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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Mar 1, 2018

Sin Island Movie Review: Badly Written, Badly Directed Non-Thriller Where Only Natalie Hart Emerges Unscathed In Her Role As A Psychotic Female Faggot

GINO SANTOS, at 28, is one of youngest directors today. He started as an indie filmmaker with “The Animals” and “#Y”, then Star Cinema got him to do mainstream flicks like “Ex With Benefits” with Derek Ramsay and Coleen Garcia, “Love Me Tomorrow” with Piolo Pascual and Coleen, and now, “Sin Island” with Xian Lim and his signature actress, Coleen once again.

Sad to say, instead of getting better, his work seems to be getting from bad to worse, particularly in “Sin Island”, which starts as a credible drama about a couple having problems with their marriage then it suddenly turns into a cheap thriller ala-”Fatal Attraction” with Natalie Hart as an obsessed paramour, which just had another recent reincarnation in “Unforgettable” with Katherine Heigl as the obsessed woman.

The movie actually starts promisingly. David (Xian Lim) is an accomplished wedding photographer and his wife Kanika (Coleen), a flight attendant, seem perfect for each other. Unfortunately, Xian’s stupid assistant (McCoy de Leon) unintentionally sabotaged his career and he had to pay a newly married couple P10 million for accidentally destroying their wedding photos that cannot be replicated.

No one wants to hire him again and he goes bankrupt, wallowing in misery, with “loser” written all over him. He then becomes the “palamunin” of his own wife, who, in turn, becomes attracted to a good looking pilot (TJ Trinidad). Xian gets terribly jealous even if the affair between Coleen and TJ is never consummated. Obviously, it’s all a mere plot contrivance to give the movie some complications.

Xian goes to Sin Island (for Sinilaban) and meets Tasha (Natalie Hart), a seductive tattoed woman who’s doing yoga totally naked on the beach. It’s easy to deduce that they will end up where they shouldn’t be, in bed. Coleen then realizes she really loves Xian, follows him to the island, discovers that he cheated her with the help of Natalie, but then still forgives Xian. But Natalie is not about to let them go that easily.

As a drama, you’d at first think that it’s serious in its initial aim to show the disintegration of a marriage and how infidelity rears its ugly head, but then, the shift in tone that turns it into a very cheap and violent thriller mars everything that precedes it. As a piece of erotica, we’re afraid it also does not deliver quite successfully. It lacks steam and you just don’t get turned on. Something is missing and the sex scenes actually come across as very tame.

Both Coleen and Xian try hard to make an impression but their performances look perfunctory on screen, especially for Xian who doesn’t have any chemistry with both his leading ladies. It’s only Natalie Hart who seems to know that the best way to make this movie work is not to take it too seriously. She laces her portrayal of the psychotic Tasha with campy humor, especially when she pretends to Coleen that she left her panties with Xian after a night of lovemaking with him.

She knows her character is insane and she plays it from the start with a hint of incipient madness. Actually, we’re rooting for her to survive so that she can later run after the makers of this movie with gun and knife in hand to make them pay for making us suffer in watching this badly written, badly directed non-erotic sex flick and non-exciting thriller.