Cavite - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Cavite Reviews

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½ June 13, 2013
Although the idea is intriguing, the presentation is disjointed and tedious.
Super Reviewer
May 4, 2013
In "Cavite," Adam(Ian Gamazon, who made this film with Neill Dela Llana), 32, works as a security guard in San Diego when he gets the call to return to his native Philippines. Along the way, he finds out that the worst place to find out his girlfriend is breaking up with him and intending to have an abortion is at a pay phone in an airport. Upon arriving in Manila, he finds himself in an episode of "Mission: Impossible" when he discovers a carefully placed cell phone and handset in his backpack. The voice at the other end of the line gives very detailed directions and, despite his karaoke aspirations, makes perfectly clear what will happen to Adam's sister and mother if Adam does not follow them to the letter.

Of all its early tone shifts, the one "Cavite" is not really aiming for is suspense, as it slowly and carefully dispenses information while showing off the Philippines to their worst advantage, much to the consternation of the local tourist council. As much as the movie wants to have something thoughtful to say on the local situation, one has to wonder whose side the movie is on, not just politically, but also philosophically, especially with a protagonist as feckless as Adam.(Anytime someone uses a specific age north of 30 in a movie is not out to be kind.) The kidnapper uses homophobic slurs, not so much to be hateful, but as a way of going after Adam's masculinity while also questioning the level of his beliefs. And as much as the movie wants to shock us with racism in the epilogue, I am pretty sure nobody has ever said those exact words before.
November 15, 2011
Focusing on the bag thief eating McDonald's while the mark was in the bank was a great way to break the tension and get around filming inside the bank. It's incredibly stupid that he didn't give the phone number to a police officer though, especially after he got the money. I know he is a security guard and not a negotiator, but he could have at least got one of his relatives back by refusing to hand over the money. So gullible, he is in good company with his dim girlfriend; "I can't have a Muslim baby" Like superstitions are inherited? Decent guerrilla film-making, would make for a good remake.
July 25, 2011
Adam, a young filipino-american, travels to the Phillipines for his dad's funeral. When he arrives, he discovers that is mother and daughter have been kidnapped and if he doesn't do exactly what the kidnappers say, they will be killed. Adam is wrapped up in a terrorist plot in Cavite, and the terrorists lead him via phone throughout the streets making him do what they deem necessary. Cavite is a low budget film shot entirely with hand-held digital cameras that are constantly moving. The actor playing Adam is pretty bad but the film does a pretty good job of dissecting the terrorist ideologies through a character that has become Americanized.
½ September 7, 2010
A real indie film (look and feel) about a American Muslim Filipino who goes to the city of Cavite in the Philippines only to be used by a terrorist group to carry out a mission. It is a political thriller with a bit of documentary thrown in. It makes you think.

The movie is jarring visually and shows parts of the Philippines society that you normally don't hear about. True indie film making.
½ December 29, 2009
This movie did for me and the Philippines what Hostel did for me and Eastern Europe........

Ya I wanna travel but not those 2 places ..........
½ December 25, 2009
I know I am late doing this. But I am still compeled to make a comment. I have visited Manila, and Cebu. I am an American married to a Filipina. This is a reality most Americans never see unless they have been in the military or peace corps and spent time in the P.I. I have walked around in squatters camps and personally smelled the stinch or the garbage in some streets. Yet the Filipino people survive and can be very friendly to visitors to their country. In the US we are very material minded. Therefore facing reality is not something we are mature enough to accept. We take for granted all we are blessed with. Surprising that even when you ride a jeepney. You can pass your fare from one rider to another and nobody tries to keep or steal the fair. They like many Mexican people are extremely hard working people. They are frank to the point and do not play games like many other people from other countries (like ours) do.
½ December 16, 2009
I believe this movie is from a Filipino-American but well, it's worth mentioning that it's a good thing to even have a true Independent movie like this circling around. 99% of cinema that comes from the Philippines are either watered down saccharine 3rd rate ripoffs of Hollywood movies that sucked in the first place OR soft porn, and it's cool to have a movie that takes some sort of risk. Getting in touch with my roots via film without wanting to shoot myself is also a plus. With that said, Cavite falls on its own no-budget sword, resorting to tired old cliches and nauseating visuals.

