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

December 21, 2012

Same old, same old!

Filed under: Our FIlms — Rajeev @ 10:40 pm

December 21, 2012

Cast: Salman Khan, Sonakshi Sinha, Arbaaz Khan, Vinod Khanna, Prakash Raj, Deepak Dobriyal, Nikitin Dheer

Director: Arbaaz Khan

Given that Dabangg 2 is a family production in every sense of the term – Salman Khan stars, his brother Arbaaz directs, Arbaaz’s wife Malaika Arora produces, and their sister Alvira Agnihotri does costumes – you can’t help but wonder why no one thought of roping in their father, veteran screenwriter Salim Khan, to slap the script into shape. Because while there’s some fun to be had watching Chulbul Pandey bash up the bad guys again and share a tender romance with his missus, nothing even remotely interesting happens in this film.

Now posted in Kanpur, our swashbuckling police officer hero applies his unique but unconventional methods of dispensing justice to keep kidnappers and thugs off the street. Having mended his relationship with his step-father (Vinod Khanna) and half-brother (Arbaaz Khan), and with his wife Rajo (Sonakshi Sinha) carrying his bun in her oven, Chulbul has none of the personal baggage he had to deal with in the earlier film. His only conflict here is with corrupt local politician Bacha Bhaiyya (Prakash Raj) and his hoodlum brothers, who have no regard for the law.

Arbaaz Khan, taking his first stab at direction, delivers a harmless and inoffensive film, but one that doesn’t have any of the unpredictability of Abhinav Kashyap’s Dabangg from two years ago. That film’s unique cocktail of irreverent humor and comic-book action made up for many of its script flaws, and gave us some truly terrific moments. Like that scene in which Chulbul breaks into a jig to the caller tune of a mobile phone that goes off during an action scene. Or that portion in which Chulbul’s shirt rips off his chest when he flexes his muscles. Arbaaz, for his part, comes up with little that’s original, repeating both those bits in Dabangg 2, only tweaking them slightly.

That’s true of the entire film, to be honest, which feels like a pale imitation of Dabangg. Between the dozen-odd action scenes filmed in slo-mo to suggest the impact of every punch, and the obligatory bosom-heaving item song, you’ve seen it all before. Clever punch lines are few and far between, and even Sajid-Wajid’s music has a recycled quality to it.

But a key problem with this sequel lies in the weak choice of villain. Prakash Raj, usually a competent actor, is reduced to a nostril-flaring, bulging-eyed caricature who poses none of the physical threat that Sonu Sood’s Chhedi Singh represented in the earlier film. Deepak Dobriyal, playing Bacha’s brother here, offers a deliciously slimy performance, but the character is terminated in what is possibly the best scene in the film, that takes place as early as interval point.

Expectedly Dabangg 2’s only strength is Salman Khan himself, who is the glue that holds together this slipshod film. He’s charming in his romantic, cheeky scenes with Sonakshi Sinha, he’s mischievous and endearing while teasing his father, and plain hilarious in his interactions with his sidekick cops. Sadly, Chulbul Pandey is an extraordinary man trapped in an ordinary, unexciting world in Dabangg 2.

I’m going with a generous two-and-a-half out of five for Arbaaz Khan’s Dabangg 2. What this film needed was personality and character; what it’s left with is sameness. But that’s probably enough for Salman Khan fans.

(This review first aired on CNN-IBN)


  1. I don’t understand how a sensible man like you can like ‘dabangg’ (first part) as you are calling that film moments funny and terrific. It was such a worst movie and so will be dabangg 2. How can you give 2 and half stars ?It deserves 1 star. How do you like pathetic acting of salman khan and so called charishma? He does same thing without any innovation and what he does is also so simple and looks with so much effort.

    Comment by hemant — December 21, 2012 @ 11:00 pm

  2. I totally agree with you on this sir. would only add this that the film is amongst the better films from salmankhan n lies behind only its prequel, dabangg as rest of his films from past couple of yers were only running on salmans huge fan base..:-)

    Comment by Krishan Upadhyay — December 21, 2012 @ 11:12 pm

  3. Nin ajji shunti, it’s salmon bro. Just enjoy the movie

    Comment by Mubeen — December 21, 2012 @ 11:34 pm

  4. “Same old, same old”
    Well, then what did u expect from a sequel?!!!!

    Comment by Ravi Teja — December 21, 2012 @ 11:57 pm

  5. Rajeev Masand, get a life man! How long will you continue to live in such denial? I don’t understand why you have this inherent dislike for Hindi Movies? I do follow your review but only after having watched the movie. My observation is you never say any Hindi movie good unless it is a movie without big names or it is a small banner film. Plus, what irritates me the most is your biased review for any Hollywood movie. While you hardly callany hindi movie GOOD, you barely dislike any bollywood movie. Accept the fact that audience want entertainment and that’s what D2 is all about. People are educated enough to decide good and bad movie and they don’t need to read your reviews.

