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

April 27, 2012

Death train

Filed under: Our FIlms — Rajeev @ 10:35 pm

April 27, 2012

Cast: Ajay Devgan, Anil Kapoor, Zayed Khan, Kangana Ranaut, Sameera Reddy, Boman Irani, Mohanlal

Director: Priyadarshan

Perhaps it’s appropriate that Priyadarshan no longer refers to himself as director of his films, choosing instead to go with the credit “Filmed by Priyadarshan”. The extent of his involvement on Tezz for one, hardly qualifies as anything more than mere ‘filming’, given that it’s an unapologetic rip-off of the popular Japanese film, The Bullet Train.

Ajay Devgan stars as an engineer in London who’s deported home to India when the authorities discover he’s been flouting immigration laws. He returns to England four years later, determined to seek revenge for being separated from his wife Kanagana Ranaut, who for reasons unknown stays back and pines for her husband instead of catching the next flight to India and joining him there.

Now in terrorist mode, Devgan plants a bomb on the London-Glasgow Express, threatening to blow up the passenger train if his demand for 10 million Euros isn’t met. He’s aided in this mission by Zayed Khan and Sameera Reddy, who owe him a favor from a few years ago.

Even as Boman Irani comes close to popping a vein as the distressed control-room head who must figure out ways to keep the train running, Anil Kapoor struts about coolly as a quick-thinking counter-terrorism officer who’s on the trail of these troublemakers. Aside from some tacky CGI shots of criss-crossing trains, much of the action in Tezz unfolds outside of the railways, as Devgan and his accomplices dodge the cops on everything from canoes and speedboats to motorbikes and fast cars. Occasionally the chase sequences work – particularly a thrilling foot chase between Zayed Khan and Anil Kapoor – but many of them are so lazily filmed and edited that they inspire no nail-biting tension whatsoever.

From leather jackets and trench coats to dark glasses and monkey caps…if only half the budget spent on the trendy wardrobe of the actors in this film had been utilized to hammer out a more sensible script, perhaps Tezz might have been a less stupid film. In one embarrassing scene, a British cop insinuates that Anil Kapoor might have intentionally botched up the case because he’s protecting the terrorist, who’s also Indian. More idiotic is the manner in which the terrorist’s nationality is discovered – while communicating with him on the phone, Boman Irani hears him mutter a Hindi swear word accidentally. But nothing is more preposterous than the film’s positioning of Devgan as a wronged man. Seriously…this guy is threatening to blow up a train for having been deported because he was an illegal immigrant! And we’re meant to root for him?

If that doesn’t make you laugh, Anil Kapoor’s accent most definitely will. Kapoor earnestly tackles his role, as does Devgan, but you can’t help feeling like you’ve seen all this before…in films like Speed and The Taking of Pelham 123 to name just a few. Boman Irani tries desperately to cling on to his dignity, but it’s only Mohanlal, as an anti-narcotics officer on board the doomed train, who scrapes by without completely embarrassing himself.

Tezz has many of the ingredients for an engaging, fast-paced thriller. What it needed was a director to assemble its parts and make them work. Alas, Priyadarshan is content with merely filming.

I’m going with one-and-a-half out of five for Tezz…awfully boring for a film that promises speed and thrills.

(This review first aired on CNN-IBN)


  1. Thank you a lot for such a detailed description of the movie. I was planning to watch it..but I guess now I won’t…hehe

    Comment by Kp Sivaramakrishnan — April 27, 2012 @ 11:28 pm

  2. check ur facts first..fool…priyadarshan has been using ‘filmed by Priyadarshan’ since Muskurahat days..

    Comment by chetan bhagat — April 27, 2012 @ 11:39 pm

  3. thanks 4 the review………. most of ur reviews are helpful………. it saves money which matters

    Comment by Rajat — April 28, 2012 @ 11:31 am

  4. thanks for saving us some well earned money…what with multiplex tickets costs today! Phew!

    Comment by aditi rao — April 28, 2012 @ 2:21 pm

  5. You are a really harsh critic.
    Have you ever gave a film 4stars.You always give 1 or 2

    Comment by Tezz — April 28, 2012 @ 3:30 pm

  6. guyz dont trust this review.. juz go for ittt… itz d best action movie.. ever made in india…
    i watchd twice.. itz really really rocking.. hatz off to d whoel crew

    Comment by sinna thanseem khan — April 29, 2012 @ 10:15 pm

  7. Oh I just wished I could have waited till 10-30pm Friday night(27th april) & watched Now Showing.Unfortunately,I watched Tezz on friday evening itself.Agreed Rajeev!This illogical film is a total waste of time & money.The only point where I would diagree with you is regarding performances.Anil Kapoor definitely tries hard but Ajay Devgn totally looks disinterested in the film!Even Mohan Lal has got nothing much to do!

    Comment by apoorv sharma — April 29, 2012 @ 11:09 pm

  8. 5 out of 5 for your review.it was exactly d same bt u just forgot to mention d hindi dose blondes were speaking..n one request plz let ur reviews out in d morning itself on friday..

    Comment by karan — April 30, 2012 @ 6:18 pm

  9. 1.5 is a bit harsh…although the script is weak..it works in parts…tezz has its moments of few good chase sequences..but it could have been knitted better…Bomman Irani stands out as usual..Mohanlal is wasted…overall tezz could have been better with out the speed limits…2.25

    Comment by VIJAY MAHESH — May 1, 2012 @ 7:40 pm

  10. waste movie

    Comment by shanu abbas — May 16, 2012 @ 12:34 pm

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