Thursday, July 31, 2014         


 Print   Email   Comment | View 0 Comments   Most Popular   Save   Post   Retweet

'Job' creates sympathy for ensnared murderers

By Mick LaSalle

San Francisco Chronicle


Type caption here

"On the Job" is a sturdy and sophisticated crime drama from the Philippines that takes a pretty gruesome situation and enriches its presentation with lots of human detail.

Crimes don't get much worse than this: Corrupt elements within the government are assassinating their rivals, using prisoners who are already in jail. They are covertly letting hit teams out on furlough. These teams commit the murders, and then they are sneaked back into prison. With airtight alibis, who would ever think of suspecting them? And the prisoners-assassins benefit by earning extra money and time off their sentences — it's win-win.

Not rated
Opens today at Pearlridge 16

(In English and in Tagalog with English subtitles)

It's the point of view that makes "On the Job" special. We follow a pair of assassins, as well as two honest cops on their trail, and the movie persuades us to sympathize with both sides. The assassins are sympathetic because they are pawns, and they have a certain tenderness, at least toward each other. The cops are sympathetic because they are on the bottom of the totem pole, trying to figure out the size and depth of the scandal. Both are victims of the people at the top.

Joel Torre gives the most memorable performance as an assassin and family man killing people all over the city because he wants to come home to his very attractive and much younger wife. He also needs money to put his daughter through law school, of all things. Pilo Pascual is very good as an up-and-coming political star, who has to choose between his ambition and his conscience.

"On the Job" has an assurance, a feeling of context about it — it just doesn't feel like the one lone good film in a bereft cinematic landscape. It makes you wonder what else is happening these days on Philippines movie screens.

 Print   Email   Comment | View 0 Comments   Most Popular   Save   Post   Retweet

You must be subscribed to participate in discussions
By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. Because only subscribers are allowed to comment, we have your personal information and are able to contact you. If your comments are inappropriate, you may receive a warning, and if you persist with such comments you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, email commentfeedback@staradvertiser.com.
Leave a comment

Please login to leave a comment.
Latest News/Updates
The Green Leaf
Marine debris art

Political Radar
`Toss up’

Political Radar

Political Radar
Hilton; Plaza Club

Political Radar
Direct mail

Political Radar
Direct mail