Race - 2-too many contenders and quite a few dropouts!Movie Review

2.5 / 5.0

Bollywood action thrillers have made a stunning leap in production values since the mid-2000s, almost mirroring Hollywood techniques, emulating and almost surpassing them at times. To this end, “Race” was a trendsetter and the director duo of Abbas Mastan have hoped to replicate the success formula in this extravagant action-loaded thriller.

It is admittedly pleasing to the eyes but does not have the same effect on the mind, due to its oft-repeated theme and styling. The plot for the film has been liberally grafted from the British crime adventure “The Italian Job”, but the backdrop for all the action in “Race 2” is not Italy but Turkey. In fact, Turkey is shown with a thriving underworld, appearing just as omnipresent as its counterpart back home in India.

In the main protagonist’s role of Ranveer Singh, Saif Ali Khan tries to look his resolute and aggressive best, on a mission to track down the perpetrators behind the killing of his lost lover Sonia, performed in a cameo appearance by Bipasha Basu. In this mission, Ranveer initially strikes a deal with Armaan Malik another moneyed gangster, portrayed by John Abraham.

As the plot develops, he finally gets close to Armaan’s half-sister Alina, a role reserved for Deepika Padukone. In a swift turn of events, Ranveer comes to know that Armaan was involved in the murder of Sonia and plans a cool revenge. Tables are turned several times, with additional thrills being added with each side trying to steal the Shroud of Turin. Shizaz Ahmed’s story continues with each rival trying to outwit the other, and the film ends as usual with the baddies getting eliminated, and the hero Ranveer flying off with his new found lady love Alina.

At the end of it all, one is left with the feeling that the actors had nothing much more to do other than rapid pace around from here to there in tandem with the fast moving actions. On the other hand, the glamorous heroines, seem to have been thrown in for matching visual effects to the fascinating foreign locales, very ably captured and enhanced through the camera of Ravi Yadav. Neither the sheer professionalism of the production values nor the deft editing of Hussain Burmawalla can obliterate the staleness coming out from a now oft-repeated and familiar theme.

When Abbas Mastan looks beyond “Race 2” they may very well realize that novelty of theme also matters a lot in a film’s overall appeal and success, and incidentally, novelty is something that wears off with re-use. Pritam’s music in the film had several chartbusters, but they became hits on their own without the film helping them in any way. Those who love glitzy thrill and glamour, and would not mind an overdose of rapidly changing actions being cramped into their total viewing times, “Race 2” is a movie that would satiate their movie viewing buds, especially if they are not carrying over a hangover of the previous version of “Race”. The foreign shooting spots and the smartly dressed (or is it scantily dressed?) ladies would also add to their visual pleasure.

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