The society of respected film critics that hands out the annual Gawad Urian in cinematic excellence

Joe Pring (1989)

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First-Rate Cop Thriller

Using his wide experience and skills as film editor, director Augusto Salvador comes up with this well-paced, well-photo graphed and wonderfully acted cop movie loosely based on the exploits of a true-to-life Manila policeman. It is a sympathetic and realistic portrayal of a gutsy law-enforcer, stressing the dangers and joys inherent in the job, as well as the temptations, most of them amorous.

The policeman's exploits are presented episodically. It is obvious, however, that as the picture progresses, tension and violence also increase. The clash between Pring and the underworld characters he helped lock up in jail inexorably approaches.

Humilde "Meek" Roxas's script is full of surprises and drama, but the biggest difference is his (and Salvador's) refreshing sense of humor liberally used in what has traditionally been just an action-packed thriller. The special effects are noteworthy, and the producers and filmmakers spared no effort and expense to make the movie pleasing to the audience.

The cast is uniformly good, from Phillip Salvador to his co-stars including Johnny Delgado and Paquito Diaz. The women all do very well, especially Aurora Sevilla as Pring's loving but gutsy and temperamental wife, and Maila Gumila as his quiet, sensitive and fiercely protective mistress. Even female cameo players are given their own moments to shine: Amanda Amores as the amorous member of a household victimized by the crime syndicate, and later kidnaped and raped; Josie Schumacher as the cantankerous mistress of a goon being arrested by the police; and the actress who plays as a woman molested, beaten and terrorized by an addict.