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

December 23, 2011

Heist makes waste

Filed under: Our FIlms — Rajeev @ 10:33 pm

December 23, 2011

Cast: Shah Rukh Khan, Priyanka Chopra, Boman Irani, Lara Dutta, Kunal Kapoor, Aly Khan, Om Puri

Director: Farhan Akhtar

In his interviews leading up to the release of Don 2, director Farhan Akhtar has repeatedly said that viewers seeking anything other than pure thrills and entertainment from this film are likely to be disappointed. Going in with strictly those expectations, I’m sorry to report I still came away feeling cheated.

For the film’s plot – which basically involves our flamboyant criminal protagonist (Shah Rukh Khan) assembling a team to pull off a seemingly impossible heist in Berlin – the makers borrow ideas from some fine capers like Ocean’s Eleven and the Mission Impossible movies. Still what they deliver in the end is a clunky and spectacularly boring film that is neither smart nor particularly fun.

Sequel to the 2006 film, which was itself a remake of the 1978 Amitabh Bachchan starrer, Don 2 suffers from lazy writing. This is the kind of film in which a most-wanted international criminal can roam around a prison unsupervised, so he can smuggle deadly chemicals into the premises, and poison the inmates’ dinner.

There are ample car chases, explosions, and plot twists; there’s a globetrotting adventure that kicks off in Thailand, moves to Malaysia, then unravels in Europe. But what’s missing is the slightest hint of urgency or nail-biting tension.  Take that freefall sequence from a Berlin skyscraper; it’s shot stylishly and gracefully, but without any of the messy unpredictability it could’ve done with. Remember that edge-of-the-seat Burj sequence in Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol?

For what’s intended as a slick action thriller, Don 2 moves at an unforgivably slow pace. The heist-planning sequences are tedious and repetitive, and involve more talk than action. To be entirely honest, the action itself has a been-there-seen-that feel to it, and some set pieces aren’t even competently plagiarized. A scene in which an A-list star makes an uncredited cameo defeats the very intention of the scene, given that the audience is in on the trick from the word go.

Looking leaner, meaner and less androgynous than he did in the earlier film, Shah Rukh Khan is expectedly the driving force of Don 2. With a cocky swagger and a mischievous smile, the actor delivers cheesy dialogue that belongs in a school play. The bedrock of a good heist film is the interaction between its team, but Shah Rukh towers above his comrades, giving them precious little to do. Boman Irani returns as Don’s nemesis Vardhan, who has been enlisted to help him on the new job. Lara Dutta is his fetching moll, Kunal Kapoor a hacker handpicked for the assignment, and Aly Khan an influential banker blackmailed into volunteering his services.

Priyanka Chopra, on the other side of the moral divide, is Interpol officer Roma, who has some unfinished business with Don. Their scenes together offer some of the film’s most unintentionally comical moments, and while Priyanka looks the part of the ass-kicking tough-chick, the script seldom lets her fly with it.

Don 2 is nicely shot, and there are moments where Shah Rukh Khan is riveting. But that’s not enough to hold your interest for well over two hours…even the actor’s most loyal fans will find themselves yawning. I’m going with a generous two out of five for director Farhan Akhtar’s Don 2. Although packed with fast cars and bikes, this is one slow ride.

(This review first aired on CNN-IBN)


  1. you dont see any flaws in MI 4….but look he’s putting don 2 under the microscope to find flawsss….don 2 is hollywood standard movie….you need to back off….

    Comment by runa — January 6, 2012 @ 8:01 pm

  2. One thing I don’t understand at all ….You are giving don2 2 star & players 2.5 stars ????

    I personally felt …don2 was much compact and very well directed film …..and more hollywoodish which in this case is better than players …I personally would give 4 star to Don 2 and 2star to Players ….

    Think more before giving an opinion in public ….which might affect a film business ….thankfully no body cared your review in case of Don 2 …..

    Dismissing a film blankly does’nt make you a great critic ….It creates a gap between you and movie lovers ….

    Comment by Saumya — January 6, 2012 @ 11:21 pm

  3. 2 stars to don2!!common rajeev dont be so harsh,i can see your 2.5 stars to players now!!You slapped RaOne a great effort by SRK and now this.
    I dont know why are you doing this but Don2 is 4.6/5 for me

    Comment by Aashish — January 7, 2012 @ 3:19 pm

  4. This film worth of 3.5 rating. I am not sure, what exactly are you trying to find in Hindi Films…..

    Comment by Harsha — January 8, 2012 @ 6:10 am

  5. It seems Mr.Rajeev’s reviews should be taken, and are related, to Artistic Movies only.
    In that case ratings will seriously differ.
    Most People watch Commercial Movies more and artistic movies less, in that case you should give two ratings one for Commercial and one for Artistic Movies.

