It’s hard not to compare BuyBust to The Raid, since they’re essentially the same film.

Unfortunately, this falls flat in all of the areas that The Raid excelled.

There’s almost no story to BuyBust, no driving point, no real meaning to all the excessive violence. The police are going to get the bad drug dealer, and they’re double-crossed. That’s about what it amounts to.

This would be fine if the action sequences were thrilling and believable and dynamic like they were in The Raid. But here the action scenes are drawn out, cheesy, and downright boring. The fight choreography needed to be top notch, and it certainly was not even close.

It really takes the punch (pun intended) out of an action film like BuyBust when there are characters who survive being beaten and stabbed repeatedly, only to literally lift a motorcycle over their head. Yes, that actually happens.

The soundtrack – and sound design in general – was incredibly strange and, in many cases, inappropriate to the mood and tone.

The only redeeming quality of BuyBust is its commentary on the drug situation in the Philippines, and how corrupt the government is. Arjo Atayde also gave an excellent performance that was wasted due to his involvement in such a small part of the film.

In the end, if you’re tempted to watch BuyBust your time is better spent watching The Raid instead.

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