Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Cesar Montano banks on resurgence of action films.

Following the success of the action movie “Manila Kingpin: The Asiong Salonga Story” in the recent Metro Manila Film Festival, producers are more confident that local action films are headed for a revival this year.

First to bet on the genre’s resurgence is action star Cesar Montano, who stars in the soon-to-be-released action flick “Hitman.”

Montano admits that the local audience’s waning interest in the genre has kept him from doing an action film for more than five years until the idea for “Hitman” came along.

Written, produced and directed by Montano, the film promises to have all the ingredients found in the blockbuster action films that Hollywood has continued to churn out.

The multi-awarded actor is all praises for his latest movie project, saying that it has high production values, tight editing, and multi-faceted characters with interesting back stories, something similar to Hollywood action films like “Collateral” and “Unknown.”

“Nowadays, Filipino moviegoers measure the value of local films against those made abroad. And I see the point: Why would I pay the same amount to watch a local film if Hollywood offers something better? So Filipino filmmakers must think in those lines in order to be viable and that is what I tried to do in ‘Hitman,’” Montano recently told reporters.

While admitting that Filipino films cannot compete with the multimillion-dollar production budgets of most Hollywood films, he points out that there are other elements that can make local films as effective and entertaining.

The story should have a heart and should offer a new twist, Montano said, adding that the cast should be a new combination.

“Hitman” tells the story of Ben (Montano), a hitman seeking revenge for the brutal deaths of his family committed by his employers. Along the way, he meets Gina (Sam Pinto), who compounds the situation and brings Ben to a crossroad.

“The story happens in just 48 hours with one scene vital to the next [so] that viewers can’t afford to miss out on any one,” Montano said.

The movie’s trailer has had people predicting that the actor’s latest film could very well set a new trend as far as local action films go.

He is certainly proud of his product and is considering fielding “Hitman” at international film festivals.

But more than prestige, Montano said he is happy to come home to a genre that is close to his heart; hopeful that longtime action fans would come out of the woodwork and rally behind “Hitman.”

“Handa na ang publiko ulit for action films. Meron ng pananabik ulit,” Mr. Montano said.

Joining Montano in the movie aside from Pinto are Phillip Salvador, Ricky Davao, Mark Herras, Joko Diaz, Diego Montano and Rommel Montano.

“Hitman” is produced by Montano’s CM Productions and is being distributed by Viva Films. It will open in theaters nationwide on February 22.


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