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Film / Yamashita: The Tiger's Treasure

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Yamashita: The Tiger's Treasure is a 2001 Filipino epic adventure-drama film that revolves around a hidden Yamashita treasure. It was directed by acclaimed Filipino director Chito S. Roño and released by Regal Entertainment. The film won a total of 11 awards in various award-giving bodies including the coveted Metro Manila Film Festival for Best Picture.


This film provides examples of:

  • All That Glitters
  • Alternate History: A very minor example, assuming the film is set in 2001: the renaming of EDSA road into a WWII veteran's name is a point-of-divergence, as in 1986, the avenue was the site of the People Power Revolution that ousted dictator Ferdinand Marcos.
    • The discovery of the said treasure would result in a bigger point-of-divergence. This results in the foreign investment flooding into he Philippines and the U.S. Dollar-to-Philippine Peso exchange rate being as $1:4 PHP.
  • Big Bad: General Yamashita during World War II; Naguchi in present day.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The bad guys are arrested by the Philippine National Police and their reward was stopped by a people power who heard of the info of the Yamashita treasure but WWII veteran Carmelo "Melo" Rosales is killed along with some bad guys when one of them steps on a landmine. On the brighter side, right before Melo dies, he sees the specter of his brother in which he smiles to him. He is posthumously buried in the Heroes' Cemetery and EDSA avenue is renamed Carmelo Rosales Avenue due to his honor, heroism and resilience.
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  • The Cavalry: A very unique example: The Philippine Army, Police, national media. and the masses of people that stopped the villains from succeeding. Doubles as Big Damn Heroes.
  • The Cavalry Arrives Late: Emong and Jobert's group leads the military to the location of the tunnels only to arrive too late after the explosion which killed Lolo Melo. Realizing that some of Naguchi's surviving henchmen are leaving with the loot and treasure loaded in trucks, Jobert tells Emong to call local and national media about the incident, which succeeds in the arrest of the bad guys.
  • Dead Person Conversation: Though it is implied to be a hallucination for Lolo Melo's part, he smiles at the spirit of his brother Omar just before they are killed by a booby trap accidentally set-up by one of the henchmen in the cave.
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  • Death by Materialism: Jarco, seemingly mesmerized by countless loot in his front, opens the Golden Buddha only to step on a land mine, causing a chain of explosions that destroys the tunnel, killing everyone including himself. Also counts as Laser-Guided Karma, Idiot Ball, and Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!.
  • The Dragon: Jarco, the leader of the henchmen, and police chief Rivas, an accomplice to Naguchi and his henchmen.
  • Due to the Dead: Carmelo Rosales, his brother Omar, and the remains of the Filipino soldiers are all given full military honors at the Heroes' Cemetery, including a 21-gun salute. EDSA is then renamed to Carmelo Rosales Avenue in honor of his bravery and heroism.
  • Enemy Mine: The communist New People's Army fighters join the massive mob that stops the trucks full of the Yamashita gold. It is implied that they were only there for the wealth though.
  • Evil Has Standards: The bad guys, despite how evil they were, do not a kill single civilian when a people power blocks their trucks carrying the loot. One guys shoots his pistol in the air in order to make the civilians disperse, but this only makes more civilians converge to their truck. Justified, since they would most likely have run out of ammo and the civilians would have most likely lynched them; not to mention the police and the military would have caught them anyway.
  • Face Death with Dignity: Melo sees a vision of his deceased-brother smiling at him and calmly accepts his death as an explosion caused by land mine kills everyone inside the cave.
  • Funny Background Event: When the NPA fighters hears the news of the treasure being found, they waste no time to join the people power that intercepts the convoy, much to the confusion of two kidnapped and blindfolded tourists.
  • Gold Makes Everything Shiny: Naturally, as the sun hits the legendary treasure.
  • The Government: Actually a benevolent organization who helps the protagonists and arrests the villains. Emong is revealed to be a member of the Philippine government and uses his connection call for military assistance.
  • Idiot Ball: The villain's mercenaries decided to toy with their M-16s by shooting short bursts at the family of Melo and Jobert's group to make them run. The continue shooting until they accidentally hit a truck carrying soldiers of the Philippine Army, causing the soldiers to return fire.
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: Despite the bad guys being armed with automatic rifles and spraying bullets all over the place, they never got to hit Jobert and his friends out in the open.
  • La Résistance: Filipino guerrillas against the Japanese during World War II.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: To the villains of course.
  • Loot Drama: Basically the whole plot.
  • Man Behind the Man: Police chief Rivas, an accomplice to Naguchi, is revealed to be the mastermind of the whole ordeal.
  • More Dakka: The villains are armed with M-16s. Their good guy counterparts in the army are armed with it as well.
  • Nazi Gold: While not Nazi in nature but rather Japanese, the Yamashita treasure as of 2018 has yet to be discovered.
  • Reality Ensues: As in Real Life, nobody knows if the treasure has been found by the Marcoses, has been secretly found years ago, or is in the bottom of the ocean as Allies bombed Japanese merchant ships in the South China Sea.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!:
    • For the villains, Naguchi definitely has a lot including some members of the Philippine government.
    • For the good guys, Emong uses his connections to the governments to get police, military, and national media assistance in stopping the bad guys. It is implied that he is an NBI agent.
  • Treasure Room: The cave that contains the remains of Filipino POWs also contains the legendary Yamashita treasure.
  • Zerg Rush: A massive people power instigated by the national media stops the villains from escaping with their gold.

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