30 December 2014 | billygoat1071
A Dull Schlock
The main reason why this remake of Fernando Poe Jr.'s Muslim Magnum .357 exists is probably for Jeorge Estregan to once again hold another gun in his yearly stream of MMFF films. Though, all of his films have its own ridiculous personality, Magnum Muslim .357 might be the first time that it wants to take itself more seriously, by stripping much of the insanity from his past features. While there is still some unique flavor around the edges, the energy of the story is lacking, making this supposedly exciting old-school schlock a plain bad schlock that hardly gives any joy to itself. That is a frustration, even for those who seek for some ironic viewing. It's just devoid from any sort of coherence or fun.
The plot is plain simple for an action movie, but the momentum just drags. It basically goes to places and builds up an action set piece, meet more characters, then do the same thing. It sounds like an easy thing to watch, but the movie also plods with numerous twists and exposition that mostly don't matter much in the end. This could have worked if there is some sense of insanity within the action or the mission, instead we get some forced gravity from the hero's speeches about his morality, religion and culture. There is nothing wrong if that's the movie's intention, but that sentiment just comes out of nowhere and doesn't help really the inconsistent storytelling.
This could have been a nice guilty pleasure, with Jeorge Estregan and his facial hair doing some crazy action. The film does have the old school type of action, there is some real choreography going on in those scenes, but most of the time it just lacks the tension, rather turning them into trashy action. The actor just wants to look cool at the stunts he can do. The acting is just not so effective, the only pleasure you can find is when Estregan makes a mad facial expression, but that only happens very occasionally. The rest of the actors add nothing and sometimes do the worst of themselves. The cinematography at least looks good, makes for a stunning blockbuster.
Personally this is a disappointment. Sure, it's not like the leading actor is great one, but you can see his films at least bring a uniquely fun experience, but if the filmmakers were unable to make anything creative or compelling about the material, the movie just falls apart. Magnum Muslim .357 is nothing more than an action movie that wants to feel like it belongs to another era, but fails in its ambitions. Even worse, this movie runs for more than two hours, and it already drags too fast. As many flashy or dramatic contents it tries to give, it still earns almost nothing.