Movie Review: 10,000 Hours

A solid Philippine political action thriller

Amid a nationwide scandal involving the misuse of public funds in the Philippines comes this timely film called 10,000 Hours, a high-octane thriller whose story stems so close to the truth that it’s easily relatable, especially for Filipinos who are barraged by the media with non-stop revelations of corrupt politicians. It’s technically proficient and superior to most mainstream Philippine action films in recent memory, save Erik Matti’s On The Job (2013) which revived my interest in these type of movies altogether.

The plot is pretty straightforward: a senator (Robin Padilla) is forced to flee the country after a warrant is issued for his arrest on the day that he was about to deliver a speech unveiling a massive scam involving the president and several other politicians. He arrives in Amsterdam, where a Filipino expatriate (Carla Humphries) whom he had saved during his time as a police officer offers her shelter and provides details regarding an old police informer hiding in the city that could help clear his name and convict the corrupt officials. He’s also helped by a feisty news reporter in the Philippines (Bela Padilla), whose aid arrives just in the nick of time in his search for justice.

Directed by Bb. Joyce Bernal, the film is a solid political action thriller buoyed by a less over-the-top Robin Padilla (who has a tendency to overdo things), a surprisingly versatile Bela Padilla (not just eye candy), and a handful of decent supporting actors such as Humphries (who’s gorgeous by the way). It may not linger in the mind as much as On The Job, but it surely asks the same relevant questions.

I also really liked the way the film was shot, particularly during the scenes in Amsterdam. Yet I felt its usage of the ‘10,000 hours’ was downplayed. It served merely as a time marker and skipped dates randomly, which is probably its most disappointing aspect. But other than that it’s a good watch and perfectly recommendable.


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