Philbert Dy’s review published on Letterboxd:
The movie has me tickled in its opening title card, which declares that it takes place in 2024. Why does it takes place five years from now? Beats me. The movie doesn't fill out that history, and the year never comes up again. We then cut to a prison where several things are happening simultaneously: some guys are having a dance contest, a lady prisoner is trying to intimate a new inmate, and Ronnie Ricketts is playing chess with Alvin Anson.
These first few moments are very confusing, the movie cutting between characters with no context or motivation. But it doesn't matter: the point is, everybody starts fighting. Again, we still don't really know anything about these people, but all right. The fights get broken up, and eventually, warden Jackie Lou Blanco starts hitting people. Oh, and we find out that Alvin Anson is working with the warden, and he was supposed to kill Ricketts.
Anyway, for some reason, twelve of the inmates are shipped off to an island, and they're told that the first person to make it to the other end of the island will be given their freedom. We finally get to meet the characters with freeze frames with overlaid text telling us their name, their crime, and their sentence. Some of them get flashbacks, which immediately tell us who the heroes are going to be. Their flashbacks basically tell us that they are unjustly incarcerated.
It is at this point that we see Ricketts putting rocks in his socks. Yesssss.
The twelve start Hunger Games-ing all over the island, and again, it's all edited into a mishmash that makes it difficult to care about much of what's going on. Except Ronnie Ricketts is beating up people with his rock-socks, and that's great in concept, even if the camera isn't always getting the action.
And then we find out that there are cannibals living on the island. And this kind of becomes a late 70s Italian exploitation film, minus the nudity and the excessive on screen gore. The prison inmates, several of whom are introduced as murderers, team up to fend off this new threat. MURDERERS VS. CANNIBALS!
And oh, back with the bad guys, there's this one young lieutenant who actually has a conscience and protests the methods of the people he's working for. And he witnesses a lot of bad stuff, but he doesn't really take a stand until he sees the cannibals. Apparently the cannibals are one step too far. It's great. And by great, I mean it's really silly but taken weirdly seriously.
Man, I could spend a lot of time talking about what happens in this movie. It's pretty crazy. There's this one scene in Jackie Lou Blanco's office, and the name plate on her desk is comedically large. It looks like a prop from a Mel Brooks movie. It would be a payoff to a joke that involved Jackie Lou Blanco being jealous about someone's large nameplate. But here, she just has a ridiculously large nameplate. It's great.
In conclusion: the plot makes no sense, the editing is really bad, the acting mostly consists of yelling, and the fighting is passable at best. On the other hand, it's fully committed to its own insanity. Also, it could be pointed out that this is a film in the Duterte era that kind of makes the case that the authorities might be worse than convicted criminals. It's kind of a stretch, but it's certainly there. And Ronnie Ricketts beats up a bunch of dudes with socks filled with rocks. That's got to count for something.