So this dude Adam comes back home to the Philippines for his dad's funeral and finds out his mom and sister are being held hostage by the Abu Sayyaf. The first 15 minutes or so were okay and I expected a sobering look into contemporary urban life in the Philippines, but instead it becomes an episode of Ghetto 24, a fast-paced point A to point B type Thriller that's as disorienting as it is uninteresting and unbelievably hokey in its execution. Along Adam's journey into whereeverthehell to save his family, various facets of Philippine life are conveniently presented, like a travelogue wrapped in the ludicrous plot. Have you ever wondered why we drink soda in plastic bags? What does Balut taste like (answer: contrary to what the movie says, it's delicious)? How do people live in these riverside squatter camps? What do they think of cockfighting? This movie could not have answered these questions in a more painfully obvious way. I actually liked the ending a bit, though.

Other things I did not like: some of the worst acting this side of Gran Torino, even worse dialogue, really bad camera tricks that obscure the action more than giving a documentary feel, braindead but weirdly omnipresent treatment of the terrorists. There was so much to potentially love about Cavite that it genuinely hurts me to say that this was one of the worst movies I've seen in a really long time
December 3, 2009
This is by far the worst eighty minutes to sit through. The acting is so poor and off-target. Considering Gamazon is the only seen actor for most of the film, he doesn't command or maintain audience attention. Well not mine, at least.

This plays like a poorly edited, really long short, than a feature film--as it's more of a vignette than what that generously exaggerated description of a feature film the above synopsis portrays.

The best part was the visual effects of the opening credits. It's exciting, off putting, frightening, and intriguing. Sadly, thirty seconds in the beginning cannot save the eighty-minute root canal this film is.

I pray for better Filipino /Filipino-American cinema. Cavite is a misstep in the right direction.
April 14, 2009
While I appreciated the effort by the director and his crew to portray a raw view of the slums of the Philippines, the acting wasn't great and the plot seemed a bit far fetched. In essence, the fim is uncensored and raw but it unfortunately repules its viewers through its mean and critically honest portrayal of those living in the slums.
½ February 22, 2009
Great, minimalistic psychodrama. Gripping, relevant & creepy as hell.
December 20, 2008
It's nothing but running around and doing nothing. I mean nothing! The acting is not good and nothing really happens. The low buget part of the film is probably the best part of whole moive. Don't waste your time with this; skip it. Poor Job done
½ November 30, 2008
That was really raw. I loved how stark the Philippine reality is in the film. Sometimes it's pretty obvious where the film makers had to compromise, but overall, it was good. I mean, only two people made this with $7000. Wonder what they can accomplish with a bigger budget?
September 4, 2008
Very very shitty acting, but a gripping story. Culture and povery of the Philppines are shown without censorship or glamor
August 31, 2008
they tried. emulates interesting filmmaking, but can't quite pull it off.
½ August 17, 2008
This is what I'd call real guerilla filmmaking..shoestring budget of 7grands, hand-cams, one of the crew members doubling up as the cast, shooting in the back-alleys and slums of the Philippines..this was one heckuva thrilling ride. Several moral issues were well addressed and questions our own beliefs and attitudes to certain things. The Hindi remake is Aamir, which I would also recommend and has been Indianized effectively enough to cater to the Hindiphiles. Cavite definitely warrants a watch and NO, not on cable or the Net but at least once on the big screen.
½ August 9, 2008
Pretty thrilling there for a while..then is a bit of a let down..but I found myself thinking about the film the next day.. which I guess is a good sign..
½ August 1, 2008
It's almost like Die Hard With a Vengeance but with a much rawer look, zero-budget and a family being taken hostage instead of a city but it's much more tense.
July 1, 2008
I own this movie,,but I haven't had the time to watch it yet
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