35 user 36 critic

Cavite (2005)

Not Rated | | Thriller | 12 March 2005 (USA)
Flying back to his home country, an American man is informed that his mother and sister have been kidnapped and will be killed if he doesn't comply with certain demands.

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Cast overview:
Ian Gamazon Ian Gamazon ... Adam
Edwin Lagda Edwin Lagda ... Running Man - Adam's Dad / Alleyway Victim
Edgar Tancangco Edgar Tancangco ... Adam's Father
Norma Tancangco Norma Tancangco ... Adam's Mother
Quynn Ton Quynn Ton ... Little Sister
Mariza Levario Mariza Levario ... Arguing Voice (voice)
Neill Dela Llana Neill Dela Llana ... Arguing Voice / Alleyway Assassin
Dominique Gonzalez Dominique Gonzalez ... Dana
Ryan Lagda Ryan Lagda ... Little Boy Thief / Kidnapped Kid
Nestor B. Casilis Nestor B. Casilis ... Terrorist with Gun
Rico V. Lagda Rico V. Lagda ... Kidnapped Kid
Robert Sanque Robert Sanque ... Thug in Bathroom
Joven F. Abrenica Joven F. Abrenica ... Thug in Bathroom
Solita R. Nadal Solita R. Nadal ... Woman on Cell Phone


Adam, a security guard, travels from California to the Philippines, his native land, for his father's funeral. He arrives in Manila. As he waits, a phone rings in his backpack; he answers it, and a male voice tells him that his mother and sister are captives and will be killed if Adam doesn't cooperate. Over the next hour, the voice sends Adam by bus, taxi, motorized tricycle, and on foot through an urban landscape of busy streets, cramped apartments, a fetid squatters' camp, a bank, a cockfighting arena, and a church. Adam's conversations with the voice cover murder, Islam, jihad, rebellion in Mindanao, and his family. What is it Adam will be commanded to do? Will he acquiesce? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Deliver unspeakable terror or lose everyone you love...




Not Rated


Official Sites:

Official site


Philippines | USA


English | Filipino | Tagalog

Release Date:

12 March 2005 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Мобила See more »

Filming Locations:

Noveleta, Cavite, Philippines See more »


Box Office


$7,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$16,124, 28 May 2006

Gross USA:

$70,071, 6 August 2006
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Gorilla Films See more »
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Technical Specs


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User Reviews

Provocative and insightful gem
6 January 2007 | by for-vickySee all my reviews

Cavite, in its simplicity, is a provocative and insightful gem. This movie adeptly presents the complexities of culture and nationalism using parallels and metaphors interwoven in a culture few will encounter. The story's plot is simple enough- an Americanized Filipino American (Adam) whose life is in chaos returns to the Philippines to attend his fathers funeral, but instead, embarks on a horrific rescue mission to get his ransomed mother and sister back from the Abu Sayyaf, an extremist Muslim group. The violent tension in this movie is subtle and below the radar, but keeps the viewer watching. But it is the emotional tension- the play with expectations that breaks from being predictable; the killer who loves love songs, has a reassuring voice; Adam, the victim, is a non-violent Muslim; the grinding poverty and Adam's naivete; the kid who steals for the Abu Sayyaf steals to eat McDonalds. The backdrop of the plot is the forced education of Adam to a culture he has had no connections to. While for many Filipinos, this can be tedious, the depth of the movie begins to beg the question- who are the real hostages, and what will we do to save them.

That the movie has a circular plot- it ends where it begins but with a twist- leaves the viewer forced to contemplate the significance, which can be profound, "dangerous" as some have described, but open to interpretation. This can be troubling to some who want to see movies that require no thought.

Cinematically, the movie is remarkable, low budget or not. The shots are insightful and capture the reality of everyday life in a town greatly affected by poverty. One can almost smell the diesel fumes, the odors in the market and feel the tension of desperation. Because this is the personal story of Adam, a home-video feel to the footage adds to the credibility that this is his story.

Most mainstream thrillers have something in their plot that is implausible, and this one is no exception- the everpresent killer, and that there is a Filipino who doesn't know what balut is.

It is unfortunate the cover and sub-title imply Cavite is a Sylvester Stallone no-brainer which makes me wonder whether the brilliance of this movie was a result of the directors' intention. In any case, this movie is worth viewing for its creative display of a complex subject- but with a caveat- this movie presents a picture that is not characteristic of all life in the Philippines- something few viewers will take into account. This isn't the responsibility of the directors, however. It speaks to the fact that there are too few Filipino filmmakers.

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