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Heneral Luna

Heneral Luna

Nation or self?Sep. 09, 2015 118 Min.
Your rating: 0
8.5 1,208 votes

Video trailer

Director

Cast

John Arcilla isHeneral Antonio Luna
Heneral Antonio Luna
Mon Confiado isPres. Emilio Aguinaldo
Pres. Emilio Aguinaldo
Archie Alemania isCapt. Eduardo Rusca
Capt. Eduardo Rusca
Jeffrey Quizon isApolinario Mabini
Apolinario Mabini
Paulo Avelino isGregorio Del Pilar
Gregorio Del Pilar
Ronnie Lazaro isLt. Garcia
Lt. Garcia
Nonie Buencamino isFelipe Buencamino
Felipe Buencamino
Leo Martinez isPedro Paterno
Pedro Paterno
Ketchup Eusebio isPedro Janolino
Pedro Janolino

Synopsis

A Filipino general who believes he can turn the tide of battle in the Philippine-American war. But little does he know that he faces a greatest threat to the country’s revolution against the invading Americans.

Heneral Luna
Heneral Luna
Heneral Luna
Heneral Luna
Heneral Luna
Heneral Luna
Heneral Luna
Original titleHeneral Luna
TMDb Rating8 16 votes

(23) comments

  • Allen SeverinoSeptember 9, 2015Reply

    A satisfying mainstream historical film that has not been seen in years

    Words cannot describe my satisfaction with this film and the only way
    to review it is through personal experience. There are pacing problems
    and disappointments in terms of the props such as the weaponry used by
    both sides, but given the film’s tight budget, it has managed to
    portray these battle scenes with epic proportions combined with the
    score being obviously inspired by the Russian composer Igor Stravinsky.
    The atmosphere of the entire film is portrayed beautifully, it shows
    the political machinations and political infighting when the battle
    scenes are not present, for the entire point of view is based upon Luna
    and his allies. Still, if you are either a history buff or just an
    average movie goer, this film is spectacular and it deserves to be one
    the best films of the year if there are any formal awards as such.

  • edzelrSeptember 11, 2015Reply

    A Filipino biopic film that keeps you on the edge of your seat

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • grool_julSeptember 15, 2015Reply

    Watching this was worth every penny spent!!!

    I don’t usually patronize historical movies/dramas as they could be
    biased depending on how the directors/writers/producers would like to
    portray the ”heroes” in it, but HENERAL LUNA is different!

    Hen. Antonio Luna wasn’t portrayed as a mere hero without
    imperfections, but instead a human being who wasn’t afraid to gain
    naysayers for the sake of Inang Bayan’s ”real” independence. You will
    admire him, hate him, disagree with him, sympathize with him…surely,
    these emotions are not enough to describe I how felt while watching the
    movie. John Arcilla, without a doubt gave life to Hen. Luna’s character
    (all actors/actresses in the movie, actually).

    Kudos to the director, Mr. Jerrold Tarog and everyone who made this
    masterpiece possible.

    Watching this was worth every penny spent!!!

  • 3xHCCHSeptember 15, 2015Reply

    Hot-Headed Heroics!

    ”Heneral Luna” tells us a more detailed account of the life of one of
    the revolutionary heroes we learn about in school, yet know practically
    nothing about — Gen. Antonio Luna. Practically all we know about him
    is that he had a very bad temper which gained him a lot of enemies,
    eventually leading to his assassination. Aside from telling us specific
    situations where this legendary temper flared up, we also get to meet
    him more intimately as a leader, a soldier, as a son and as a man.

    Even from his intense penetrating gaze and formidable mustache in the
    poster alone, you already know John Arcilla will be excellent in this
    film. His comic timing was impeccable. It was a most vibrant
    performance of a most vivid man, making him really loom larger than
    life. He was over-the-top in his explosiveness, just the way Tarog
    wanted him to be. The way he was built up, we were ready for that
    climactic assassination scene, however outrageous the savagery.

