Vice Ganda films are a constant in modern MMFF. While they are oftentimes very shallow and derivative, these films are often the biggest box office draws of the film fest. Clearly, Vice Ganda’s appeal to the Filipino mainstream is undeniable.
This year, Vice takes as inspiration superhero movies, particularly Marvel’s The Avengers, with Gandarrapiddo: The Revenger Squad. Vice Ganda, Daniel Padilla and Pia Wurtzbach lead the film as Gandarra, Rappido and Kweenie, three superheroes caught up in familial dispute.
At the start of the film, Gandarra just defeated a supervillain, Madman, aiming for world destruction. The problem is, Gandarra’s sister, Kweenie, is in love with Madman and is promptly inflicted by an ancient evil named Mino to join the dark side. Madman’s toddler son, Rappido, was left orphaned by his father’s death, and so Gandarra decided to adopt him. After all of this, Gandarra had his head hit by a rock and soon after developed amnesia. Gandarra and his band of superhero friends, The Revengers, head to earth, hiding Rappido’s past from him, until his 21st birthday wherein he starts developing superpowers.
There’s no going around it. Gandarrapiddo is a stupid film. However, you don’t really go watch a Vice Ganda film and expect to have a deep experience. You go watch these kinds of films to get a laugh and hopefully have some lighthearted fun. Luckily, there are some funny moments in the film, mostly attributable to Karla Estrada, a member of The Revenger Squad, but the majority of the film is littered with corny jokes that have been repeated over and over again. Something that made me chuckle unexpectedly was Rapiddo’s squabble at Star City. It was an obvious recreation of Days of the Future Past’s Quicksilver scene, minus the excellent special effects of the X-Men film.
I can’t critique much from the movie. It’s a Vice Ganda film, you either love it or hate it. I could say that it’s a weaker film compared to last year’s Super Parental Guardians and last last year’s The Beauty and the Bestie. Gandarrapiddo’s story has little substance and is basically just a vehicle to deliver jokes.
It is mandatory for Vice Ganda movies to have a message so that the young audience would have something to take from it. Gandarrappido: The Revenger Squad promotes the message that family isn’t a blood issue. That is, you are family by choice, not by blood. At least that’s something great we can take from the movie.