit moronic fathers.

One night, while on a drinking spree, the quintet discovers what seems like a power-emitting object falling from the sky. After trying to retrieve it, they were struck by lightning – twice! Surviving from the catastrophe, the guys start to believe that this accident has transformed them into superheroes. And they've vowed to follow Peter Parker’s mantra (“With great power comes great responsibility.”) and help people in need. They've become invincible beings. Or have they?

Meanwhile, Beckie (John “Sweet” Lapus), the quintet’s former nemesis, has languished at the asylum. It’s been 7 years. His mental status exam has been deemed promising by his psychiatrist (Karla Estrada) who plans to discharge Beckie. But when asked what his name was, he replies, “Gretchen Barretto”. 

With his release deferred, Beckie plots to break out from the asylum. Without pulling a muscle – and the blundering help of his loony colleagues (Manuel Chua, Boom Labrusca) and a bollixed security guard (Chrome Cosio), they find themselves out of the mental institution. Together, they form Moron 5’s unlikely adversary. Will the evil forces succeed against our heroes? Guess.

Like its predecessor, the energy on display is quite stirring that the audience is left breathless from the film’s lightning pace and exuberant energy. There’s really no accounting for logic. With zippy speed of delivery, you aren't given enough time to think beyond the shallowest subject matters. 

Let’s take the case of one joke that lingered longer than it deserved: What time are the children’s dismissal from school? 3:15 or 3:16 PM? Getting the time right, as the joke would have you believe, spells a difference of “3 hours”? Or an hour? Hilarious, right? And if you bite the bullet, you must have noticed how this idiocy has been stretched for good measure until Deramas felt it served its comedic glory.

Perceived humor pulsates in similar fashion all throughout the movie. When Isaac cogitates, “Di ko maisip eh.” “May isip ba tayo?” Irony plays out effectively as this is reflective of the storyteller’s acumen. Is there an intelligent being behind the shenanigan? Cinema 8 was unnaturally quite. No laughters, no snickers, no slap on the lap - but then maybe it’s because there were just 5 of us inside the huge cinema. Where’s the usual Deramas crowd that loves to get dumb or dumber?

In this new era, slapstick absurdity a la Luciano Carlos seems misplaced. Have we moved forward into the new millennium? Is contemporary comedy really this vacuous? We seem to be stuck in the epoch of Pugo and Togo, Dolphy and Panchito, Babalu and Tange. At least the aforementioned have anchored their humor on comic situations instead of barren ideas. Moreover, constant references to Billy Crawford’s public disobedience, inebriation and transient incarceration smack of poor taste. Presinto, presinto, presinto. Crawford’s run-in with the law wasn't funny. It was't hip either. Otherwise, we might as well get uncontrollably drunk and maul a lady police officer – then we can all laugh about it, right? Hey, young punks! Let’s get drunk and smack a police man for harmless fun!

Why should people watch the movie? Their publicity drumbeaters proudly say, "Because the film teaches about family values." Isn't this a figment of fantasy? We have kids as young as 8 and 9 years old with doting, non-abusive fathers and seemingly contented mothers. Yet they'd rather denounce them, albeit very publicly, if I were to add, because they're stupid. Of course they had a change of heart when they realize that they're actually superheroes. But what values are we teaching our little ones? That love is conditional. We shall love our parents only if they're rich, successful or intelligent. The losers we shall cast away to the wind? I cringe at the thought of a society who accepts this line of thinking as valid measure of familial devotion. Have we forgotten the fifth commandment, that we "should honour thy father and thy mother"? This commandment is all encompassing and without a caveat. But just maybe, in Deramas' inane and fantastical world, elementary education doesn't have values education.

Were there even consequences for the children's cunning? Without them realizing that what they did was deplorable, these tykes shall grow up selfish pricks, opportunistic demons and greedy Philippine politicians. If I were their parents, I'd nip them in the bud and send them to Siberia, with Deramas as guardian, until they take real family values to heart.

Joy Viado’s role as Matteo Guidicelli’s romantic interest brings some comic moment. After all, Viado has mastered the art of self deprecation where her appearance is involved. Turning Viado into a romantic heroine is funny stuff, something that should have been realized early on by Emerson Reyes, the director of “MNL 143”, who huffed and puffed for the sake of artistic freedom when the Cinemalaya bigwigs balked at his idea to pair Viado with Allan Paule for a romantic drama; the conceit of arrogant rookie film makers who cannot be nudged to reconsider their stilted and pompous cinematic choices. Now wasn't that work forgettable? But I am digressing.  

Unlike other Wenn Deramas flicks, “Moron 5.2 The Transformation” doesn't have the requisite bloopers that get played at the closing credits. But this actually avoids redundancy. The whole movie is one big blooper.


Anonymous said...

Deramas is the gold standard in below sub par, vomit inducing, bottom of the barrel shittiness that's somehow manages to be called a movie. That's why those idiots in the last pic look so proud and happy.
They're proud to be part of a shitty Deramas exercise. Look at those proud faces. At least one of them has his sights on public office. Wow. Just Wow.

Welcome back Cathy!

- Juan

Cathy Pena said...

Haha! That's a big laugh. I thought I was the comedienne around here. :)

But yeah, look at those proud faces.