    Mon Confiado was a picture of ironic calm as President Emilio
    Aguinaldo. The more movies we watch about the revolution certainly
    brings up more and more questions about the controversial Aguinaldo.
    Nonie Buencamino was so slimy as his treacherous surname-sake Felipe
    Buencamino. That nonchalant look on Lorenz Martinez face was so hateful
    as he essayed the role of the equally haughty Gen. Tomas Mascardo.

    It was also such a casting risk and surprise to put known comedians in
    such key roles, like Epy Quizon as Apolinario Mabini, Leo Martinez as
    Pedro Paterno and Ketchup Eusebio as the vengeful Capt. Pedro Janolino.
    I must admit their presence can be distracting in certain dramatic
    moments, particularly Eusebio. Or maybe that was their purpose — to
    balance out the severe seriousness of those scenes.

    You immediately upfront that the filmmakers were aiming high for this
    film. The initial introductory texts were written in English,
    signifying intentions for this film to make the rounds of foreign film
    festivals. (I read that there were even certain reels with English
    subtitles shown in some more upscale cinemas.) The presence of
    disclaimers stating that this is a work of fiction inspired by fact
    could somehow raise an uneasy question as to how much fiction was in
    there mixed among the facts.

    This film will also grab you with its gorgeous cinematography. The
    images on the big screen had such vivid colors and innovative camera
    angles. The period production design and the costume design were
    meticulous in detail. During a beautifully-edited flashback sequence,
    there was a stylized scene about Rizal’s execution that was so uniquely
    and hauntingly rendered. There are most gruesome and graphic special
    effects showing the violent brutality of warfare which will shock you.

    The historical storytelling was very clear, exciting and engaging from
    beginning to end, with a fresh graphic novel feel to it. Humor was such
    an unexpected yet integral element of the script, from those crisp off-
    color expletives of Luna to those sarcastic side comments of Lt. Rusca
    (Archie Alemania) and many more in between of different shades. The
    patriotic sentiments were very poetically-written, but the way they
    were delivered here felt sincere. They did not sound preachy or cheesy,
    like when such lines were mouthed by Robin Padilla in ”Bonifacio” or
    Jeorge E.R. Ejército in ”El Presidente”.

    Just like a Marvel film, there was an extra scene in the middle of the
    closing credits, suggesting a next film featuring Paulo Avelino as Gen.
    Gregorio del Pilar. There was also a brief cameo appearance of Benjamin
    Alves as a young Manuel L. Quezon, hinting at a possible trilogy. This
    is a very exciting plan indeed which we all hope will materialize given
    the success of ”Heneral Luna”.

    I hear this is also under consideration of being submitted for Oscar
    consideration, and I support that campaign. The screening I caught
    today was a full-house despite being 1:30 in the afternoon on a
    weekday. It was really gratifying to see a quality Filipino film have
    commercial success even if it was not an inane comedy or ”kilig” teen
    flick with box-office stars in the cast.

    Kudos to Artikulo Uno Productions and director-film editor-musical
    scorer Jerrold Tarog for coming up with what may just be the best,
    certainly the most audacious, Filipino film released this year to date.
    Like Gen. Luna, this film leads a mad charge on horseback with a raised
    fist against Filipinos who say they love their country yet look out for
    their personal interests first. Let’s hope this strong message hits its
    targets. 9/10.

  • russellkirtSeptember 18, 2015Reply

    Heneral Artikulo Uno

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • Mek TorresSeptember 22, 2015Reply

    Exceeds Expectations

    Better late than never…

    Heneral Luna opens claiming that this is a fictionalized biopic of one
    of Philippine’s most important historical figures, Antonio Luna, for
    the sake of getting the modern audience into the history’s bigger
    picture. In spite of being more intense and surprisingly humorous, the
    movie stays loyal to what this figure truly stands for. The war is
    brutal, over-the-top to bring up for visual flare, and their serious
    situations being often treated as sincere satires. How the film
    executed these ideas are just brilliant, it gets larger-than-life
    without feeling outlandish, towards the heart of defending the nation
    worth fighting for.

