On the Job Blu-ray Review

     Actors: Piolo Pascual, Joel Torre, Joey Marquez, Gerald Anderson
  • Director: Erik Matti
  • Format: Blu-ray, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, THX, Widescreen
  • Language: Filipino
  • Subtitles: English
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Well Go USA
  • Release Date: February 11, 2014
  • Run Time: 116 minutes

            On the Job has the type of premise which is begging for a Hollywood remake, excitingly original content for a genre that has been overdone in many countries. The promise of this unique plot is wasted somewhat in the execution, mostly because this Filipino film chooses character study over action sequences. There are still some riveting moments within the film, but it ends with more of an introspective whimper than a bang.


            The story is split between two cops investigating a series of murders that suggest police corruption, while two convicts secretly carry out the tasks being investigated. If these were the only characters in this film, it would be a more concise narrative, but instead gets tripped up in layers of social, political and police corruption. This tends to detract importance from all of the protagonists, making each appear as little more than pawns in the grand scheme of the story.


            With the latest public assassination of a prominent drug dealer, police Sergeant Acosta (Joey Marquez) teams up with Federal Agent Coronel (Piolo Pascual) to figure out why their suspects continue to vanish. They are unaware that the hit team consists of two convicts (Joel Torre and Gerald Anderson) secretly released from prison long enough to carry out the assassinations, returning before their absence can be noticed by the oblivious prison guards. The mentor/apprentice relationship between the two jailed killers takes on more importance when one is scheduled to be released from prison after serving his time, especially when this will also result in termination from the job as a secret incarcerated hit-man.


            Though the corruption elements make all the rest of the plot points possible, it also tends to overshadow everything else more enjoyable in the storyline. I can already imagine how this would be altered in a remake, which seems inevitable with the success of the basic premise. The Blu-ray release of On the Job includes a making-of featurette, as well as deleted scenes and a trailer.  


    Entertainment Value: 7/10

    Quality of Filmmaking: 7.5/10

    Historical Significance: 7/10

    Disc Features: 5/10


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