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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.

Dec 15, 2019


vic sotto & maine mendoza

vic, pokwang, maine and jake cuenca

MAINE MENDOZA is happy to be reunited with Vic Sotto in the Metro-Manila Filmfest entry, “Mission Unstapabol: The Don Identity”.

“I’ve worked with him before in ‘My Bebe Love’ and ‘Jack Em Popoy’ na tatay ko siya, also in ‘Daddy’s Gurl’, pero dito sa ‘Mission Unstopabol’, iba naman ang story. First time ko ring makasama sa movie sina Pokwang and Jake Cuenca na tagakabilang network,” says Maine.

“Mission Unsopabol” is a heist-action-comedy directed by Mike Tuviera, reminiscent of such heist films as “Ocean’s 11” and “Ocean’s 8”. The major characters are all named Don.

Vic Sotto is Don Robert, the gang’s leader who plans the heist; Pokwang is Don Zulueta, a magician; Jake Cuenca is Don Johnson, a wrestler; comedian Jelson Baby is Don Keykong, a car racer;  and Maine is Don Na Cruz, an expert computer hacker.

Their mission is to steal the Pearl of the Orient, the biggest pearl in the world which is owned by Vic’s estranged brother, Benjie Fortun played by Jose Manalo, who has wronged him before by implicating him in a heinous crime that he didn’t commit.

Vic now wants vindication and also wants to clear his name in the process. It’s really nice to see Vic in a different kind of role like this, which is far from the Enteng Kabisote comedies that were his perennial entries in several film festivals.

“I enjoyed working with the whole gang,” says Maine. “Lagi kaming masaya sa set, kasama na rin si Wally Bayola who plays the assistant of Jose Manalo na ginagaya si Dimples Romana as Daniela with her red dress and luggage in tow.

"Hindi lang ito comedy as we did a lot of action scenes here as we plot out to steal the big pearl from a fortress-like building na puno ng security measures.”

The movie also stars Tonton Gutierrez, Lani Mercado, Max Collins, Clint Bondad, Pekto, Dino Pastrano and Sarah Lahbati. In the end, “Mission Unstapabol” also delivers a touching and valid message that is valid for the Christmas season as it stresses the importance of family, forgiveness and love.

Maine is now more open about her relationship with Arjo Atayde. When asked if she’s willing to be paired with Arjo in a movie, she said she’s open about the possibility. “He’s writing now a story for the two of us,” she adds. “Nagpo-produce na rin siya so baka he might also produce it for us.”

How about her working again with her former ka-love team, Alden Richards? “Okay rin sa’kin but as of now, malayo pang mangyari yan. Hintayin na lang natin ang tamang panahon at ang tamang material para sa amin. As of now, we both need to grow on our own.”

What’s her Christmas wish for Alden? “Sana, lagi lang siyang masaya. He deserves to be happy.”

She seems very comfortable now with Arjo and his family that she even had dinner with them in their place.

“Napag-usapan lang po before, kasi hindi na po nasundan nung na-meet ko ‘yung parents sa bahay nila, and nasakto pa ‘yung two movies na ginagawa ko, tapos nagse-segue ako, so parang sinabi ko lang kay Arjo na ‘ito na, may free time na, so lika na, dinner na tayo,’ kaya natuloy rin.”