    The film is all about justifying their quote about the real enemy of
    this war is themselves. Although we see warfare with both the
    Philippine and American army attacking each other, this battle is
    basically the secondary concern here. The real detail of this war is
    how many soldiers chickening out from the battlefield and some
    officials wanted to work with the Americans. But of course, their real
    goal is independence; the movie makes a punchline out of those who
    aren’t helping out, those who are just running away and those who are
    just isn’t fond of Luna’s aggressiveness. The film doesn’t glamorize
    the character of Luna, either. Though his intentions are right, his
    rage could get out of hand which puts most of them off. But that also
    indicate that winning this revolution deserves more discipline than
    what they got.

    Back to the fact that this is taken a lot out of creative liberties,
    the movie fills this history with vast amount of sense of humor and
    violent panache. The violence is, again, over-the-top. At times it gets
    pretty symbolical, specifically the climax. The humor is clearly just
    satirizing to those characters who aren’t being helpful and those who
    are afraid of facing Luna’s rage once more. And when it’s not trying to
    pull off any sense of levity, we just get to see the story flesh itself
    out more in the sidelines of its history and other characters.

    The filmmaking is stunning, slick and stylish. The production looks
    pretty neat. The movie is paced nicely even at times it’s layered to
    different events, but puts itself together consistently. The acting is
    beyond impressive; specifically John Arcilla as Antonio Luna. He brings
    a genuine humanity, and at the same time, a really compelling sense of
    madness, which terrifically lives up to the complexity of its subject.
    The supporting also lends real gravity and even delight on screen, but
    it’s Arcilla’s show and that’s more than enough of a worth seeing
    performance through out.

    Maybe some quibbles I could point out; maybe how the enemies are
    portrayed felt like they’re written to be campy villains and maybe just
    one punchline in the film that felt like it belongs to a comedy skit.
    But again, these are quibbles and they can be debunked, even by myself.
    The former can be forgiven since they’re technically not the main
    villains of this ordeal, while the latter is just a single scene and
    obviously designed to keep shaming the cowards at the battlefield.
    Anything else, there is so much to love in Heneral Luna. It’s great,
    not only because it’s humorous and visually interesting, but it’s also
    a two-sided argument towards its history, not based on praising, but
    actually by criticism. Yes, this is a war movie that gets brutal, but
    the movie focuses on a meatier and more challenging side of the ordeal.
    And it pokes fun at some unwise decisions the people behind this war
    make, but what matters is the intention of its subject unable to die
    while he’s still standing. Otherwise, it’s just an ultimately
    entertaining film that exceeds expectations. Truly recommended.

  • Sirfaro11September 23, 2015Reply

    Luna’s story still relevant today

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • joshuacastrooSeptember 25, 2015Reply

    One of the best Philippine movies that been ever made

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • Abs RiveraSeptember 25, 2015Reply

    Stylish, Creative, Well Thought, Shot, Acted and Directed…

    The notorious, bad-ass, and famous Gen. Antonio Luna was portrayed in
    the big screen that will make each Pilipino proud. This was one of the
    most outstanding performance for all of the actors involving in this
    film, well directed by Jerrold Tarog, and the cinematography and set
    pieces were jaw-dropping. The creativity and style in the part of the
    film where Gen. Luna closed his eyes while talking with his mother and
    reminisced the past days with their family and the past events that
    occurred in their lives and the people around them was astonishing.

    BOTTOM LINE: Are you tired of watching Pinoy Movies (mostly) with lazy
    writing and predictable plot that focuses majority in Romance, Comedy,
    Romance (did I say Romance twice?)? Here is the movie that we can all
    be proud to say, this is how the movie should be done and treated (with
    CREATIVITY, WELL THOUGHT, WELL DIRECTED).

  • Otakore LiterantadodistSeptember 29, 2015Reply

    A game changer in the world of Philippine Cinema

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • Renelson Antonius Morelos ([email protected])October 5, 2015Reply

    ”Heneral Luna” sees through the humanity of a volcanic temper

    While not entirely a groundbreaking film in the strict sense of the
    word, there’s just a number of firsts in ”Heneral Luna” (2015, Phil.),
    the latest work from the director of the excellent Camera trilogy
    (”Confessional”, ”Mangatyanan”, ”Sana Dati”), Jerrold Tarog. Chief
    among which, of course, is the subject-matter itself: Antonio Luna
    (played to perfection by John Arcilla), the valiant and volcanic
    Filipino general who was a major force in the Philippines’ fight for
    freedom and independence from the American colonizers during the later
    part of the 19th century. Filipino historical films or biopics seem to
    be generally restricted to just two prominent figures: Andres Bonifacio
    and Jose Rizal. From the top of my mind, I can only recall a couple of
    films that featured heroes other than those two stalwarts: a Macario
    Sakay film by Raymond Red and one about Lapu-Lapu starring Lito Lapid.
    If there are other such works still, they may have already been drowned
    in obscurity.

