The Panday series is one of the country’s biggest film
franchises. Taken from Carlo J. Caparas’s popular comics series in the
1970s, Panday has been immortalized in the Filipino mind as its own
legendary hero, one who is destined to save mankind from eternal evil.
The first Panday movies in the early 1980s, starring Fernando Poe Jr.,
were big hits. This led Ramon “Bong” Revilla, Jr. to revive the series
in 1993, and again in 2009.
The 2009 film Ang Panday was the top grosser in that year’s Metro
Manila Film Festival. It was also the festival’s Best Picture, and won
the Best Actor award for Bong Revilla.
This is why Panday 2, the sequel to the 2009 hit, had the potential to
become the top-grosser in this year’s MMFF, and that it will also win
some of the top awards.
Directed by Mac Alejandre and produced by GMA Films, Ang Panday 2 starts
where the last one left off: Flavio (Bong Revilla) is about to be
married to Maria (Iza Calzado), after defeating Lizardo (Phillip
Salvador). But a greater evil resurrects Lizardo, and chaos reigns
Flavio is again called to fulfill his messianic destiny by
wielding the powers of his sword, but does this destiny come with a
Ang Panday 2 only came second to Enteng ng Ina Mo in ticket sales, and it
only won two awards: Best Festival Visual Effects, and Best Festival
It is quite disappointing that Ang Panday 2 wasted its potential.
When the film started, viewers were presented with a good and
important plot point: Flavio is being too reliant on the sword,
implying that he can’t fight without it. The resurrected Lizardo even
order his troops to take the sword from Flavio.
This introduces a new conflict for the film–that Flavio has to learn
to trust himself, that he can fight and defeat evil even if the sword
is not in his hands.
Too bad that all this focus on the sword throughout the whole film is
ignored in the climax. Lizardo was able to steal the sword, but Flavio
easily regains it by raising his hands.
The wasted plot point could have injected life into the film, by
introducing vulnerability into a seemingly invincible protagonist.
The problem that lies in a film with an invincible protagonist is that
the epic fight scenes lose tension, because the viewers know the hero
faces no risk from harm or death.
Aside from this, the whole film’s storytelling also lack focus. If
Flavio’s fiance’ has been kidnapped and may face death, why does Flavio
spend two whole days in the kingdom of dragons, seemingly doing
The addition of humor into every scene deter the film’s potential to
be a serious epic. When a scene calls for a serious sentiment, why try
to make the viewers laugh?
This diffuses the tension. The over-the-top
acting from Benjie Paras, the film’s chief comic, is also not too
But even with these problem, the whole film and the fight scenes are
still worth watching due to the exceptional production design and
visual effects, helmed by Richard Somes and Riot Inc.
Hopefully, the makers of Ang Panday 3 take these points into heart. Panday
already looks as good as the Lord of the Rings franchise visually, so
why leave the screenplay behind? Like Flavio, these filmmakers should
trust the film’s potential to be a serious epic, and turn it into one.