Arisaka (2020) Review: Maja Salvador’s Revenge Flick is Bland

Arisaka is an action-adventure movie directed by Mikhail Red and stars Maja Salvador, Mon Confiado, and Art Acuña, alongside other cast members. The movie has a runtime of 95 minutes.

Netflix describes the movie as:

A police officer must retrace the trail of the Bataan Death March in order to escape her captors — and exact her revenge.

– Arisaka review does not contain spoilers –

Arisaka movie is a revenge-thriller. One that starts with the murder of an entire entourage of police officers by a bunch of their own as they travel through the Bataan Death March. The movie is your tried and tested revenge thriller, one that is reminiscent of several movies of the same genre. The only difference is, this one has a female protagonist who runs away from bullets, takes a few and tries to survive till the end.

The movie does nothing new and genre fans might find that quite annoying. Mariano’s character is also something out of a textbook but I’d give the movie credit for not sexualising her. But on the contrary, the movie makes it seem like her gender doesn’t have any bearings on the plot, which, in an ideal world would make sense. But, this isn’t an ideal world and the problems that she might face due to her gender don’t come into play at all.

After the initial action sequence, Arisaka’s pace drastically goes down. We spend minutes following Mariano trying to walk and get up. I mean, of course, it’s difficult for her after getting shot, but good god. Anyway, we also get some back and forth in regards to Mariano’s life in flashbacks. They add some weight to her character but does little more.

The most shocking part about Arisaka is how, after being shot several times, the bullets never hit Mariano anywhere major. They are always wounds that are healable, which is shocking considering she’s not wearing a protective vest. I mean, the bad guys are either terrible shots, or she’s superhuman.

Anyway, in spite of being a revenge thriller, Arisaka movie just has so much dialogue. The action is very less in comparison to how much people talk and give away free advice. A large chunk of the movie is supremely boring and adds literally nothing to the adventure or revenge aspect of the film. The revenge part is over before it even begins and will make you wonder why you watched such a long film for such a short amount of pleasure.

Also Read: Nicole Byer: BBW Review: Bold, Brutal and White People

Then we have predictably the worst part of the movie – the introduction of the local indigenous people. Listen, social commentary is fine, in fact, it’s great. It can add some emotion to the storyline. However, Nawi and her family seem to be added just to deliver some “powerful” dialogue and then to be killed so as to give Mariano a more pressing reason to kill her pursuers. It’s one thing for the characters to make some space in the narrative and meet their demise. It’s entirely another thing for them to be added just to push the narrative forward.

These characters all seem superficial and added just to check a few boxes. If not these people, then who would’ve motivated our protagonist to take a more proactive role in bringing the bad guys to justice?

Summing up: Arisaka


Arisaka, although has the right thought in mind, is a lazy piece of film, one that doesn’t entertain nor leave any sort of a mark. It’s an ok watch if you’re bored, but is rather bland and forgettable.

Arisaka is streaming on Netflix.

Also Read: 200 Meters (2020) Review: An Intriguing and Earnest Memoir of Conflicts

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Maja Salvador-starrer Arisaka nails its female protagonist but gets little else right.

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Arisaka (2020) Review: Maja Salvador's Revenge Flick is BlandMaja Salvador-starrer Arisaka nails its female protagonist but gets little else right.