    Thus, a film that details the significant contribution of Gen. Antonio
    Luna to our history (or his life and death, if one may opt to say so)
    should be most welcome. After all, as our history is undeniably marked
    by numerous wars and battles, it would be just apt that we get to
    encounter as well those who helped maneuver our frontline fight against
    the foreign intruders and colonizers. And so, how does Tarog’s ”Heneral
    Luna” actually come about as a viewing fare?

    To put it succinctly, the film is brimming with delight, irreverence,
    and fervent and genuine patriotism. And to top it all, the characters,
    most specially the key figures, are portrayed with a fresh breeze of
    humanism, rather than as cold textbook derivations. While watching the
    film, one really gets the feeling that all the proclamations of
    nationalism and duty to and love for country aren’t merely hollow
    airings, but are genuinely impassioned without having to spell them out
    in big, bold letters. And while at it, ”Heneral Luna” manages to be
    consistently entertaining as well, with its humor and some off-the-wall
    moments. Such is the accomplishment of the film.

    At the film’s prologue, it’s pointed out that the filmmakers have taken
    the liberty of combining ”fact” and ”fiction” to be able to bring
    across bigger truths. Thus, the inspired artistic choices: the young
    journalist who ”interviews” Gen. Luna;the general’s clandestine love
    affair with a woman named Isabel;the ”flashbacks” within a narrative
    that’s already by nature a flashback by way of history;Luna’s stirring
    guitar-tuned flamenco under the moonlight which, in effect, is also a
    swan-song;the poignant touch of magic realism towards the end,
    accompanied by Beethoven’s plaintive piano sonata. The film, likewise,
    doesn’t shy away from a brutal and graphic depiction of the battlefront
    and of the tragic fate of the general in the hands of his own men. This
    is all due to the brave and intelligent screenplay by Tarog, E.A. Rocha
    and Henry Hunt Francia, and the unflinching and imaginative direction
    by Tarog himself. (If one is keen enough to pick up the ”signals”, the
    historical saga will most definitely have a continuation with the
    stories of Gregorio del Pilar (to be portrayed most probably by Paolo
    Avelino) and Manuel Quezon (most likely to be interpreted by Benjamin
    Alves);Tarog is no stranger to making a trilogy.)

    On point of performance, while everyone has put in invaluable work, the
    film is undoubtedly owned by Arcilla. As the title character, the actor
    is able to delineate on screen the general’s reputed fierceness,
    hardheadedness, brashness and fearlessness with gusto and aplomb. One
    can really see that he relishes his character flesh and bone that the
    screen simply flares up every time he’s in the frame. But beneath the
    volcanic personality, one can still sense a deeply-felt love for the
    country and an unassailable desire to fight for its freedom till the
    end being harbored by the general. It’s an incomparable performance
    that sees through the humanity of a ”monster”.

    While it has to be admitted that the film’s irreverence, narrative- and
    character-wise, isn’t unique to itself as one can in fact recall Robert
    Altman’s ”M*A*S*H*”, Franklin J. Schaffner’s ”Patton”, Mike Nichols’
    ”Catch-22” and even our own Mike de Leon’s ”Bayaning Third World”,
    nevertheless ”Heneral Luna” is to be applauded for being able to infuse
    fresh vigor to the historical drama that’s rarely seen nowadays. If
    it’s to be of any note, the film starts and ends with the image of the
    Philippine flag – in the first, the national emblem is fresh and
    intact;while in the second, it’s burning to ashes. It’s sad to think
    what this coda really says to our journey as a nation so far.

