Kung Hei Fat Choi: Eight Reasons Why Mainstream Chinese Films Are Usually Better Than Mainstream Filipino Films!

Don't get me wrong there are some Filipino films that are worth a watch. Some of them like "Anak" can make you think about what's going on. There were a couple of good Filipino film oldies that had real quality. But the problem today is the overflow of trashy Filipino entertainment. Before you start throwing the argument that I'm a traitor to the Philippines, I hate Filipinos or I'm racist... I'd like to backfire with, "Don't tell me none of those films you watched were filmed without the use of imported equipment?" as a counter-argument. Don't tell me that Filipino films are better "cause it's in Tagalog." because the spoken language has nothing to do with the film's quality compared to the plot, acting and just everything about the film. 

Let's get started with eight reasons why Chinese films are usually better than most Filipino films. Take note that I'd still trash any badly made Chinese film since I don't favor any nationality. So here are the eight reasons why they tend to be better and how Filipino movie producers can learn from them:

1.) Better written characters

The first time I watched Chinese movies I felt they really had better characters. My first comparison was to that of the quality of a lot of American films tend to suck. A lot of Filipino films tend to suck. Chinese movies usually present deeper characters even if it's just a film. There's really great depth of characters. Most Filipino movies have very shallow characters. Filipino writers and directors should try to observe how Chinese movies usually have better characters. They could start by putting aside the victim card mentality in favor of victor mentality.

2.) Better acting 

While I don't dare deny some Chinese celebrities can't act but the problem of Filipino movies is overacting. It reminded me why I dropped Anne Curtis like a hot potato or why I usually avoid most of them. The acting is another issue. Even if I started watching Chinese films without subtitles (then thankfully, there were subtitles) but I could see how decent the acting really was. A lot of Filipino celebrities today have very poor acting or overacting. Kris Aquino is just one example out of many who can't act. I can still name some who can act but Filipino celebrities like Vilma Santos and Christopher De Leon are not so common these days. 

3.) Keeping the plot fresh in some way

I don't deny that there are some cliches that run around like you can't have Wuxia without the ridiculously overpowered fight scenes or the love stories. But a lot of them don't rely on typical recycling like every movie must have this or that. Instead, they find a way to mix existing ingredients to create better films. A lot of Filipino films just keep carrying almost the same boring plot all the time. I wonder what happened to the days when we had a lot of diverse plots for Filipino films in the past?

4.) Better way of giving Chinese versions of non-Chinese films

I remembered watching a Chinese movie based on the Initial D series from Japan. It wasn't a cheap knock off. It was well done. It wasn't just a movie that was filmed from scratch but it also managed to come out decent. Chinese films aren't always original and some of them are localized versions of non-Chinese films. But they adapt in such a way that they came out pretty good. I don't mind localizing ideas just do it well. Sad to say but Filipino films like "Moments of Love" starring Dingdong Dantes and Karyle Padilla Tatlonghari (which gave a better ending over the Korean film Ditto) aren't common in Filipino cinema.

5.) Better comedy

While there are some comedic Filipino films and I enjoyed Mano Po 4 and 5 (which were parodies of the the first two films 4 being a parody of 2 and 5 being a parody of the first movie) but most of them have very bad comedy as far as the modern setting is concerned. Chinese films tend to create better comedy like Jackie Chan's Drunken Master movies. Writing a good comedy is harder than I've imagined. 

6.) Better choreography 

Chinese films are known to have really good choreography. A good example is how Taiwanese director Ang Lee is also the action director for the Matrix movies. A lot of Filipino films tend to have bad choreography. While we can excuse all the bad fight scenes in Alyas Batman En Robin (because it was a comedy) but if it's a serious film then it's just inexcusable. While there are some good action scenes in older films like during the days of the late Fernando Poe Jr. but today many of them end up in a terrible flop.

7.) A better degree of realism 

Sad to say but it seems Filipino action movies seem to have Mister Pogi (Hercule) from Dragon Ball Z as their inspiration. A lot of the heroes in Filipino action movies tend to never get hit by a bullet even when a lot of people around them dies or they tend to attract girls at so short a time. In Chinese films, even the best martial artists get injured, get hurt and dies. Please don't give me the argument that Filipino men are more manly than Chinese men all because of how Filipino action heroes are. It's just a huge cover to the fact that a lot of Filipino action heroes tend to be like Mister Pogi. Only if more Filipino action films gave a better degree of realism that Chinese movies have.

8.) Keeping a little more consistency with the tone

Like it or not but a lot of Filipino films tend to be unintentionally funny in some areas. Mano Po 2 was supposedly serious but had too much potential comedy like scenes when Lorna Tolentino and Zsa Zsa Padilla do their bickering scenes or the scene where Lorna's character Belinda becomes more funny than irritating (ex. Her flashback with Christopher De Leon's character Antonio suggests that she's incompetent or the scene where she was wrongfully linked to Jay Manalo's misdeed). In Chinese films, they tend to be more consistent with the tone of the film.


This post was inspired by Top Ten Things Wrong With Philippine Mainstream Cinema! Anyway Happy Lunar New Year to you all!


  1. Soon PH will be assimilated to China and people will absorb their philosophies, commerce, way of life, and the path for them to flourish and enhance their lives.

    Their Chinese films says it all.


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