Jun 25, 2012

[Movies] Kimmy Dora and the Temple of Kiyeme (2012)

Three years after the surprise hit comedy Kimmy Dora, the folks at Spring Films finally decided to release a sequel for the 2009 movie. And I have to admit that I really enjoyed the first movie given how it was a lot smarter (or at least wittier) than I expected. And so I was rather looking forward to this sequel to see what it would be all about.

Plus I really love Eugene Domingo. For far too often her talent gets wasted on some pretty stupid roles in local movies.

One of the things that made Kimmy Dora so hilarious was Eugene's amazing depiction of both titular characters - the twins Kimmy and Dora. In addition, the first movie had quite an interesting twist that had the respective sisters imitating one another several points in the movie. So naturally I wondered how they'd take things to a new level with this sequel, and the final result was rather interesting and yet not exactly as jaw-achingly funny as things were the first time around.

Synopsis: Kimmy Dora and the Temple of Kiyeme is the direct sequel to the first Kimmy Dora. The movie was directed by Joyce Bernal with a screenplay by Chris Martinez as distributed by Spring Films and Star Cinema.

We return to the diversely different lives of Kimmy and Dora Go Dong Hae (Eugene Domingo) - Kimmy is firmly leading the Go Dong Hae corporate empire while Dora remains the simple-minded apple of her father's eye. The movie's core story starts with a major gala event for Go Dong Hae Airlines where they company is due to launch regular flights to Korea. But something happens to embarrass Kimmy in front of the entire business community - and naturally Dora is at fault. It was certainly a fun sequence that helped set the tone for things and reminded everyone just how different the two sisters are.

Both sisters are still seeing their respective love interests from the first movie - Kimmy has Barry (Zanzoe Marudo) while Dora has Johnson (Dingdong Dantes). But as much as their respective romances are going well, things will have to be put on hold as the family is scheduled to fly to Korea in line with the expansion of the airlines' travel routes. But strange things start to happen during the flight as Kimmy starts to hear the steady beating of drums while Dora is plagued by dark visions. And these all have something to do with their family's history - something the sisters we eventually find out as the movie progresses.

Now the movie pretty much started on a high point with the whole embarrassment at the gala. I would love to go into detail, but I enjoyed it so much that I certainly don't want to spoil the fun for you. And beyond that, the movie naturally had quite a few gems in terms of comedic exchanges, funny sequences and things that I will never be able to forget.

But at the same time there were a lot of things that didn't quite work and rather fell flat, which was rather disappointing. Given the movie decided to blend in a horror movie element into the flow of things, it seems the struggle of balancing that side of the story with the comedic elements was a bit of a struggle indeed. And in some places the pacing struggled between the two elements.

On its own, I'll admit the whole horror story with its connections to the family's past was certainly interesting enough. Clearly a lot of thought went into the writing and its overall development and I can respect that. However things really started to fall apart when they tried to keep the horror element balanced off with the usual zany antics of the Go Dong Hae sisters.

The twist towards the end was certainly fun though - it played right into those expectations of mine regarding an attempt to take things to the next level. I do wish technical execution in terms of special effects had been a lot cleaner and polished, especially given it was the movie's big climax. But I suppose beggars can't be choosers.

Kimmy Dora and the Temple of Kiyeme doesn't quite live up to the height of comedic achievement that the first movie accomplished but it's still a good movie. And while I wish that certain elements had been handled better whether in terms of writing, direction or conceptualization but in the end it was still an entertaining experience. Thus the movie still rates a respectable 3.5 shockingly colorful outfits for Dora out of a possible 5.

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