Gee. Practically everyone around here resembles a tree, complete with hands serving as tough branches, hair flying like a mess of leaves in a squall, not to forget legs which leap into air and return to be rooted in the soil. Really, there’s so much trouble, hubble, bubble and toil, making your blood boil.
So it’s another hard day’s fight for Captain Karanvir Singh in Commando 2: The Black Money Trail (such a long-n-winding title), a dishoom-bhishoom sequel by funster actor-turned-director Deven Bhojani exhorted by producer Vipul Amrutlal Shah. Tchah now why has Mr Shah retired (permanetly or otherwise) from direction? The answer to that, my friends, is lurkin’ in the wind.
Incidentally for the first Commando, Film Institute graduate and prolific ad filmmaker, Dilip Ghosh, had been recruited to direct. Omigosh, the stylish Ghosh has been axed. A pity because, at least the first edition of this C-movie had an element of pizzazz. The second edition, however, isn’t even close to teak-hai, since the plot is about as implausible as a peepul jhaad which doesn’t provide shade. Overlit, devoid of any surprises and as dervative of the Hollywood actioners as they come, this Bollywood maara-maari megathon is pure punishment. Ouch grouch.
The storyline, if there is one, goes dizzy over a ragtag bunch of Rakhvalas of our Rashtra –plenty of them pouring on the ‘plex screen nowadaze – helmed by the aforecited Captain (Vidyut Jammwal). By the way, he was courtmartialled unjustly and must retrieve his honour with a l’il help from his assistants including an overwrought Hyderabadi-accented gal (Adah Sharma), a comp-hacker (played by a Beffuddled Expression) and a musclewalla (Freddy Daruwala). Their mission is to nab a gang of black money-launderers who’re chilling-pilling in a Malaysian Mansion. Howzzat that for tension?
Finito, that’s the woof-woof and weft of the screechplay, a mere excuse for one showdown after another. This may well have been okey-dokey back in the 1970s. Contemporary action flicks require an extra zing and zap though– an iota of substance, let’s say – which is as conspicuous as the absence of a chef in a fine-dine restaurant. The tireless baddies do their shtick of bashing up the good guys and vice versa. For a touch of woman power, there’s a boss lady in crip-toasted saris (Shefali Shah, direly wasted), who’s the brain behind the anti-kaala-dhan mission, reminding you of fierce femmes in so many American TV series. But that’s it.
At best or worst, Commando 2: Etc Etc is a 135-minuter for Vidyut Jammwalji to assert that he’s an actor who prefers to be all-brawn-no-brain. The strategy is a suicidal one, alas. Truly no actor of any worth can survive on his abs, biceps and martial arts razzle-dazzlery alone. Even his presumed role-models Sylvestver Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger have had to vary their acts, haven’t they? And please don’t even bring up the name of the legendary Bruce Lee. Sure he was an action machine but there was also an intensity and an emotional underlayering conveyed through his eyes. Jammwalji, like it or not, devotes all his skills to body acrobatics.
The excellent character actor (Adil Hussain) whom you might have noticed in Inshqiya and English Vinglish, is obviously striving to make an impact in the Bollywood mainstream. No go, tsk. As for Adah Sharma, who usually has an impressive screen presence, she rolls out a performance which is as out-of-control as a fairground’s ferris wheel which can’t be stopped.
Technically serviceable, there are no other redeeming factors, be it the music score which sounds like a feeble lion’s roar, or the production design which is strictly the same-ole. Occasionally, an action set piece does shake you out of your slumber. Zzzzzz in this war and peace fiesta otherwise.
Unsolicited suggestion: instead of Commando 2, go to the gym instead.
Image Source: youtube/bigpictures