MoviesMixed (Divisive)

Block Z (2020) – Review, Summary (with Spoilers)

Community Rating: 77.76% (2)

If the Coronavirus is making you paranoid, the pandemic in “Block Z” may not be the best thing for your anxiety.


Director(s)Mikhail Red
Screenplay ByMixkaela Villalon
Date Released (Theatrical – USA)3/13/2020
Genre(s)Action, Adventure, Horror, Romance, Young Adult, Non-English (Filipino/Tagalog)
Duration1 Hour, 41 Minutes
MPAA RatingNR
Noted Cast
Princess Joy “PJ”Julia Barretto
ErikaMaris Racal
MylesMcCoy De Leon
MarioIan Veneracion
LucasJoshua Garcia
BebethDimples Romana
GeloYves Flores

This content contains pertinent spoilers.

Summary & Review

Plot (Ending Spoilers & Sequel Potential Are On The Second Page)

At San Lazaro University, Princess Joy “PJ” and her friends Lucas, Erika, and Myles are 4th-year medical students prepping to assist with the recent infectious disease which is disturbing the Philippines right down to its economy. But, what initially was seen as just a deadly disease, akin to rabies, ends up becoming a zombie outbreak that forever changes PJ’s world and ends the life of many of her peers, mentors, and others.

Cast & Characters

Princess Joy “PJ” (Julia Barretto)

Erika (Maris Racal), PJ (Julia Barretto), Gelo )Yves Flores), Lucas (Joshua Garcia) and Myles (McCoy De Leon) prepping for a zombie assault.
Left to Right: Erika (Maris Racal), PJ (Julia Barretto), Gelo )Yves Flores), Lucas (Joshua Garcia) and Myles (McCoy De Leon)

The lead character of “Block Z” who, alongside her friends, Erika, Myles, and Lucas, are med students at San Lazaro University.

Erika (Maris Racal)

PJ’s best friend who is as much focused on school as eventually finding a husband.

Myles (McCoy De Leon)

The nerdy Member of PJ’s group who is one of the first to discover there is an outbreak.

Mario (Ian Veneracion)

PJ’s father who is a widow and has fallen on hard times. The kind which may prevent PJ from continuing her education.

Lucas (Joshua Garcia)

PJ’s friend who is a star basketball and has a major crush on her.

Bebeth (Dimples Romana)

One of the members of the university’s security team who becomes a major asset once the outbreak begins.

Gelo (Yves Flores)

The son of a military general whose popularity allowed him to become the president of the student council.

On The Fence

You May Not Feel Like You Got To Know Someone Enough To Care If They Die

While we hear the hopes, dreams, and hobbies of the lead actors, I can’t say when their life is threatened, you’ll be like, “NO! NOT _______!” For there just isn’t much there, in terms of background or performance, to create that kind of emotional connection. PJ is a sweetheart, and while she does have some trauma in her past, it is so cheaply placed that it doesn’t make you feel bad for her. It just makes you hunch. Then, when it comes to Erika, Myles, and Lucas, there is so little said by them, or about them, to make you care.

For example, before the outbreak and chaos, hearing about Lucas’ crush on PJ, or Erika thinking med school is as much about finding a doctor for a husband as becoming a doctor, it doesn’t do much. Add in Myles is basically just the scared nerdy character, who eventually bucks up, and it makes it a challenge to be worried as the kids get outnumbered, and their lives end up on the line.

It Overstays It’s Welcome After A Certain Point

There are multiple points towards the end of the film, you’ll think it is over. And honestly, while I can’t say each would be ending is a fake-out, I will say each time you think it is over is better than what follows. Especially as it builds towards a potential sequel.

Overall

Would Watch Again? – One and Done

Rating: Mixed (Divisive)

Mario (Ian Veneracion) and Bebeth (Dimples Romana) with guns blazing.
Mario (Ian Veneracion) and Bebeth (Dimples Romana)

Perhaps the only scary thing about “Block Z” is that it focuses on an outbreak, similar to the Coronavirus, and could push a paranoid mind into dangerous territory. However, with little care built into the character to make you emotionally invested, all you get is a bunch of ripped out necks, bite wounds, people running around with a crazed look, thanks to contacts, and just enough of a thrill to keep you from getting bored. At least until you get what feels like multiple endings in succession.

“Block Z” Ending Spoilers

In the end, the only ones who I can confirm live are PJ, her father Mario, Lucas, who is discovered with a broken leg, and maybe Bebeth. Now, the reason I can’t confirm Bebeth is alive is because I am unsure if it was Bebeth or PJ found who found Lucas. The reason being, the scene is dark, there is a minor time jump of two weeks, and while we didn’t see Bebeth get killed, it’s hard to say whether or not she could have survived.

Granted, if Lucas could, after jumping off a building, so should have Bebeth, considering she was the only one with any sort of weapons training. But, either way, PJ survives, as does her dad, since they have a genetic immunity to the virus, Lucas does, despite a broken leg, and a handful of others.

How Do Things End For The Characters of “Block Z?”

Princess Joy “PJ” (Julia Barretto)

After discovering there won’t be any rescue team, and that she was bitten but didn’t turn into some kind of zombie, PJ fights her way to her quarantined father, and they take out zombies, and Gelo, to make their way out of the university.

Erika (Maris Racal)

Erika sacrifices herself so Lucas and PJ can make it out alive.

Myles (McCoy De Leon)

Myles dies due to a surprise attack and is left to die while fending off zombies.

Mario (Ian Veneracion)

Mario survives, thanks to a genetic mutation he passed down to his daughter.

Lucas (Joshua Garcia)

Despite jumping off the roof of a building, and many zombies following, Lucas is alive, two weeks after that moment, with only a broken leg, and is found by either the group PJ is with or Bebeth.

Bebeth (Dimples Romana)

When we last clearly see Bebeth, she is fending off zombies with her shotgun noting she won’t die because she has two kids waiting for her. Now, whether the movie ends with us seeing her or not, it is hard to say without getting the chance to rewatch it.

Gelo (Yves Flores)

After betraying everyone and leaving them to die, since his father only promised enough room for two people to escape, Gelo ends up getting bit and tries to stop PJ and Mario from escaping the campus. However, in the two on one fight, Gelo is no match for them, and in his last moments alive, he is eaten up by a horde.

Is A Sequel Possible?

The ending allows for a sequel in which PJ, who is now touted to be a bad ass, could be the leader of a group of survivors.

You May Not Feel Like You Got To Know Someone Enough To Care If They Die - 75%
It Overstays It’s Welcome After A Certain Point - 74%

75%

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Amari Allah

I started Wherever I Look back in 2011 and from movies, TV, the occasional book, play, and Broadway show, have been trying to bridge the gap between a critic and an avid lover of various forms of media.

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