Three years after its successful stint at the Metro Manila Film Festival, Praybeyt Benjamin returns with old tricks that is self-conscious about its intention which is, plainly, just to rake money from the audience. And it doesn’t bother to feel sorry for being that way.
In Praybeyt Benjamin 2, Benjie comes back as a famous celebrity who saved the world from a zombie apocalypse. With success getting on in his head, he becomes arrogant and irresponsible, leading him to fail one of his biggest assignments. This mishap puts him under the disciplinary action of the commanding officer, General Wilson Chua (Richard Yap).
Benjie’s task is to gain the trust of a spoiled brat named Bimby (played by Bimby Aquino-Yap), the General’s child who grew up with his terrorist mom (played by Kris Aquino), who is the sole person who knows the location of the bombs planted by the terrorists.
Presenting a series of pop culture references that pokes fun at the lead, or other people, more particularly Kris Aquino, Praybeyt Benjamin 2 never attempts to create a strong, well-put narrative.
If you’re familiar with the kind of jokes they make in Showtime and Gandang Gabi Vice, this film is exactly like that. It is a compilation of jokes you’re already seeing in the TV everyday, only it is packaged as a film.
In essence, the film tells that a child’s feelings is superior to the life of thousands of people who are at risk due to bombing. At some point, Benjie even says to Yaya Gandina (Alex Gonzaga) how the film’s loophole could easily end the film by doing the basic thing but then it just proceeds with leading on the audience. The film tries to make fun of this truth, also possibly poking fun at the viewers who watched their silly film.
With regard to technicalities, the movie also fails through and through. The action stints are not well crafted, the visual effects are obviously rushed, and the deliberate dance number, which is ridiculous, is present, too.
The only charm this film probably tries to pull off are the eye candy characters they carefully selected: Richard Yap, Tom Rodriguez, Kean Cipriano, a few cameo roles, and the countless other attractive men. This, however, doesn’t make up for the horrible storyline they came up with.
By the end of it, Benjie tries to make a statement by promising to have more time with his family only to be broken later on when he sees a good looking man in the form of James Reid. These things are meant to be funny, exciting even, but in reality, they aren’t.
Ultimately, the success of this franchise isn’t more about what the viewers find to be a good film, it is more on what they deem to be funny.