A ship of fools
Pablo A. Tariman (The Philippine Star) - April 10, 2012 - 12:00am

Film review: Moron 5 And The Crying Lady

MANILA, Philippines - Many things are very promising about the latest comedy movie titled Moron 5 and The Crying Lady by Wenn Deramas.

For once, there are no box-office queens (Ai-Ai delas Alas and Eugene Domingo) to guarantee a good box-office result. Instead, Wenn uses a versatile ensemble (Luis Manzano, Billy Crawford, DJ Durano, Martin Escudero and Marvin Agustin) as the Moron 5 and an unlikely transgender soloist (John Lapuz) as the Crying Lady.

In the first part of the movie, one can appreciate the irony in naming the Moron 5 after distinguished icons of humanities such as Albert Einstein (Manzano), Michelangelo (Escudero) and Mozart (Durano), among others. I cannot imagine Marvin as Aristotle but the actor can pull off a role from dying priest to insufferable moron with highly-convincing results.

Even their surnames came from past presidents from Marcos to Ramos to Estrada and Macapagal. The episodes involving those past presidents are virtual comic goldmine but there is no whiff of their past in the movie except their surnames.

One was ready for a laughter-filled voyage with Wenn’s ship of fools but there was something wrong where the wind was blowing or was it because the captain of the ship didn’t review his checklist of things to bring in this voyage?

The scenes featuring the young morons are hardly the kind you would allow your children or grandchildren to watch.

A teacher asks a student to define “kampante” and the student replies with the initial answer “maganda po kayo, Ma’am” (very good) and with the last line “pero wala po kayong panti” (E-e-e-w-w-w?) which got mixed reactions from the audience.

But we admit there are a lot of scenes in the movie which can make audiences roll on the floor with laughter.

The Moron 5 are in search of easy cash auditions for what they mistake for a TV talent search and realize later that the gig was for live macho dancing in a gay bar. They gamely did their production numbers and with no malice in mind, they received their cash without uncanny guilt of virtues lost.

To be fair, the Moron 5 ensemble delivered. As though their macho dancing was not enough, they were made to undress (as murder suspects) in a police lineup to the carnal delight of John who was a cross between Glenn Close and Judy Dench in the sarcasm department.

We submit that comedy is serious business and when all is said and done, it is the scriptwriter (Mel del Rosario) who must bear the brunt of supposedly comic lines not getting the comic reactions they deserve.

The film ends ala-Turandot where the deliverance of the Moron 5 will depend on how correct their answers are (a spoof of noontime shows?).

Moron 5 has its share of fun but towards the end, you get the impression that this was hastily put together to test a potentially promising box-office formula.

Even films about morons need basic intelligence and there is a lot of it in the movie venture. But in trying to extract laughter in every frame, it fails to capture morons for what they are.

But for the versatility of the Moron 5 ensemble, you get the unwritten lesson that perhaps, morons can appreciate life more than the so-called mentally gifted ones.

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