[Movies] Where did the laughs go?

THE FIRST IS BETTER u2014 a common reaction of fans after watching this sequel.

THE FIRST IS BETTER u2014 a common reaction of fans after watching this sequel.

MANILA, Philippines - Whatever appeal or aplomb there was in the 2009 sleeper hit Kimmy Dora: Kambal sa Kiyeme is hardly present in the 2012 sequel, Kimmy Dora and the Temple of Kiyeme.

Lead star Eugene Domingo, who comes off as at least 80% funny bone, remains a considerable performer, believable as she is in portraying the movie’s titular twins. But while the now huge star nicknamed “Uge” manages to flesh out the two distinctive main characters, the flick itself is comparatively half-baked and, for a comedy, bereft of laughfests.

Expense was not exactly spared as some 40% of the movie is set and was shot in South Korea, featuring not just several of the pivotal cast members but also a good helping of Korean actors. (Cameos by Kris Aquino, her ex-future-sis-in-law Liz Uy, John Lapus and a rather pointless one by Marvin Agustin probably did not come dirt-cheap either.) 

However, the South Korean plot point, concerning K & D’s ancestral lineage and some supernatural retribution, come off as unconvincing and unnecessary, the scenes set in Kimchi Country being rewarding merely for affording viewers the sight of an altogether different, snowy locale. (While we’re at it, no one bothered to draw a Kimmy-kimchi gag amid all this.)

Perhaps the apex of how underwhelming Temple of Kiyeme is involves a halfway-through scene where (spoiler alert) three of the supporting male characters are hospitalized, caught as they are in an identical, wide-eyed and open-mouthed trance. (Parents, a warning: Several moments here are too scary for young kids, thus the PG-13 rating.) The scene’s cinematography calls for a single tracking shot across each of the unmoving, unblinking dudes. The second of the three characters gets shown and just as the camera is panning towards the third guy, boom, Actor No. 2 suddenly moves his eyes to check if he’s no longer on cam!

Faux pas are a given in shooting movies and this one could have been milked for craziness, say by making the two other actors copy the same blooper and thus really screw up with the audience’s minds. That it ended up being a genuine mishap that was kept in the movie (was the actor in question really unavailable for another take?) is face-palm confounding.

Perhaps had there been a lot more kuwela with this edition of Kimmy Dora, that visual no-no could be overlooked in the Pinoy sense of magnanimity. In the end, sitting through this whole shebang might compel you to score Domingo’s winsome 2011 Cinemalaya winner Ang Babae sa Septic Tank (which, like the two Kimmy Dora flicks, was scripted by Chris Martinez) — to, uh, clean your brains and eyes of any of the newer Kiyeme’s residue. - Rappler.com


(Read Aristotle Cruz's review of the same movie here.)

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