Despite two fellatio scenes, one scorching sex number, and the dishiest poster in recent years, Kambyo is a fairly wholesome affair. The third collaboration between writer Lex Bonife, director Joselito Altarejos, and Viva Digital Productions does not exploit audience's deep gay anxieties as strongly as Ang Lalake Sa Parola or Ang Lihim Ni Antonio, and that's because Kambyo doesn't treat homosexuality as a cestpool of dark secrets and moral conundrums. As four men embark on a road trip to a beach, their van becomes a bubble in which they could be whoever they wish to be. When they step out of the vehicle to encounter homophobes, the movie only underscores the utopia of tolerance that the gang has created for themselves. When two men engage in a quickie blowjob in a toilet, the act is between consenting adults, and the movie smartly acknowledges these actions as matter-of-fact. If you find this corny, as opposed to, say, the sight of one man being abused by another, then that's not the movie's problem; it's yours. This relaxed disposition is the most progressive thing about Kambyo.
However, what keeps it from being a jolly piece of entertainment is its stultifying linearity. Framed by a story where point A must simply get to point B (or how one man chalks a path to his former lover, then gets there), there are hardly any surprises in Kambyo. Supporting characters are forced to speak their interior lives whenever the dull, rigid structure allows, often in unnatural rhythms and choppy sound edit. What we get is a bag of endless musical road travel montage, lots of talk, some drama, some comedy, some sex -- and it all marches along dutifully in single file. There's a kindergarten's book quality to it.
Thankfully, the cast is cute. Smooth-skinned hunk Gabz Del Rosario should've taken off his shirt sooner to kill the drag of the first ten minutes. And, as two old pals who have sex one last time, Rayan Dulay and Johnron Tanada are a sensual full meal. With prissy lighting and wistful music, their lovemaking is tender and affecting. The quiet, pained romance is the sweet center in a bland shell.