Were the effect not so exhausting, I might be tempted to say that the inuring effect of the endless violence is intentional. But the fighting is so nonstop (and increasingly clear in its cribbing from films like The Raid and Oldboy) and deliriously choreographed that it feels as if the film is trying to have it both ways, turning violence into a joyride even as it condemns it. Officers Manigan (played by Anne Curtis) and Rico (Brandon Vera) cut through swaths of gangsters and civilians alike in sequences that are essentially distinguished only by giant red time-stamps that track the passage of one night’s buy-and-bust operation.
Though the film becomes a slog, it has a saving grace in Curtis and Vera’s performances, which neatly complement each other in temperament as well as fighting styles. It’s also worth singling out Alex Calleja as the snitty gangster Teban, who offers a much-needed injection of comedy.