After its world premiere last July 15 (Sunday), rave reviews came in from international publications for Erik Matti‘s action-packed movie project. Buybust was chosen as the closing film at the New York Asian Film Festival. The film also had its Canadian premiere in the Fantasia Festival and Asian premiere in the Buncheon International Fantastic Film Festival last July 18.

Topbilled by the country’s multimedia sweetheart-turned-action star Anne Curtis, Buybust boasts of a powerful cast. This includes character actor and showbiz royalty Arjo Atayde. Among the cast members, Arjo has the role that’s kept a mystery to the viewing public. During the film’s presscon, Direk Erik Matti was quick to respond to a question from the press if Arjo’s villain role is similar to his iconic “Joaquin” character in primetime TV’s FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano. Matti said, “Surprise ‘yung role ni Arjo eh. Surprise!”

Well, more than just getting intrigued by Arjo’s new look in promo materials, we heard about his impressive performance in BuyBust. That one is no surprise. In fact, his acting prowess was once recognized by renowned acting coach Ivana Chubbuck herself. We were told that the Star Magic artist was previously encouraged to try it out in the Hollywood scene. Who knows, this movie role might lead to bigger things for our resident villain.

As of the moment, what we do know is that Arjo’s performance and the film as a whole have already been getting positive feedback. Here are some quotes from critics abroad:

“Arjo Atayde  is a great villain, with his monologue during the end being one of the highlights of the movie.” 

“BuyBust” is one of the best action films of the year and a must-see for all fans of the genre.”

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“Neil Derrick Bion’s camerawork along with Michael Español and Roma Regala’s production design amplify the fights choreographed by Sonny Sison. But Matti’s mise-en-scene is also impressive, as he plays with long takes and the witty use of music (baroque here, spaghetti Western Muzak there). Or the lack of it, which helps to highlight the actors’ grunts as fists meet flesh.”

“‘BuyBust’ is a superbly executed action film about drug squad members fighting for their lives in a maze-like Manila slum that resembles nothing less than hell on earth. Director and co-writer Erik Matti (“On the Job,” 2013) has delivered an explosive exercise in kinetic cinema that also offers potent commentary on the devastating social consequences of the Philippine government’s war on drugs. Following its world premiere at New York Asian Film Festival, ‘BuyBust’ will become a must-see item for genre fans. It looks certain to spark controversy and attract large audiences when it releases locally Aug. 1, and should enjoy a successful run in selected North American cities from Aug. 10.”

BuyBust opens in local cinemas on August 1, from VIVA Films and Reality Entertainment.

WATCH the official trailer:


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