“On The Job: Missing 8” had been on my HBO Max watchlist for a month but I watched the Erik Matti 6-part streaming series slowly because I wanted to phase myself and savor it. The first 2 episodes are the reformatted scenes from the first film, On The Job, which I thought was really good when I watched it on Netflix years ago. It was a good decision to do that as it reminds the audience the context and how the series started. I remember giving Rayver Cruz a high praise in his role as an NBI agent because he was a revelation in the first film. Not so much as a huge character but more on his capability to look authentic as a an agent. Right next to Piolo Pascual, he held his own. I didn’t see Rayver’s face on any posters so I was really glad to see him back in the series. His character Agent Barnabe is not that big in terms of exposure but he was an integral part in the remaining episodes.
Anyway, I’m not good at giving elaborate film reviews so I don’t think I can ever put into words how important it is to watch “On The Job: Missing 8.” Watching it gave me goosebumps and it made me think how relevant it is to this day especially after the PH election. The whole time I was watching I kept asking myself if every Filipino who voted watched this timely series. I hope they did and if they haven’t I hope they will watch it soon.
The build up in Dennis Trillo‘s character Roman was a little slow but once you get into the nitty gritty of his portrayal down to his mullet hair, crooked teeth, and broken nose, WOW. I mean, Dennis Trillo is Philippines pride and he should be in all movies sent to international film festivals. Dennis Trillo is GOLD and then some.
2 words, John Arcilla. Any actor worth its salt in the Philippines entertainment industry needs to watch EVERYTHING that John Arcilla has done im his career. OMFG, this guy deserves his Volpi Cup for Best Actor Award from the Venice International Film Festival 20 times over. Arcilla personified what every living person feels when faced with the realities of his convictions. When he finally goes through his awakening you can see all the conflict within him building up and you will go through the roller coaster of controlled emotions with him. It was beautiful watching him. The whole time I was like, YES, that’s why he won.
Other notable great performances came from Joel Torre, Gerald Anderson, Christopher de Leon, Lotlot de Leon, Dante Rivero, Leo Martinez, Agot Isidro, Vandolph, and Joey Marquez. “On The Job: Missing 8” packs a punch with the impressive list of supporting actors.
The best way I could sum up this review is to say that since the series is on HBO Max I am hoping that it is eligible for Golden Globes, Emmy’s, Critics Choice, SAG, and BAFTA. I hope they will consider this series for Best Limited/Streaming series(although season 2 is quite possible with the way it ended), John Arcilla for Best Actor, Dennis Trillo for Best Supporting Actor, and Erik Matti for Best Director. Even if they don’t win in the end, they all deserve nominations. I implore anyone with HBO Max or HBO Asia/Go to PLEASE please, watch “On The Job: Missing 8.” It is massively uncomfortable as it is thought-provoking, and yet an enlightening look at how corruption and power goes round and round in the Philippines, the curtailing of the freedom of the press, and the ever-so-timely proliferation of fake news online. This series hits all the notes! 🙌🙌👏👏
PS: Make sure to watch it in its original audio as it sounds much much better and authentic that way.