Dead Kids is probably the most vulgar and violent Filipino movie featuring teens you may ever see – and it isn’t half bad.
|Directed By||Mikhail Red|
|Written By||Nikolas Red|
|Date Released (Netflix)||12/1/2019|
Plot Summary/ Review
Mark, in the spring of 2018, is college-bound, and while the girl he likes, Janina, doesn’t seem to like him as he does her, they are friends. However, on top of the issue of the girl he likes possibly caring more about a spoiled rich kid named Chuck, at least in Mark’s eyes, Mark lacks money. Mark is not necessarily poor, since he does have a family connection that allows him a home better than most. However, between school and the future he desires, he can’t keep up with his peers.
So while he doesn’t necessarily want to go along with Blanco, Uy, and Gabriel’s plan to kidnap chuck and get money from his drug lord of a father, it is a hard thing to refuse. For on top of the money, he could get the girl. However, as Uy repeats over and over, their failure to plan ends up them setting themselves up for failure.
Collected Quote(s) or .Gifs
Failing to plan is like planning to fail.
It May Not Be What You Expected (In A Good Way)
Like holiday movies, a lot of movies based in the Philippines and starring Filipino actors have a sort of corniness you grow to love. Dead Kids doesn’t fit that. There isn’t this weird avoidance of violence, though it maintains not being that sexual, and the amount of cursing is very unfamiliar. Also, there isn’t much in the way of romance, despite relationships existing and crushes.
Making it so, if you are used to the usual export that is either a drama, romance, or combination of the two, you feel like you aren’t dealing with the same formula you’ve watched over and over.
On The Fence
Despite How Much Time Spent With These Characters, You May Not Feel That Invested
With no romantic element, just a bunch of guys who feel like outsiders, the film doesn’t really have a good hook. Mark evolves, or rather devolves, to being one of four and the members of his group, Uy, Gabriel, and Blanco, none of them inspire sympathy or interest. Mark is poor, misses the province he is from, but that doesn’t make you curious about his life before or wish to see more of his current life.
Then with Uy and Gabriel, while Uy being gay, or often accused of it, is something you’d like to learn more about, it doesn’t evolve past him being teased. As for Gabriel? While he is the only one with a girlfriend, that relationship isn’t really explored or used in any way to compensate if you prefer seeing a romantic drama to what Dead Kids offers in revenge, kidnapping, and murder.
Oh, and as for Janina? As said, this film is just about a bunch of guys. So outside of a bit of insecurity, seen in a handful of moments, she barely has a role in the film.
It didn’t meet expectations in any way I needed. Yes, the vulgarity was something else, as well as the violence. However, I was at least hoping for the usual drama you get from Filipino movies that somehow draws you in despite how over the top they can sometimes be.
Would Watch Again?
Rating: Mixed (Divisive)
Dead Kids isn’t a bad movie. Its problem is simply it doesn’t have the kind of story or characters which hook you. Instead, if you are like me and aren’t used to violent and sexual movies featuring Filipino actors, you’re stuck on wondering how far this will go to keep you engaged. Hence why this film dances on the line between being labeled divisive or being an acquired taste.