    Comment by Mukesh — December 22, 2012 @ 12:53 am

  6. sir i am a big fan of your reviews but to be honest you seem to be biased with salman. how in the world can the best critic of this country give it 2 and a half stars. somebody save this industry

    Comment by crazzy — December 22, 2012 @ 12:54 am

  7. @mukesh: You yourself say people dont need his reviews and then read them and get offended. Dude..if you are so pissed off by his reviews, just dont read them!!

    Comment by Rinu — December 22, 2012 @ 1:30 am

  8. Films have lot of aspects rather than entertainment, people familer with the art of making films are aware of those other aspects/factors. I believe Rajeev sir gives the reviem considering all the aspects & yes we are way behind Hollywood due to certain reasons. Lot of viewers just watch the films for entertainment as they are not aware of the deep & vast aspects of filmmaking, they are not expected to know such things also but they should not argue with the people having enough knowledge about it, it’s like a layman arguing with the expert.

    Comment by Omkar — December 22, 2012 @ 1:50 am

  9. Best way to watch dabang 2….put ur dabang 1 cd…and play dabang 2 songs…and enjoye d same nonsense again if u can again n again….d entire khan family tried…bt dint work sorry..I had given d same rating as I saw d movie on my bbm…2 star for salman and his attempt to act+ 0.5 for fevicol….

    Comment by jay — December 22, 2012 @ 1:55 am

  10. Just to watch Salman Khan on the screen for 2+ hours is paisa vasool.

    Comment by Arjun — December 22, 2012 @ 2:08 am

  11. 2 and a half stars ??? is it a joke mr. masand ??? u r undoubtedly best critic but i think u r also paid lyk nahta n taran adarsh…gow2 3 stars n this waste 2.5 stars??? this idiotic film deserve 0 star…they only want to make money nothing else.

    Comment by vijay — December 22, 2012 @ 5:10 am

  12. sir its a full on entertainment,
    i lyk D2 nd enjoy it. sir hw can u give only 2 nd half lyk this extraodenary movie its a sure shot blockbuster.

    Comment by Shakir khan — December 22, 2012 @ 7:00 am

  13. Sir Ji…maa kasam hai aapke upar ,sach boliye ki aap poori movie mein kahin par bhi bore hue….???
    Yaar ,,,agar logon ko kuch seekhne ya samajhne jana hai toh school colleges kam pad gaye hain kya jo movie mein bhi yahi sabh dekhne jaayen…..agar aisa hai toh why we call film industry as an Entertainment industry and why not we call it Education industry…..dada wake up its all about enterainment only….if peoples are loving it from classes to masses tht means it has something …and D2 has everything!!! 250 cr ki movie hai dekh lena!!!

    Comment by Shashank — December 22, 2012 @ 7:29 am

  14. D1is worst movie and copied from 80and 90 ‘s hw can u say that was gud and salman he is going mad in every film and trying to remake all south movies bulshit

    Comment by ameen — December 22, 2012 @ 10:51 am

  15. I personally feel Rajeev Masand gives honest reviews for every film.I never noticed him being biased for somebody as we see other critics.Coming to Dabangg 2 it is just an average movie.I completely agree with what Rajeev Masand said here, the film fails to build up characters.We saw Sonu Sood’s character in Dabangg which was very nicely written and acted too.We don’t see that kind of villain in this film.Having watched Prakaj Raj’s earlier movies, I am not happy with his role and acting.I really don’t like so called recent action movies as these movies show nothing but sheer non sense.Action of movie ‘Force’ was far better than this one.Salman is enjoying his golden period of his career so this movie also will be a hit.

    Comment by Chinmay — December 22, 2012 @ 11:44 am

  16. Sorry to say but you don’t know the meaning of ‘entertainment’. I’m not a fan boy but I saw the movie and there’s not any moment in the film which makes you bore. Better you not review/see any Bollywood, If you’ve perception that it’s a crap. You should review only Hollywood movies because your review for every bolly film is predictable 1.5 to 2.5 that’s it.. Sorry

    Comment by Aditya — December 22, 2012 @ 11:49 am

  17. sir 2.5 stars is a lot of respect which this movie doesn’t deserve .. Its full crap like D1 , i know people will love it because they are bunch of idiots everyone knows this. Bodyguard was also crap but it broke all the records and so will do D2.. just because Salman is in the movie, if instead of him there would be some other actor nobody would have gone to watch it . People, please have some sense of humour and stop prasing movies like these.

