Ang Babae sa Septic Tank 2 features great performances by its cast, but that’s not enough to save a sequel that fails to replicate the success of its predecessor with a repetitive comedy and a simplistic jab at mainstream Philippine cinema.

Eugene prepares for her comeback vehicle after a long sabbatical from movie making. Rainier proposes “The Itinerary,” a heartbreaking anatomy of a crumbling marriage as told through a couple’s trip to Baguio, their former honeymoon location. Eugene Domingo is excited by the project but she has other ideas in mind. In the film within the film, we see Eugene’s absurd suggestions and recommendations changing Rainier’s script by employing the poetic of the Pinoy romantic comedy genre into what is supposedly a realistic portrayal of love and marriage.

Septic Tank 2 promises what its funny and incisive predecessor Ang Babae sa Septic Tank has accomplished. This time around, the movie pokes fun at the many cliches of mainstream Filipino movies.

Ang Babae sa Septic 2 does have good intentions, but falls short on execution.

The cast is worthwhile to watch. Eugene Domingo carries the movie with a bombastic performance. The rest are also good with what they’re given and Jericho Rosales proves that he can keep up with the lead.

However, no matter how dedicated the cast is, the sequel fails to match what its predecessor has achieved.

Septic Tank 2 is supposed to be a satire of mainstream cinema but by focusing on Eugene Domingo, the cliches of mass marketed Filipino movies turn into the pedestrian whims of an actress desperate for a comeback.

More importantly, this results into a simplistic interpretation of the problems with a commercialized industry – the Filipino masses who celebrate a culture of ignorance and the nearly monopolized film industry that’s more than happy to make easy money from it.

In fact the movie concludes with a staged debate which simply says that formulaic mainstream movies need to exist for escapism, without considering the cultural, social and societal roots that enabled them to takeover a film festival that is suppose to showcase indie movies.

It can be said that the sequel’s main objective is to provide an entertaining satire and not a serious discourse, but the jokes here are overplayed which makes the already repetitive storytelling format tedious. In one scene Eugene Domingo has to showcase three levels of “hugot” and wail excessively in a spa floor, then play a whole theme song in another.

In the end Septic Tank 2 tries to replicate the success of the original but makes the mistake of telling the same joke twice with a shtick whose novelty quickly wears off. It’s entertaining in some parts thanks mostly to its cast but they don’t have enough material to make this sequel stand out on its own.

My Rating: 5/10

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