Chris Martinez wrote “Septic Tank 2” and he directed the last episode in “Lumayo Ka Nga” that parodizes “Marimar”. The quality of his work from one to another is like alpha to omega. He looks more inspired with “Septic Tank 2”, which starts with writer-director Rainier (Kean Cipriano) narrating some scenes from his latest work, “The Itinerary”. Just like in “Septic Tank 1”, he envisions Eugene Domingo playing the lead role of Romina, who’s disgruntled with her husband Cesar (Joel Torre) and wants to end their marriage while they’re on vacation in Baguio, where they had their honeymoon years ago.
Direk Rainier is then shown with his line producer (Cai Cortez) and production assistant (Khalil Ramos) going to an exclusive spa where they will have a meeting with Eugene Domingo herself. This is her comeback movie after resting for quite a while, just like in real life, and you can really say she’s back with a big bang!
While they are undergoing various treatments in the spa, from facials to colonics, Eugene starts shooting down all of Direk Rainier’s ideas for his movie and voices her own suggestions. Instead of Joel Torre, she wants a younger leading man, Jericho Rosales. So “Septic Tank 2”, like “Septic Tank 1”, becomes a movie within a movie where we are shown what Eugene has in mind, as juxtaposed to Direk Rainier’s original ideas.
Basically, the director’s very personal film, about a marital crisis that is going on in his own real-life marriage, is being turned by Eugene into a formula romantic-comedy with all the usual ingredients typical in a Star Cinema movie: like a key scene in the rain, kissing in the sunset, “kilig” scenes showing the lovers horsing around, etc.
We won’t go into the other details of what she wants to have in her own vision for the movie as that would surely spoil your viewing pleasure. Suffice it to say that they border from being absurd to being ridiculous, eliciting laughs along the way. Some are inside jokes that mock local filmmaking, but still accessible. Mostly, you get guffaws, but the ending is a surefire rib tickler that will send you into helpless paroxyms of genuine laughter. Eugene the bitch diva gets the comeuppance that she surely deserves, as the movie’s title once again suggests.
Eugene claims that she’s not insisting on what she wants because, “after all, I’m just an actress”, but she’s actually meddling and intervening in almost all the important aspects of filmmaking, practically rewriting the script the frivolous way she likes it. This is not a musical but Eugene even manages to do her own entertaining acoustic version of the theme song, “Forever Is Not Enough” while accompanying herself on the ukelele.
She gets terrific support from Kean as her exasperated foil Direk Rainier, Cai as the line producer and Khalil Ramos (replacing JM de Guzman) in an amusing non-speaking role as the newbie production assistant. In the first movie, it was Cai who had the non-speaking role. Joel, Jericho and Agot Isidro also do exceedingly well appearing as funny versions of their real selves in the movie, along with a well known box office director and a not so popular teen star who suddenly pop up toward the end to help give the movie its surprise conclusion.
Also fine in their short roles are Hannah Ledesma as Kean’s wife who wants to split with him and “Eat Bulaga” Foreignoy winner Gui Adorno as Eugene’s Spanish-speaking factotum named Facundo. Marlon Rivera is also back as the director and we’d say he more than lives up to the fine standards set by his equally satirical first movie that won several awards in the Cinemalaya Filmfest 2011.
You’d also wonder why Rivera can do excellent work with sure-handed control here, when his comedies with Vic Sotto leave so much to be desired and even further lowers the bar for silliness in local slapstick comedies. Oh yes, don’t leave the theatre right away as there’s a bonus scene involving one of the cast members and his manager.