I remember watching my first ever Panday movie, I was about 5 years old and Fernando Poe Jr. or FPJ as he is more popularly known was the dashing hero. Fast forward 30 years later and I am now 35 and Coco Martin is the dashing hero, or the poging tagapagligtas, according to him.
I never would have guessed it but Coco Martin’s take on Panday is one exhilarating, joyful, and roller coaster ride through different worlds of good and evil. There never was a boring moment in the theater as the pacing of the movie was fast. Coco Martin as a director is a revelation. The kid has a knack for directing. The actors were an absolute joy to watch, each and everyone of them was superb. All of them delivered, especially Jake Cuenca, he was so good as Lizardo, the villain. All those courses in the US was worth it.
The movie though, was not without its flaws. It kept jumping from subplot to subplot without ever solidly establishing the subplot and the characters in it. Some of them were, in my opinion, unnecessary to the story line such as the gay pageant and the revelation that Diego is gay. What does that have to do with the movie’s storyline? And speaking of fleshing out the characters, Flavio’s (Coco Martin) love interest, Maria (Mariel de Leon) didn’t have that much dialogue going on for her. She was (almost) just a wallflower in the movie. Why did Flavio like her? Just because she’s tall, beautiful, and sexy? Come on – that’s too shallow.
Given the flaws though, Ang Panday delivered lots of thrills and entertainment. The comedic timings were perfect and the action was jam packed. Despite the mini subplots, it still delivered a cohesive story when it comes to Flavio’s backstory. The CGI was really good, it blended well with the background that you can’t tell it was computer generated. The sceneries were astounding, you’d think they shot in different countries instead of just here in the Philippines.
Ang Panday is as good as it gets, just don’t go into the movie with a bloated expectation and you’ll be pleasantly surprised. After all, this is no Hollywood movie but a Filipino movie who is still into its toddlerhood and is still looking for its identity.