In Metro Manila we get to follow country bumpkin Oscar Ramirez (Jake Macapagal) and his family who move to the city after finding out that life in the rice fields isn’t paying off. But the city comes with its own set of dangers, something Oscar and his wife Mai (Althea Vega) quickly find out when they get chewed up and spat out shortly after arriving in the city. Things seem to be looking up when Oscar lands a job with an armored truck company but shady business dealings by some of his co-workers, make life in the rice fields seem like kids’ play by comparison.
That is the short synopsis of Metro Manila, a movie by Sean Ellis that constantly borders on being a drama and a thriller. The theme itself isn’t exactly new (desperate people do desperate things) but Ellis keeps a brisk pace and Macapagal delivers a stellar performance that builds up to a climax that is a tad bit predictable but which will nevertheless still hit you like a punch to the face.