The general commercialism of the MMFF means that audiences can mostly expect the same thing from the big blockbuster films. The producers hedge their bets, trying to make sure that everybody finds something in the film that they can connect with. Such is the case with Super Inday at ang Golden Bibe, which stuffs in every genre of Filipino film they can think of in a two hour runtime. The result is predictably awful, the film overreaching and never really committing to anything.
The movie begins with an angel falling to Earth. This angel, Goldie (John Lapus), plans to return to heaven by turning a worthy person into a superhero. His prime candidate: Inday (Marian Rivera), a young woman who has just learned that her real mother abandoned her in Manila when she was born. Inday travels to Manila to find her real mother, along the way stumbling on to a villain’s evil plot to gain eternal youth. Inday must prove herself worthy of the gift of superpowers and use them to save the people around her.
Super Inday is the prototypical modern MMFF film. It overreaches, trying to provide audiences with a rounded experience. There is action and romance and comedy and drama. Our heroine will make a dramatic plea to the mother that abandoned her long ago. She will also fall into a swimming pool. The film tries to give everything to everyone, but the lack of focus means that it doesn’t do anything particularly well. Take the fight sequences, for example. The fight choreography is smart enough, but it’s all shot poorly. The film employs a cheesy zoom in effect that can’t seem to get the action all in frame.
Everything else just falls short of good. The story doesn’t make much sense, featuring the kind of villain that has every chance to succeed, but generally chooses not to. It’s never really clear what powers Super Inday has at any given moment. She’s supposed to get a progression of powers, but that’s more or less abandoned by the middle of the film, where Inday seems to lose and gain powers depending on what the film needs her to do at any given moment. The drama fails the hardest, because the rest of the film is so outwardly silly that any sort of emotion just feels dead false.
This is a pretty good role for Marian Rivera, however. Too often, she’s stuffed into roles that require her to be quiet or unassuming. Rivera has more personality than that, and here she gets to flex it. It isn’t always endearing, but it at least feels true. John Lapus is consistently entertaining, but it might suit him to try more subtle roles. Jake Cuenca doesn’t do much of anything. Mylene Dizon seems to have some fun playing the film’s villain, but the character is pretty flat. Cherry Pie Picache tries to wring some drama out of her character, but the lines just aren’t there.
The film ends with a giant crab monster invading a family picnic, looking for Super Inday. These last few minutes provide a glimpse at what Super Inday at ang Golden Bibe really ought to have been. Right before it ends, the film shows us something that’s at least visually interesting and conceptually hilarious. The movie might have benefitted if it just committed to the insanity and had the titular heroine fighting something like a giant crab monster. But instead, we get a halfhearted parental melodrama mixed in with a halfhearted superhero story. If nothing else, we really need our film to go about wholeheartedly.