If the executives of "Eat Bulaga!" sat down together and decided to do a Christmas special, the result is "Enteng Kabisote 3: The Legend Goes on and on and on" ("EK3"). From characters fully aware they're in a movie, to painfully blatant product placements that's short of directly saying "This movie is brought to you by... ", the "Enteng Kabisote" franchise isn't much of a film than a merchandise. The box-office numbers don't lie. (By the way, the fact that this was recently awarded the Best Picture by the Metro Manila Film Festival committee doesn't anymore undermine the already dubious existence of the said organization.)
Like a noontime show gone to the silverscreen, "EK3" has barely a strand of plot that forces each cast member of "Eat Bulaga!" to have a role here, and which ties its various scenes work more like sketches for a gag show. A spin-off of the successful sitcom "Okay Ka Fairy Ko" which ran from the late 80s until the mid-90s (which in turn had also two film versions in the early 90s), the film continues the travails of Enteng (the irrepressible Vic Sotto), a simple mortal who married a fairy in Faye (played by Kristine Hermosa since "EK1").
Tired of her husband's womanizing ways and cheating his clients, Faye sends Enteng out of their house. Enteng realizes his mistake and decides to return home and apologize to his wife, but not before he and sidekick Jose (Jose Manalo) are swallowed by the ground and transporting them to another world. Soon they find themselves running from a skeletal pterodactyl, to being boiled alive by a tribe of hillbillies, to saving a race of Ewok-like beings.
Meanwhile, the fairy of all fairies and Faye's mother, Ina Magenta (Giselle Toengi) has her face accidentally transformed to look like Allan K (perhaps because Toengi was unavailable for much of the shooting schedule?) and her magical powers is slowly weakening. This concerns the Kingdom of Engkantasya since Ina Magenta has a scheduled duel with the evil fairy that's too aptly named Satana (Bing Loyzaga).
From a certain standpoint, there's not much in "EK3." As with the previous two installments, the visual effects are at par with the best our local digital artists can get but that's it. While there's a constant flow of slapstick humor that at least keeps one's interest afloat, director Tony Y. Reyes and the writers don't offer anything witty or inventive, and instead rely too much on the character's banters that are so self-referential anyone not fully familiar with the actors' shenanigans might find himself scratching his head. Sotto's performance isn't so much acting as being, well, Vic. And his blend of deadpan humor and everyman attribute contributes to most of the film's zing. But aside from that, everything feels derivative.
The narrative is so exhausted out before the movie even gets to its main point which takes so long. The fight scenes aren't that exciting and the style of slow-motion employed is distracting. Attempts to bring the franchise to space (with all references of "Star Wars" not so subtly placed) feel too arbitrary and doesn't add much to the plot.
"EK3" is definitely a love/hate kind of film; there's almost no middle ground. For it to work, either you're a kid, or a member of the built fanbase. Or you can leave all semblance of sanity out of the theater. If that still doesn't work, just accept it: it ain't made for us.
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