  • blankwhitewallOctober 5, 2015Reply

    This Tragedy is a Classic for Philippine Cinema

    I walked out the theater proud that a Filipino team can produce a movie
    like this, yet at the same time, I walked out ashamed as I was made
    more aware of what is wrong in modern Filipino society.

    Immediately, I felt the passion of General Luna – the rage, disgust,
    and temper – as he rallies the nation to stand against the Americans.

    The character was well-played by John Arcilla, who, together with a
    strong supporting cast, was able to deliver a script that reflects the
    stresses of Luna with gravity, but with an injection of comic relief to
    ease the seriousness.

    The film itself was able to paint a reflection of modern society in the
    colors of the Filipino-American War. The movie tag-line ”Bayan o
    Sarili” (nation or self) was evident in scenes depicting colonial
    mentality, favoritism, and abuse of chain of command.

    The movie also paints a human side of Luna – one of that of being a
    comrade, a son, of a talented man, and an eccentric one. It tries to
    connect you to the human side of a leader struggling to win a war.

    Ultimately, the portrayal of this tragedy has spurred so many emotions
    and so many questions. It brought me to an incredible low likened to
    the death of hope, and filled with a rage as to why this nation is the
    way it is. Perhaps this emotional effect is very much amplified by the
    excellence of the production.

    As opposed to mainstream cinema, this movie has many long continuous
    shots and creative takes. Computer graphics were also used
    meaningfully. The music (which was also composed by the director,
    Jerrold Tarog) ties together the movie very well. Costume and make- up
    was accomplished with a high degree of detail.

    The Philippines needs more movies like these, and perhaps more people
    to watch and learn from these. This type of film is one that tries to
    enlighten and change the viewer for the betterment of a nation.

    A classic.

  • Migx UnknownOctober 7, 2015Reply

    Worth your time and money.

    If you are unable to watch this movie in cinemas the best thing you can
    do is to purchase an original copy of the movie.

    The movie, character, plot, setting, climax are perfect. The movie is
    not trying hard and it is very entertaining to watch.

    There isn’t much effects and most of the shots are done manually with a
    little aid of cgi, their characters are balanced and performed well
    throughout the movie. It shows the humane side of Heneral Luna
    (Gen.Luna) how his passion and love for the country evolved during his
    time.

    I have nothing much to say as this is indeed a great movie to watch and
    very regretful to miss.

  • Brent CruzOctober 9, 2015Reply

    Smart Film

    Set in the war between Americans and Filipinos. The Americans are
    invading the Philippines until the Filipinos give up, this includes
    killing the lives of the innocent. The Philippine Government are
    conducting a plan while many want to negotiate for better profit.
    General Luna is there to stop the greed and focus and prioritize the
    state of the nation.

    General Antonio Luna is infamous, mad, unafraid, furious and above all
    cares for his family, fellow-soldiers and country men. He will stop at
    nothing until he accomplish his mission of giving freedom to his
    country. He disciplines and trains the soldiers into making them
    independent and not some slackers or cowards within the war. He removes
    all the corrupted he can find. Inspiration is key and that’s what he
    wants to show to all his soldiers.

    In the end, the face of the real enemy is revealed. It’s one of his
    own. Savagely killed by his own country-men. Showing No Mercy to a man
    who only wants what’s better for the whole country.

    I love the exposure shown to what the message was. It had many
    symbolisms and morals one might enjoy learning. John Arcilla really
    turns into the character he’s portraying, he even looks like him. The
    effects use was really brutal, the sound was pretty great to and the
    cinematography had very beautiful shots and lightning in some scenes.
    The comedy present was a nice addition to the film and making it more
    entertaining to watch. The direction by Jerrold Tarog shines on how
    careful the actors give their performances. The script is rich with
    very detailed and fun lines of entertainment.

    I will say that this film is not propaganda, it’s not bragging of which
    country is better, it’s does not promote blind nationalism. It’s more
    on what’s present and understandable with the value of claiming
    responsibility. It does not send you the message of ”This film makes me
    shameful and filling me guilt you into liking it.”. It’s better if you
    understand your reflections.

