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Movie Review: 'Race 2' is slick but shallow

'Race 2' has good action but stale plot
By Naresh Kumar Deoshi
Fri, Jan 25, 2013 14:26:02 GMT
 

The ApunKaChoice movie review of Race 2. They are back! A year after their last shot at action-thriller genre with the box office turkey Players -- which they claimed would ‘blow everyone’s mind away’ but which did anything but that -- the brothers in white, Abbas Mastan are back with a sequel to their own 2008 superhit Race. And boy, the film is seriously slick, superfast and crammed with so many twists and turns that even a serpent escaping a mongoose would have a tough time slithering through.

Abbas-Mustan’s formula is simple, though far from ingenious. Weave a plot with some semblance of a story, and hit the ground running with a blast and a chase. Whoa! Reserve a stylish entry for every character, dress them in glad rags (the less the better in case of the girls), give them punchy oneliners, add a grey shade to every character, make them unscrupulously immoral and avaricious, let them betray and backstab each other when least expected, and throw in one twist after another and another, and in between all the menagerie squeeze the raunchy ditties like “Lat Lag Gayee” or “Party On My Mind” and voila! you have an actioner racing to the 100 crore club in a week! Right? Um! not really!

For Race 2 may be slicker than Saif Ali Khan’s smarmed hair or glossier than the animated expensive cars that are generously blown up or racier than Ameesha Patel’s décolletage, it’s decidedly daft, shallow, superficial, unsubtle and unimaginative.

Starting with a voiceover by the fruit-chomping detective RD (Anil Kapoor), Race 2 establishes its premise pretty soon: the suave Ranveer Singh (Saif Ali Khan) plotting to avenge the death of his ladylove (Bipasha Basu, blink and she’s gone!). His search takes him to Turkey where he ties up with Armaan Malik (John Abraham), a fighter-cum-millionaire itching to make millions more by hook or crook. Also drawn into this game of deceit and one-upmanship are Armaan’s half-sister Alina (Deepika Padukone) and his romantic squeeze Omisha (Jacqueline Fernandez). Nobody is to be trusted and everyone keeps the cards close to their chest until the crunch. There’s a heist, murderous traps, and underhand intrigue all culminating in a slipshod climax aboard a private jet plane.

The action sequences, to give the credit where it’s due, are quite finely executed, particularly a Bourne-like chase sequence on foot, in the car and then on the boat. The game of one-upmanship between Saif Ali Khan and John Abraham too makes for a good watch, but one is let down by the double entendres Anil Kapoor cracks with his pretty but nitwit secretary Cherry (Ameesha Patel). In one scene he tells her, “I don’t have the time to pop your cherry”. And she simpers coyly. And we cringe embarrassingly.

The performances aren’t anything to write home about. A dapper Saif Ali Khan clad in swish suits makes for a vengeful Ranveer with the cunning to pull a fast one on his rivals just when they seem to gain ground. A brawny John Abraham flexes his rippling muscles and delivers his dialogues straight-faced to sound menacing. Or Deepika Padukone as a cool femme fatale, who works her charm on others with same delicacy as she shoots from the hip. Or Jacqueline Fernandez as a sword wielding siren whose dialogues seldom match her lip movements. It’s all a tacky combo packaged with tons of blinding gloss and glamour.

But semi-clad babes or beefcake hunks seldom a taut thriller make.

My advice: watch it only if you are a fan of Abbas Mustan. Else, run far from Race 2.

Rating: **1/2
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