For those with a high tolerance for violence and a love of strong female protagonists:
Now streaming on Netflix.
I blame the algorithm.
Honestly, extreme violence has become something I now try to avoid -- isn't there enough violence in the world lately? Also, I don't like the negative effect on my already-waning compassion for needy people -- but the all-wise Netflix algorithm evaluated my viewing history as of late and keep surfacing Maria as one to watch, so one evening I did just that.
Boy, oh boy, is this a splattery picture. And mean! And ugly in tone! And just when I had suffered enough, suddenly Cristine Reyes took command of the centre stage in a bald updating of Renny Harlin's The Long Kiss Goodbye (1996), written by Shane Black, and Maria became a completely different picture, i.e. one that I watched (albeit, sometimes between my fingers as I covered my face like a child) straight through to the end of its brisk 90-minute running time.
Pedring Lopez directed. Germaine De Leon and KC Montero also star. This is a vicious picture, yet in certain scenes, it's like a kinetic bomb has exploded. Exploitative, yes; copycat-ish, sure; comic-book-ish villains, naturally; compelling to watch, definitely.
On Twitter, I noted:
Like John Wick, only backwards and in heels. Once Cristine Reyes fully emerges as Maria, nasty crime flick coalesces into a brutal but justifiable revenge thriller with high body count and many, many, many bloody and kinetic kills.
I added a warning for parents, prompting a concise reply by Only Nice Things:
Oh yeah if you're sensitive to violence happening to an adolescent DEFINITELY don't watch this movie lol. BUT if you want to see Filppino Martial Arts on display with a great girl on girl bathroom [fight], then you MUST see this movie!
Summing up: Action fans with a tolerance for extreme violence, this is your movie.