The director duo of Abbas-Mustan promised a film that was exciting, different and one that would keep you at the edge of your seat. With Race being just that, the sequel didn’t seem to be all that different from the trailers. Having said that, the duo has, more often than not, fulfilled their aim of keeping an audience entertained, with the exception of the horror known as Players (unless you were in splits with the god-awful acting by the ensemble cast). I went in to Race 2 with high expectations and thought it was passable on first watch. In hindsight, not so much.
Race 2, set in the beautiful locations of Turkey with the beautiful cast of John Abraham, Saif Ali Khan, Jacqueline Fernandez and Deepika Padukone, is a film where everybody plots against everybody else for one stupid motive or the other. Ranveer Singh (Saif Ali Khan), vows to take revenge for his girlfriend, Sonia (Bipasha Basu)’s death on Armaan Malik (John Abraham), a wealthy gambler and ex-street fighter whose only goal in life is to make a ton of money and live life king size. In the middle of all their drama, enters Armaan’s half-sister, Elena (Deepika Padukone) who shares half of his wealth, and his girlfriend, Omisha (Jacqueline Fernandez), who plays spy to protect her rich boyfriend. Add to this an ex-cop, Robert D’Costa (Anil Kapoor) and his good-for-nothing, sexually aroused assistant, Cherry (Amisha Patel) who don’t really do anything in the film, except inform the two male leads what the other is plotting. The story gets a tad interesting in the second half when the cast tries to steal — wait for it — the Shroud of Turin. With a series of twists and turns, like all of their other films, Abbas-Mustan try to mislead the audience with who’s good and who’s bad. Unfortunately for them, it gets predictable once you’ve seen everything else they’ve made. How it took TWO people to make a film like this is beyond me.
- John Abraham. Yes, he’s good-looking and knows how to flaunt everything he’s got, but he also does a decent job in a negative role. A more bearable performance than any of his comedies.
- Saif Ali Khan. Being one of the most versatile actors amongst the four Khans, he brings out a certain charisma and charm to his character, despite being rather broody.
- The music. Even if a film doesn’t do well, you can be assured the music will if Pritam’s responsible. Not his best work, but there are definitely some catchy tunes that have set the tone for party hits this year.
- Saif Ali Khan. His character is somehow more skilled than James Bond. While all he did in the previous film was ride horses, he seems to have learnt archery, fencing, gambling and how to ride a speedboat in this one. Additionally, he simultaneously fights for Sonia, loves Elena, flirts with Omisha and goes around flaunting his tattoo that says ‘Kareena’. Promiscuous?
- Deepika Padukone. Granted I personally don’t think she’s as great as most people think she is, she seems to have done a far worse job than usual. Stone-faced throughout the entire film, all she actually does is model her (minimal) clothing, while subtly competing with Jacqueline Fernandez to see who has a better body.
- Anil Kapoor. If there’s an actor that has gotten worse with age, it’s him. I would have much rather wanted to hear why an ex-cop who now owns a club with all his black money needs an assistant, as opposed to his sexual innuendos about fruits, including “Cherry, I don’t have time to pop your cherry!”. Seriously, who writes this stuff?
- Amisha Patel. Who decided to wake her up from the dead? While the director duo thought bringing Bobby Deol back to life in Players was a good idea, they clearly didn’t learn from their mistake. These actors are away from films (read: out of work) for a reason.
- Aditya Pancholi. Again with the random cameos. An unnecessary character, to say the least. Having the grandest entry in the film made it seem like it was an appearance from one of the Khans or Kapoors.
- The dialogues. Most of them were just altered from the first film. As for the rest, the cast competes for who can say the word ‘race’ the most number of times.
- The action. Everything was bearable until they show you a car with parachutes soaring out of a plane. Literally.
After all that? A measly 2 out of 5. Along with the gorgeous landscapes, John Abraham’s washboard abs and the ladies’ long legs, this film has got lots to laugh at, Anil Kapoor’s dance moves just being one.
The last word:
Armaan Malik’s reasons for killing Sonia are priceless if you keep in mind the characters are played by John and Bipasha respectively. Also, be sure to check out Anil Kapoor’s “waxed” chest; once you see it, you can’t un-see it.