Movie review: Jack Em Popoy more credible than Vic and Coco's previous entries

January 04, 2019
Maine Mendoza , Vic Sotto and Coco Martin
Maine Mendoza , Vic Sotto and Coco Martin

VIC Sotto's filmfest entries before were all sloppily-made fantasy comedies but still, people flocked to them. After Vice Ganda started eclipsing him at the box office, he’s been trying to come up with more sensible filmfest entries like “My Little Bossings” with Kris Aquino in 2013 and “My Bebe Love” with AlDub love team in 2015.

In 2016, he gave Enteng Kabisote one last try in “The Abangers” and it became obvious that Enteng has really lost its magic as it was buried in the avalanche of Vice Ganda’s highly successful “Super Parental Guidance”. Both films were rejected by Metro Filmfest screening committee so they were actually shown before the festival proper.

Last year, he did “Meant to Beh” that is a fairly entertaining family comedy with Dawn Zulueta but still clobbered by the entries of Vice Ganda and Coco Martin. His entry this year, which pairs him now with Coco and with Maine Mendoza, is “Jack Em Popoy: The Pulis Credibles”. This offers a truly different and fresh casting combination of stars from the two top rival networks.

It’s a case of “Eat Bulaga” meets “Ang Probinsyano”. It works even better than Vic and Coco’s entries in last year’s filmfest, “Meant to Beh” and “Ang Panday”, with its more engaging storyline involving the three leads as they engage in serious daddy issues about missing fathers and adopted babies which was well integrated into the narrative.

It’s still far from being perfect and flawless, but we’re glad that the use of senseless gags and silly off-putting jokes they rampantly resort to before in the “Enteng Kabisote” franchise have been consciously minimized. Vic plays his real age as the dad of Maine Mendoza, but there’s a twist here that gives him the chance to do some sensitive dramatic scenes that, in fairness to him, he was able to handle very well.

In the case of Coco Martin, he turns on his full star wattage with his charming and dashing best as a dedicated cop who fights a drug syndicate alongside with Vic and Maine. He also gets to do some pa-cute singing and dancing scenes when he joins a contest in the movie that’s a segment in “Eat Bulaga”. As an action star ala-”Probinsyano”, he’s given the chance to do many obligatory daring stunts and fight scenes in his many action sequences.

Maine is also quite endearing as the dutiful daughter and likewise gets to acquit herself in both her comedy and action scenes. She is without her perennial ka-love team, Alden Richards, in this movie and this certainly will boost her stock as a solo artist not depended on a love team. Providing good support as the bad guys are Ronaldo Valdez, Tirso Cruz III, Ryza Cenon and Arjo Atayde.

The movie will surely also cater to action fans as it tries to bring back the hard slambang action scenes done during the heydays of Lito Lapid (who makes a guest appearance) and the late FPJ where there is a big body count from all the gunfights. It’s all very commercial, but thanks to Mike Tuviera’s fine direction, we can honestly say that is one of Vic’s better action-comedies to date.