    Comment by KrishnaPavan — January 9, 2012 @ 5:48 pm

  6. don2 is awsome……..4 out of 5

    Comment by sandeep — January 10, 2012 @ 1:36 am

  7. I kinda disagree with you. I guess there was an element of presumption that is rationalized in the review? I thought it was a welcome move to Indian Cinema. Here is what I wrote about it. Please let me know what you think.


    Appreciate your work 🙂


    Comment by Satya — January 10, 2012 @ 1:52 pm

  8. not agree with u honestly…
    4 out of 5 from my side..
    well directed movie..

    Comment by archan — January 11, 2012 @ 7:37 pm

  9. I dont agree with you Rajeev. I guess it was a good movie to watch, worthy of 3.5 ratings. I would recommend you to not to treat Hollywood and Bollywood movies in the same lens.

    Comment by Vick — January 16, 2012 @ 2:43 pm

  10. can u b really dat dumb……i mean how the can u put above don2………..stop watching bollywood films……..or at least stop reviewing them…..

    Comment by rahul gupta — January 17, 2012 @ 10:15 pm

  11. Masand seems to have an inclination only towards particular genre of films.. I used to rely on his reviews b4 going for any movie.. Too bad i have to find somewhere else good ratings. Don 2 isnt all that horrible as masand describes it here. Even if you dislike Shahrukh the movie still entertains you positively.

    Comment by Pushkar Kamat — January 19, 2012 @ 7:29 pm

  12. what is this sir what kinda review is this DON 2 is definitely worth more than 2 the movie was just awesome i would give it 4.5 stars.

    Comment by imaz — January 21, 2012 @ 8:44 pm

  13. why farhan akhtar copied from hollywood i don’t watch this movie bcoz i have valuable time and i have to use my valuable time (definately) for good movie means probably for hollywood bt when i watch the trailer of don 2 i realise its plot is something like mi or ocean 11 type.i think u gave it 2 star and it deserves it

    Comment by naishal dave — January 27, 2012 @ 12:49 pm

  14. I accept the review. 2 out of 5 not more than that. I almost slept in the first half and it was bit Okay kind in the second half even though they hav copied from hollywood movies. One who have praised and given good ratings for this movie just think once how can a culprit who tried to rob the bank walks away free by just getting the papers and the officers were dumb watching. The bank robbery was too long and it could have trimmed. 2 out 5 is the correct rating.

    Comment by sathya — January 29, 2012 @ 6:03 pm

  15. the review is correct…… don 1 was awesome but this one really sukcss

    Comment by Rajan R — February 9, 2012 @ 6:19 pm

  16. Wow!!! I always felt that Rajeev Masand gives 1/2 star less to Shahrukh’s movies. But 2 stars for Don2 means you have given atleast 1 full star less to this movie. Giving 2 stars to crap movie like Bodyguard and giving 2 stars to Don2 as well is way too much prejudiced. Seriously think before you give public reviews!!

    Comment by Pooja — February 26, 2012 @ 9:02 am

  17. it is really gud !! it deserves 4 on 5 !!

    Comment by siddharth — February 28, 2012 @ 10:55 pm

  18. Don 2 was much much better than MI 4….. gr8 entertainer !

    Comment by Jay Jani — March 10, 2012 @ 7:50 pm

  19. Rajeev is among the elite critics in india. Incredibly honest and bold, Masand reviews are always cool entertainment in their own right.
    As for the review, i agree completely.
    the concept is the same one. Hollywood has done a zillion times. And the screenplay is boring. Action sequences mediocre. 2 stars for crap movie from me too.

    Comment by Krishna Kumar — May 2, 2012 @ 10:16 am

  20. Don2 entairtain you all the way……… The background score
    oneliner and action too awesome

    Comment by Jordan — July 13, 2012 @ 2:40 am

  21. I was xpecting frm u atleast 2.5 star for its style and treatment

    Comment by Sudhir — November 22, 2012 @ 8:22 pm

  22. i disagree wid u on dis occassion………………….don 2 ws stylish nd deserved much much more

    Comment by Utkarsh Dwivedi — May 20, 2013 @ 11:11 am

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