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Force - Movie Review

'Force' is good but not great
By Naresh Kumar Deoshi
Fri, Sep 30, 2011 11:50:02 GMT
 

The ApunKaChoice movie review of Force, a remake of the Tamil blockbuster Kaakha Kaakha.
First things first. John Abraham is beefcake as good as it gets. The girth of his biceps, the count of his abs, his painstakingly sculpted torso, and his Stallonean bod can easily make aam mortals like you and me look like those dwarfs from Gulliver’s Travels. And we have seen in some recent blockbusters that when the leading man is flexing his muscles and going shirtless to display his pectorals -- prominent enough to hang that very shirt on -- the script just goes by the board. Director Nishikant Kamat, thankfully, doesn’t commit that cinematic sin. Though he highlights John’s hot bod repeatedly to qualify certain scenes of Force as sheer brawn porn, Kamat doesn’t compromise on the script that, strictly speaking, ranges from good to middling.

What’s good is how Kamat structures the action sequences, particularly the one in which several drug busts are clubbed together in a single sequence ending with a pyrotechnic boom! What’s middling is how Kamat loses the plot in the second half and foists on us a blood-and-gore fest, with forced violence, shootouts and encounters. And what’s unforgivable is how the director squanders the opportunity of giving the Indian cinema a villain that could give the heroes a run for their money. Vidyut Jamwal, the movie’s villain, makes a terrific entrance in which his acrobatic stunts, leaps and maneuvers leave you gasping for breath and asking for more. You take that entrance as a teaser for grittier stuff to come. But come it doesn’t. Rather Kamat turns the electric Jamwal into a seething, vengeful foe, given more to pulling triggers than strutting his gymnastics. Pity…real pity!

The story is darned simple and straight. Yashvardhan (John Abraham) is a narcotics control bureau cop singularly devoted to weeding out the drug menace from society. So much so, he keeps himself free of the fetters of personal relationships that, he thinks, might make him weak and vulnerable. But then he meets Maya (Genelia D’Souza), and despite trying not to, ends up falling in love with her. As he earns love, he also earns enmity -- of Vishnu (Vidyut Jamwal), a drug smuggler who is hellbent on taking revenge for the encounter of his elder brother (Mukesh Rishi) by Yashvardhan and his team.

A lot of blood is spilled and lots of people close to Yashvardhan are bumped off in what turns out to be a battle of brawns rather than brains between our cop hero and his formidable foe. And it’s this peccadillo that punctures the steam out of Force. What an edge-of-the-seat experience the movie might have been, if Kamat had made his villain smarter rather than just a vengeful, impatient, feral baddie abducting the ladies and gunning down unarmed adversaries. More than the deed, it’s the slick and smart execution that makes for real thrills. Such thrills are hard to come by in the second half of Force.

The film is further hamstrung by a hamming John Abraham, trying hard to act like a man in control but turning pale in front of a decidedly cute and captivating Genelia D’Souza. Vidyut Jamwal is the find of Force. He’s got the looks, the physique, the voice, and, unlike the puffed-up hero, he shows a few flashes of good acting as well. Kamlesh Sawant (playing a happy-go-lucky cop) chips in some humour while Mohnish Bahl and Sandhya Mridul come up with creditable performances.

The music is nothing to hum home about. But the action and stunts surely save the day for Force. The scenes when John lifts a bike, or when Vidyut Jamwal bashes up half a dozen guys in Mombasa partly redeem the ticket price. But, all in all, the movie remains a strictly one-time watch and -- pardon the obvious pun -- hardly a force to reckon with.

Rating: 2.5 stars out of 5
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