Maria (2019) - Philippines
Reviewed by Andrew Chan (Film Critics Circle of Australia)
There is a lot of lingering problems with the Netflix released Filipino film “Maria”, despite the obvious femme fatale premise and “John Wick” obvious inspiration, the action film is only mildly entertaining, uninteresting characters to follow and not to mention bland directing. The leads are attractive, especially Cristina Reyes who plays the title character and avenger for the death of her family. The film lacks a decent story to follow and the action sequences that follows end up being empty. It’s a shame as I tried to focus on the martial arts and shooting of heads, but in the end, it’s far too incoherent to care for any of the characters.
Cristina Reyes plays the headline role with plenty of physical scenes, but falls short of being memorable and providing a crucial presence that is largely missing for this actioner. Likewise, key villain and former love interest Germaine De Leon remains a bland and uninspiring choice. Jennifer Lee and Cindy Miranda turns up to spice up the heat, but adds zero to the character development or plot. Perhaps the best acting comes in the form of Ronnie Lazaro, who play the former assassin turned bar owner, that ends up being Reyes only support.
All in all, “Maria” comes up lacking in all department and it’s a big shame as pretty faces, girls kicking asses are an easy sell at least on Netflix. Director Pedring Lopez fails to ignite any sort of energy into the film, despite some gruesome fight scenes and torture sequences. There is really nothing new here and films like these at least need to be entertaining. Those expecting “Kill Bill” or “John Wick” in skirts will be left disappointed.
I rated it 5/10