Ang Darling Kong Aswang (Tony Reyes, 2009) May 17, 2010Posted by Richard Bolisay in Asian Films, MMFF, Noypi.
Directed by Tony Reyes
Cast: Vic Sotto, Cristine Reyes, Jean Garcia, Agot Isidro
In Vic Sotto’s universe, Vic Sotto is the most handsome man. Even the most gorgeous of women acknowledges that. His leading ladies are head over heels in love with him, and they are more than willing to marry him and have his kids.
How about other men? Well, he must be surrounded by dorks for emphasis. You know, Richie D’ Horsie, Jose, Wally, Jimmy Santos, the funny guys. In his universe, men who are better-looking than him are bad guys. In the case of Ang Darling Kong Aswang, there is Rafael Rosell. He also likes Cristine Reyes, but she likes Vic Sotto-the skinny mortal better. Rafael, however brawny and good-looking he is, doesn’t come close to Vic’s charm. He is a hopeless case compared to Vic, and damn, Rafael is a bad vampire. Bad people in this type of films are never rewarded with anything except death. So he dies—not that you don’t expect that, of course—and Vic lives in the end, happily ever after, as so-called family films are so fond of.
If your expectations are next to nothing, Ang Darling Kong Aswang would turn out to be one satisfying film. Because it really is. Not because it tries much, but because it isn’t really trying anything. It is effortlessly narrow, but some sequences pay off because they are funny—pure and simple. The slapsticks that work kick with relish, while the boring stuff happen when your eyes are closed. That quick. Aswang clichés are left and right, especially in the opening sequence that is almost comparable to Saving Private Ryan’s intensity, except that no one will take that comparison seriously. Its notions on heterosexual relationships are trite, and it’s the same old faces of Vic Sotto, Joey de Leon, and the gang since Okay Ka Fairy Ko and Eat Bulaga making fun of each other.
You ask, what changed? The leading ladies, of course! Younger faces are chosen to keep up with Bosing. And countless closeups of Cristine Reyes’ face too! Whenever Cristine feels bad about her life, seriously, she should just watch this film and be reminded that she’s pretty. That’s one purpose of the film perhaps. It’s not too bad after all; in fact it’s so good, it’s almost incredible. Its humor has this cool timing that no matter how unoriginal it is, it still sounds fresh. Plus the fact that they are able to relate Boy Bawang and Liver Spread to the aswang myth, or the pun on “full moon” as “pulmon”, or the idea that not all aswangs are light-resistant, well, if it isn’t corny it isn’t fun.
For Vic Sotto fans, this one’s a treasure. But for those who are not, this is just one of those ridiculously enjoyable spinoffs of his previous exploits worthy of a peek.