Just two weeks into the new year, VivaMax has once again resorted to their usual formula. The film titled “Hugas” (which means “Wash” in English) lacks any meaningful context and instead relies on cheap wordplay to evoke a sensual tone. This is a clear indication that VivaMax is once again prioritizing sex appeal over substance, resulting in a mindless film that exaggerates its sexual content.
The story revolves around Al (Sean de Guzman) and Liezl (AJ Raval), a couple who are former gang members and recently married. Fed up with their criminal lifestyle, they decide to escape from their vengeful former boss, Dencio (Jay Manalo), without his consent. However, Dencio is determined to track them down, leading to a tense chase. Can the two lovers find a way to break free from their abusive circumstances?
This film reaches new levels of absurdity. One particular scene stands out, where the gang embarks on a bank heist, only to pause for an explicit sexual encounter between Sean de Guzman and Stephanie Raz, who portrays a bank teller. VivaMax’s obsession with explicit content is evident, as the film offers no substantial story or character development. It relies solely on occasional sex scenes to grab attention. The excessive use of such scenes has gone beyond being seductive; it’s simply repulsive.
Moreover, apart from Jay Manalo, the cast fails to deliver compelling performances. AJ Raval and Sean de Guzman appear awkward and wooden in their roles as criminals, and Raval, in particular, exposes the limitations of her acting skills. The only redeeming aspect of the film is Roman Perez Jr.’s vibrant and visually appealing cinematography. The director managed to make the visuals captivating and even incorporated unexpected creative shots. However, it is important to note that a film cannot be solely judged based on its visuals or explicit content. “Hugas” solely relies on surface-level aesthetics. The film attempts to criticize corrupt politicians while ironically engaging in a blatant robbery of the local film industry and the hard-earned money of viewers today.