George Bustamante (Joem Bascon) is a Filipino engineer, who has left his wife June (Dimples Romana) and son Kiko (Jhiz Deocareza) behind back home to work in Japan. When he is unexpectedly fired from his job, George takes up the offer of his friend Roger Grace (Jun Sabayton) to be cast as a stunt double on the Power Rangers-like sentai series Force Five. George is embarrassed to tell his family about this change in career path, even though it turns out that Kiko has become a big fan of the show, in particular George’s character of Blue Force.
I remember as a kid, in the early 1990s, being a fan of the television series Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, which was a North American adaptation of the Japanese sentai series Kyōryū Sentai Zyuranger. Set in 1990, it is quite obvious that Blue Bustamante is taking heavy inspiration from Power Rangers, with Force Five looking practically identical. It’s fun to watch the show-within-the-film, which is portrayed with a 4:3 aspect ratio and the cheesy special effects typical of Japanese television series, including man-in-suit monsters.
While Blue Bustamante features plenty of cheesy moments, the film is ultimately about George finding a way to reconnect with his son Kiko, who has become a bit disgruntled at his father’s absenteeism. George is touched by Kiko’s fandom of Blue Force, which helps give Kiko the courage to stand up to bullies. The film also features much comedy involving George’s inability to communicate in Japanese, which makes for some awkward conversations with a girl named Ayumi (Mari Koduka) and his difficult to work with co-star Saito (Gerard Go). Altogether, Blue Bustamante is a pretty heartwarming and fun comedy.
8 | LIKED IT
- Sunday, November 9, 2:00 PM – The Royal Cinema