In Focus: Gandarrapiddo! The Revenger Squad

In her final battle against Madman (RK Bagatsing), Gandarra (Vice Ganda) loses her memories. Her allies decide to adopt the villain’s son Chino (Daniel Padilla) and live a normal life to protect both the child and our hero from the forces of evil.

At the center of it all is Gandarra’s surrogate family. Aside from her four sidekicks and a kid named Juvee (Justin James Quilantang), she takes Chino as her own brother and later on reunites with her long-lost biological sister Cassey (Pia Wurtzbach). Her overbearing nature causes Chino’s rebelliousness. Her lack of attention drives Cassey into villainy. It’s their love for each other that allow them to triumph in the end. And the movie isn’t shy of driving that point over and over again.

In redefining the normative family, the film’s progressive message is very similar to Vice Ganda’s 2016 offering The Super Parental Guardians. Well and good, but both suffer from the persisting issue of family members treating each other like crap. That it’s a main source of laughs makes it even more problematic. Vice seems aware of this, even remarking in one scene for the sidekicks to stop hitting each other in front of Juvee.

That point aside, The Revenger Squad just isn’t a good film, with a plot as nonsensical as they come. Characters make the most illogical decisions. The main villain comes out of left field. There’s this running issue on fake news that doesn’t go anywhere. Besides Gandarra’s lipstick, most powers aren’t explained at all (like Kweenie’s).

Stellar visuals are expected from a superhero film. But sadly, special effects in this one are all over the place. There’s even a laughable attempt to mimic Quicksilver’s iconic scenes in the X-Men movies. Stunt work is either hit or miss.

All this being said, this is a Vice Ganda movie, and all Vice Ganda movies are watchable. There’s no question that he carries the film with his trademark quips and humor. I appreciate as well that through Vice, Pinoys are treated to a queer superhero after quite awhile. If only Gandarra were as fully fleshed out as Zsa Zsa Zaturnnah.

Random Notes (SPOILERS BELOW)

  • Karla Estrada’s role as Barna goes a long way back.
  • Chino didn’t recognize Gandarra as his adoptive sister? Really??
  • Chino getting fired is pretty justified. Yes, he wants to save the world but can’t keep a job.
  • Pia Wurtzbach fights really well, but her harness work is a bit unrefined.
  • Vic Sotto attempted a similar movie in 2016’s Enteng Kabisote 10 and the Abangers. It didn’t work for him, and it definitely didn’t work for Vice.
  • Loisa Andalio was given such a thankless role. Give the girl a break.

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