Before the film was shown, Tikoy Aguiluz requested the producers, through his lawyers, that his directorial credits in the film and promotional tools be removed because the final version of the film can no longer be described as his after the producers made a reedit, re-shoot and music mixing without his involvement. He also demanded that he be allowed to make a director's cut of the film. See more »
When I first heard about this film, the first film which came to my mind was The Godfather (1972) and I got excited that I wanted the holidays to end so I could finally watch it. "Manila Kingpin: The Asiong Salonga Story" is a really good film, though I hate to admit that it wasn't quite as satisfying as I thought it would be considering that they depicted the life of Asiong Salonga- the famous gang leader of Tondo back in the old days.
The director, and everyone behind the film, probably wanted to capture how it feels and what it looks like living back in the late 40's and early 50's, that's why they chose to make the film black and white. I have to commend the brains behind that idea because they were able to relive what I call "The Old Days". Watching the actors shoot their guns and drive those vintage cars just blew me away and it was like almost as if I was actually in that place where it happened!
I believe that without good actors, there can never be a great film. But there are always exception to the general rule. Looking at Jorge Estregan's acting skill, I think it was a mistake casting him as Asiong Salonga. Yes, we all know that he portrayed several antagonist characters in the past, but his experience, I'm afraid to say, just wasn't enough to make him fit for the role, thus, making him face humiliation from the audience. I also felt that his moves were stiff and the way he delivered his lines was not powerful enough to make everyone believe that he is Asiong Salonga. I was moved by Baron Geisler's performance, though. As an actor who portrayed famous antagonist characters on films and TV series as well, you can rest assured that he will never fail to deliver what is expected of him. Joko Diaz was good portraying a bad ass gang member, though there were times when I said to myself that: "He's just not as good as his father was". John Regala will always be John Regala- you'll hate him the moment you see him. That's just how good he is as an actor.
The action scenes were almost perfect had it not been for Jorge's lousy acting. I found some scenes funny rather than exciting, moving, astonishing, and worthy of my praise. The scene that made a mark to me was the battle scene in the rain (you saw it in the trailer). It was so good I had to stop breathing for a second to savor that epic moment. Overall, the movie "Manila Kingpin: The Asiong Salonga Story", though a bit short with good actors, is worth watching.
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