  • joedith_legoOctober 25, 2015Reply

    Worth Applauding to

    I never ever recall applauding after a movie – but to Heneral Luna, i
    did. It was worth the applause – not because of the story (only), not
    because of the actors/actresses (only), not because of the way the
    story unfolded (only), not because of the cinematography (only), not
    because of the 3D animation (only) and not because of every other
    element in the film (only). It was because all of those – and being
    very well put together.

    From beginning to end, the movie will capture your attention and keep
    you engaged. The manner in which the story was told – seamlessly
    weaving through the past and present was surprisingly not confusing. I
    am also pleased with the choice of actors who played the different
    characters. And then i learned that the extent of the digital work done
    – hats off.

    Looking forward to the next.

  • subxerogravityNovember 13, 2015Reply

    It’s a very well done War Epic, and a great portrayal of Luna.

    Going into this movie, I knew nothing of General Antonio Luna, but what
    they did for this legendary figure in Philippine history was
    extraordinary.

    Luna was a man’s man who was the ultimate patriot, willing to fight and
    die for his country. As he fought a revolution against those trying to
    colonize his country, he showed them he was not afraid, which made his
    enemies, even those more powerful than him, nervous. While his men
    followed him with pride, he made some enemies from within from those
    who did not share his same ideals of patriotism.

    It was a well acted portrayal of Luna right up there with war epics
    like Patton.

    An overall good war drama.

  • roseannjonamaerodriguez-24025December 29, 2015Reply

    Must-watch for every person, regardless of background

    Perfect. The kind of historical film people need and would want to see.
    Funny. Brutal. Oftentimes truthful. I doubt if someone can finish the
    film without feeling sympathy for Heneral Luna AND anger at those who
    claim to be nationalists but in reality are only concerned with their
    own affairs. The most important realization, in the end, should be that
    our country’s current situation is no different from that it
    experienced during the era of the Philippine-American war.
    Consequently, we have the same responsibility as those who lived during
    those times. The revolution is (still) happening right now. A great
    introduction to anti-imperialism.

  • Carlo RamonedaJanuary 8, 2016Reply

    Intense, thrilling biopic

    Set in the era of Philippine-American war and follows the story of an
    artistic, poet and a witty General, Antonio Luna.

    Intense, thrilling biopic movie that starred awesome actors. They all
    acted their parts fantastically. Gave me goosebumps on some scenes
    because of its high-quality direction. One scene to be exact is the one
    long shot of the character’s background.

    Forget Star Cinema, forget GMA Films, watch these type of movies.

    An eye-opener Filipino film and this should be the start of deviation
    of the clichéd romance ‘kilig’ Filipino movies.

    This is the second Filipino movie that made me this hype. First was On
    the Job. These are must watch films.

    One of the best films of 2015.

    A must-watch film.

  • chicando_kielJanuary 9, 2016Reply

    Simply put, Overrated!

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • giselle bacallaMay 21, 2016Reply

    Best Philippines Historical Film

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • Desertman84January 18, 2017Reply

    A Fair Portrayal Of General Luna

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • ShadowRomeo1784February 22, 2017Reply

    A Good Step Up But Lame And Cheesy. Sometimes..

    My Personal Rating 6.5/10 – I do agree that this film is overrated it
    is a average film but for filipino standards this is a good step up
    because most of our films produced on our country are trash. but if i
    compare this in other film. it’s not really that great. i liked this
    film but i don’t think it’s rating right now is fair. 7.8? nope. don’t
    be fooled by critics it’s being overrated. other than that it’s an
    watchable film, with some cheesy scene that you won’t like. especially
    that ending scene that is so exaggerated. if you are interested on
    Heneral Luna’s Story you can choose. watch this film or read his story
    instead. i guess if i’m you i would watch this film but i will just try
    to ignore the cheesy parts.

  • Yesenia Catalina MoralesMarch 28, 2017Reply

    A must Watch

    Best Filipino historical movie I’d ever seen. I didn’t anticipate how
    great this movie is. So far so good. I cried during the scene when Luna
    and his fellow captains and soldiers were killed by their fellow
    Filipinos. This is the reason why Filipinos defeated during the
    Philippine-American war because of no unity with each other.

    This is the best Heneral Luna’s quote: ‘Our real enemy is ourselves,
    not the Foreigners.’

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