Pulsating dance music and acres of underdressed female flesh make Race 2 easy to endure, if not exactly enjoy.

 

Expect merely a middling box office take for this film, a sequel to the Burmawalas’ hit 2008 action thriller Race: its ramped-up violence and risque take on sex will scare away a mass Indian audience.

 

The frame is crowded with good-looking people, mouth-watering cars, casinos, gargantuan hotels, planes and yachts. The money being tossed around is, and I hope you’re sitting down for this, 15 billion Euros.

 

It’s the good life, and because this is a comic book, there are no consequences. So in the first few minutes, Deepika Padukone as the luscious Elena (described as ‘half-sister, full shaani’), murders a man and coolly walks out of the frame with hair artfully blowing back.

 

The first half is just plain boring. Once you’re done admiring Istanbul’s stunning locations, Deepika’s sheer gorgeousness and John Abraham’s carbohydrate-defying abs, there isn’t much to do.

 

The fun only starts post-interval, when Race 2 becomes a heist movie. The loot is – and I hope you are still sitting down – the Shroud of Turin. Then the plot twists and turns and climaxes with a laugh-out-loud action sequence on a plane.

 

The first Race was also pure popcorn, but the twists were delicious and the characters were interesting. Here, writer Shiraz Ahmed and Abbas-Mustan were relying so much on style that they forgot about screenplay – this is a film in which even character artiste Rajesh Khattar gets a high-speed-walk moment.

 

The action sequences are hobbled by lame special effects. And there aren’t any killer lines – though I probably will remember Anil Kapoor as ex-cop Robert D’Costa telling his new assistant Cherry, played by a cheerfully ditzy Ameesha Patel: ‘Cherry I don’t have time to pop your cherry’. Yes, Race 2 is that kind of film.

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