Rajeev Masand – movies that matter : from bollywood, hollywood and everywhere else

November 18, 2016

RAW Deal

Filed under: Our FIlms — Rajeev @ 8:37 pm

November 18, 2016

Cast: John Abraham, Sonakshi Sinha, Tahir Bhasin, Adil Hussain, Narendra Jha

Director: Abhinay Deo

Much like last week’s Rock On 2, the truth is that Force 2 is a sequel the world could have done without. Delhi Belly director Abhinay Deo, taking over from Nishikant Kamat, brings a slick upgrade to the action, but it’s a mystery why none of the three credited producers thought of investing a little more towards a better script.

John Abraham returns as upright but reckless cop ACP Yashvardhan Singh whose fists do most of the talking, and whose shirt seldom stays on. When multiple RAW agents embedded in China are killed one after another, Yash is partnered with a local operative (Sonakshi Sinha) and tasked with ferreting out a mole in Budapest responsible for the intelligence breach.

The film is basically an extended chase scene with a smattering of plot thrown in. Some of the unending car, bike, and foot chase portions are genuinely thrilling, but after a point you begin to feel like you’re trapped in a video game because it’s so repetitive and relentless, and because you’re never truly invested in the characters.

Tahir Bhasin, who was so good as the creepy child trafficker playing cat and mouse with Rani Mukherji in Mardaani, is called upon to pretty much repeat that performance as a smirking mastermind always two steps ahead of the lawmakers.

Repetition, and specifically a lack of imagination, is what cripples this textbook thriller which borrows liberally from every other Hollywood film of the genre. The big reveal can be spotted from a distance, and logic and common sense are on vacation. Intended as a tribute to RAW agents who’re killed on duty and abandoned by the government when their cover is blown, the film reveals a facile, naïve understanding of covert agencies and their operations.

John Abraham, who doesn’t once smile in the film, lest one forget that his character hasn’t gotten over his wife’s death, efficiently delivers the kicks and punches, and some cold hard stares. There are moments that suggest he’s in on the joke – like the fight he pulls off, dressed only in a towel – but it’s a shame he’s willing to settle for such mediocre material.

Continuing what she started in Akira, Sonakshi Sinha takes another stab at action, but she’s weighed down by an underwritten role as the least convincing operative since Katrina Kaif in Ek Tha Tiger. It’s Tahir Bhasin, not surprisingly, who walks away with some of the best moments in the film, but this talented young actor would do well to seek out parts that require him to stretch his range.

Force 2 isn’t unwatchable, and it won’t give you a migraine either. But it is a wildly inconsistent film that fills up the gaps between its many action sequences with ridiculous attempts at humor and drama. I’m going with two out of five. Hopefully this franchise ends here.

(This review first aired on CNN News18)

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