'The Escort' Review: Cheap thrills
Enzo Williams’ The Escort is an awfully dated movie.
As explained in the various voice-overs throughout the movie, Xyruz (Derek Ramsey), manager of a high-end escort agency who is himself an escort, never expected to fall in love with Yassi (Lovi Poe), a supposedly virtuous lass he lures into the lucrative world of love-for-hire. But he does, and he does so in the most tedious and uninteresting of ways.
The Escort imagines itself as a great romance.
It thinks that it has an endearing story about a man and a woman who find love in a hopeless place. It’s not. It is however a confused and confusing narrative that attempts to go to as many places as possible except that it doesn’t really arrive anywhere. The ludicrous love story is the center of the movie, and moving around it are side plots that expose how derivative the entire thing is.
Yassi, as it turns out, catches the eye of wealthy widower Gary Montenilla (Christopher de Leon). She is religiously wooed and wowed until lines are blurred, making her blossoming relationship with Xyruz vulnerable to divided attractions. Gary also has a rich benefactor in the person of the two-timing wife (Jean Garcia) of a corrupt mayor who is languishing in jail. (READ: In 'The Escort,' Lovi, Derek and Christopher navigate complicated relationships)
The characters’ convoluted relations eventually merge midway, resulting in clashes and confrontations that are so predictable, they never really amount to any real tension or excitement. The movie also squanders all opportunities to graduate the material into anything other than a collection of troubling clichés. It is lazily structured, with all its bits and pieces falling together in the most conventional of fashion.
Sure, it is easy entertainment, if one’s idea of entertainment involves a half-baked and unrealistic romance that is wrapped around a witless milieu. Its portrayal of women is deplorable, relegating them as either virginal prudes or jokes.
It’s also been done before, and more importantly, without the distracting glitter. At least, when this type of soulless diversion was being produced in droves decades ago, the sole aim was unabashed titillation. There was absolutely no pretense of quality.
The Escort however aspires to be unrestricted entertainment, to be enjoyed by the public the same way they enjoy a run-of-the-mill rom-com. It creates spectacle, displaying characters who drive the fanciest cars and take vacations in the most luxurious of beach resorts without rhyme or reason except that the movie looks better with its attractive leads cavorting in places that are as attractive as them.
The spectacle however is barren. The purpose is just to make the entire picture easy on the eyes, making its goal of peddling escapism at the expense of any real substance easier.
Empty and repugnant
The Escort is as empty as it is repugnant. Shot with the fanciest of sets and regal gloss, the movie looks and feels like the pathetically simplistic escorts it so merrily exploits for easy love and very cheap thrills. – Rappler.com
Francis Joseph Cruz litigates for a living and writes about cinema for fun. The first Filipino movie he saw in the theaters was Carlo J. Caparas' 'Tirad Pass.' Since then, he's been on a mission to find better memories with Philippine cinema.