    Comment by rohan — December 22, 2012 @ 12:15 pm

  18. Both the movies are worst & u cn only enjoy them if your drunk that way you will laugh at anything!

    Comment by Chetan — December 22, 2012 @ 1:10 pm

  19. Sometimes i feel being a film critic is a tough job, although which requires one to watch a film week by week.
    i for one feel my personal life emotions , when the film is released and i go to see effect in the way i judge it, to judge is totally unbiased only on cinematic excellence is a tough job,that too week in and week out. genenrally, whatever one can relate to in a film,which connects ,feels good to human nature, it changes the judgement a little, sometimes in favour,and sometimes against. I sometimes think, that with so much negative bashing Mr Rajeev Masand gets, he needs to get Z-Type security. hehe,east and west are two different worlds, culturally,socially, mentally, and religously, its not wise in my sense to compare the two hollywood and bollyowood. lets keep the two flavours away and not mix them up…they are beautiful in their own sense.

    Comment by sanket — December 22, 2012 @ 1:14 pm

  20. D muvi doesn’t deserve any stars. Pathetic acting, pathetic muvi n still receivin 2.5 stars. Whenever a muvi releases on fri, go n check d entertainment section in google news. U wil always find d links of reviews after 12:00pm but dis was d 1st tym where I din’t find any links till 10:45 pm. However, I did find d reviews on some other entertainment websites & wikipedia. Clearly, Salman has purchased d media also. NOW DER IS NO DOUBT WHY HE IS CALD DABANGG!!! CHEAP TACTICS TO AVOID D LOSSES. GROW UP MAN. WE PAY 2 GET ENTERTAINED & NOT FOR A MINDLESS CRAP LYK DIS.

    Comment by Rajit — December 22, 2012 @ 1:59 pm

  21. i respect your review.. i would like to request people to please respect what rajeev says because he has seen and reviewed soo many films that we cant even imagin. . i appreciate your effort and plz continue the good work. .

    cheers. .


    Comment by yc — December 22, 2012 @ 3:05 pm

  22. Though i am a salman bhai fan, i dint like this movie. There is no speciality in this movie. This film has nothing in it as compared to D1.

    The typical bolywood style fights(superficial) are just annoying. Songs were good. Villian was nice and sallu bhai gave an ok performance

    And rajeev sir, you are right… the film deserves only 2.5 stars.

    Comment by Athul vijay — December 22, 2012 @ 3:06 pm

  23. Its Salman Khan one should not expect any logic in his films.

    Comment by Rahul — December 22, 2012 @ 4:40 pm

  24. Nice review rajeev , i don’t think salman’s all recent movies deserve more than two and half

    Comment by SHARUKH KHAN — December 22, 2012 @ 6:19 pm

  25. get off your high horse and enjoy this movie guys….its true that there is nothing new in this movie but unlike some of Salman’s recent releases (Bodyguard, ETT) I never felt bored in the movie. I took my entire family with me to go watch this movie and all of us came out with a smile and at the end of the day, that is all that matters. this movie is not logical, no thinking required, just go and have a blast at the theaters. and for those of u with a stick up ur ass, please just dont watch movies, u can take urself to the next anurag kashyap and let us be!

    Comment by AJ — December 22, 2012 @ 7:21 pm

  26. We all audionses get entertain inside the cinema hall but avoid praising outside cuz of their sophistacated type of image but will surely praise hollywood or glamrous films without understanding completely cuz it will add glamour to their image.

    Come on pepes, some films is to remove your persona for a while & enjoy from inside of your sole. If you like something, then Whistle, screeme no matter whether you are in multiplexes or single screen theatres. Enjoy Dabangg2 to the fullest to forget your daily tensions for a while!

    Comment by Harshit — December 22, 2012 @ 7:54 pm

  27. Totally agree with your views

    Comment by muhammad sohail parvaiz — December 22, 2012 @ 8:05 pm

  28. Best critic ! Straight from heart Nd mind..

    Comment by muhammad sohail parvaiz — December 22, 2012 @ 8:25 pm

  29. You are by far the best critic in the country. You are brutally critical about films and that’s what sets you apart from the rest . I have been following your work for the past two years and I I have always agreed with your ratings, once again even though I am a huge Salman fan I agree with your rating and the last line of your review indicates your experience as a critic and one of the reasons why I am your fan.
    Great work.

    Comment by Reema — December 22, 2012 @ 9:05 pm

  30. Sir you have given D1 2 star and now u have 2.5 star.WTF u are saying d1 was better ?

    Comment by rajeev — December 23, 2012 @ 11:26 am

  31. Rajeev sir……i think u r the best among indian critics….and i do follow ur reviews……and in my opinion i think u gave your review by considering this film in its own genre bcoz if u judge this movie in its masala movie genre and compare it with movies like rowdy rathore,bodyguard,ready,sos…….etc….then D2 definitely deserves only 2.5 stars……….and to those people who’re trying to compare D2 with GOW plz don’t do that…..GOW belongs to different genre….

