The Inanity of Captain Barbell

6:13 pm PHT

Top-grosser in the last Metro Manila Film Festival. A cornucopia of popular actors and actresses. Special effects and a love story to match. Ninety minutes of wasted celluloid.

I watched Captain Barbell on a cable channel out of curiosity, at dahil pinagtripan ng mga kapatid ko.

I don’t know which film was worse: Captain Barbell or Agimat. Though both were Bong Revilla Jr. starrers, I have nothing against the man (though I didn’t vote for him). The movie’s plot is so shallow. The side stories (especially that of Epi Quizon’s rat man) had absolutely no point and weren’t resolved adequately. The comedy is too forced. And the character development was non-existent.

There are so many other things wrong with this film that I’d would quickly get tired nitpicking each and everyone. However, I will note one thing I saw in this film that angers me so much I was motivated to write an entry about it. In one scene, Captain Barbell arrives at the site of a raging fire engulfing a barangay. He manages to save a girl trapped in a burning house to the cheers of a number of excited extras and the gratitude of the relieved father. However, a grieving mother castigates Kapitan for arriving too late (he was off smooching with Regine before that). The mother in her tearful voice says, “Bakit ngayon ka lang dumating? Namatay tuloy ang anak ko! Ikaw pa naman ang inaasahan kong lumigtas sa aking anak!” (Or something like that.)

When I heard those lines, I instantly became angry. It’s weird but I felt that that line explains why so many poor people never succeed in life. They rely on the government, the rich people, or even God to deliver them from their miserable existence. They blame their failures on their perceived protectors when they themselves are also part of the problem. And the worse thing about that line was, Captain Barbell agreed that he had failed.

I know that I’m reading too much into this. I know that a should be more understanding. I know that a panicking mother can’t do much to rescue her child from a burning building without risking her own life. I know that a distressed person will not think coherently and will blame the most obvious person. I know that Captain Barbell might have saved the child if Enteng did not abuse his superpowers by impressing a girl. And I know that it’s not worth the effort to be too serious about a movie that is supposed to be fun after all.

Just needed to get that off of my chest.

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