    Comment by rajat — December 23, 2012 @ 9:23 pm

  32. Sir,

    I have been strictly following your reviews specially before watching hindi movies. (Honestly only your reviews are authentic)

    But, just a bit partiality toward Salman movies has been noted from last two films like “ek tha tiger” & “Dabangg 2”.

    Both movies does not deserve more than 1 or 1.5. And I think from lpast few years, no Salman movie deserves more than 1.5 ratings.

    Giving such high ratings(don’t know why, whether to please Salman fans or to follow Box office collections) is truely unworthy.

    Sorry for discontent, but true movie fans are following you, so kindly provide honest rating to such Masala (Useless) movies & don’t misguide us in going to theatres and face hell.

    Sorry once again…………

    Comment by Piyush — December 23, 2012 @ 10:51 pm

  33. This movie is surely a crappy remake of the crappy dabbang. And the crappy actor salman does a crappy job of making mess of the box office. what hurts to see is that the fans even though knowing that this movie is a living crap appreciate the movie. I BEG YOU MOVIE MAKERS STOP THIS NONSENSE ASAP…

    Comment by Aman — December 24, 2012 @ 12:47 am

  34. Frankly, I am surprised you even gave a 2.5. Considering how harsh you have been on other films and stars (too many examples to start making a note).

    Comment by aditi rao — December 24, 2012 @ 2:38 pm

  35. As always the most genuine and credible review..!! 🙂

    Comment by Ritu Raj Jaiswal — December 24, 2012 @ 4:33 pm

  36. RajYou had earlier rated Dabangg the movie 2.5/5, arguing that “Dabangg’ is ordinary, at best average… Blame it on the disjointed screenplay if Dabangg works not so much as a coherent, consistent film, but as a string of set-pieces. As a result it feels way longer than its two-hours-and-five-minutes running time, and the climatic action scene that takes place outside the villain’s den seems never-ending.”

    If both Dabangg and Dabangg 2 are equally rated by you, then why are you saying dabangg is better than this 1??

    Comment by Umang — December 25, 2012 @ 11:13 am

  37. two and a half is too generous… bad film… typical male dominance… heroine just to show her face for 4 songs and 6 scenes and ofcourse a demeaning degrading item no. where the lady proclaims that she is a tanduri murgi and should be devoured with alcohol…can we afford such songs in out society anymore, women are already considered sex objects … pls tell me mr masand, how much money will they loose if they dont have such songs for the front row audience..isnt it time for some social responsibility? being human?

    Comment by shubha — December 25, 2012 @ 10:11 pm

  38. Just humor me here
    Supposedly, just supposedly instead of salman the lead actor of this mudfest was someone else, say Zayed khan or emran hashmi. Now imagine every scene you loved and whistled to. Awkward now isn’t it?
    Any movie that depends only on its stars to be successful (which is pretty much the trend in India right now) just isn’t worth the sane mind.

    Comment by Ajay — December 25, 2012 @ 10:45 pm

  39. Hi Rajeev , I go with your verdict everytime its time to watch a movie ,fearless and unbiased review .This genre of pea brained garbage from the khan brigade (sans Amir and thank god for that !).These sick money bags with single digit IQ’s ,dropped twice on their heads when the were born are a burden on the country’s conscience .

    Comment by jatindra singh deo — December 26, 2012 @ 3:00 pm

  40. this movie dosen’t worth 2.5 stars rajeev. its a crappy movie and it worth not more than 1star.
    there is something wrong with your ratings these days rajeev.

    Comment by rohin — December 26, 2012 @ 3:30 pm

  41. Ah well, here’s What I Thought about Dabangg 2

    Comment by Sohan Surag — December 26, 2012 @ 11:30 pm

  42. sir…how you gave it 2.5/5.. are you afraid of salman? i think this movie deserve 1 star only. worst movie of the decade.plz expect a better review next time

    Comment by shakti — December 27, 2012 @ 11:13 am

  43. 2.5 is fair enough, those who are fighting hard to give it 1 are biased towards emotions rather than entertainment.

    Comment by anuragg — January 2, 2013 @ 12:19 pm

  44. wats any debate for, if i were u Mr Masand, if its a Saman Khan film i ll directly give it a zero. In fact i will not even bother reviewing it for it hardly come in the category of film, more like some circus entertainment

    Comment by filmlover — January 2, 2013 @ 11:57 pm

  45. WORSTTTTTTTTTTTTTT MOVIE !!!…. God help indian cinema

    Comment by Kamal Sidhu — January 18, 2013 @ 10:33 am

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