Movie Review: Race 2

Published Jan 29, 2013 12:19pm

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Retribution can be considered bitter - sweet when hoodwinking billions.

In the sequel to 2008’s Race, Saif Ali Khan returns as Ranveer; A sharp witted protagonist and antagonist whose ambitions are stuck for good in the con games  and as formula prescribes, he’s got murder in his mind.

After opening, with possibly the worst car-explosion special effects in history, Ranveer, off the radar since Race, appears at a Casino run by Vikram Thapar (Rajesh Khattar), a millionaire whose motivations for money-doubling are as philistine as his common sense.

Vikram’s con, in a long line of unoriginal rip-offs in Race 2’s, is one of the small fishes; there’s bigger game at play. As a song from the movie goes “Allah Duhai Hai”!

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Race 2, shot everywhere except India (as its predecessor), is a lot like every other sequel: it suffers from ‘sequelitis’ – an epidemic that infects the genome of box-office breaking movies with spin-off potential. The virus is global and unbiased in its toxicity: it shares equal affection regardless of geographies, film industries or originality in plot pitching. 
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Ranveer, like any other heroic lead-villain of a heist movie, has a deceptive itinerary of money laundering, money nabbing and general hoodwinking pre-plotted.

His schema compromises: Amaan (John Abraham, leaner, as effective as possible with the material), a street fighter turned big-fish, his half-sultry sister (Deepika Padukone), his newly acquired girl-friend (Jacqueline Fernandez), the returning lynchpin with a fruit fetish (Anil Kapoor) and his new stereotypical dumb-blonde (Ameesha Patel).

There are also a lot of deal breaking and half-interested late night booty calls that trail away to ritzy dance numbers.

Double take cons  and U-turns  go off without intrigue or punch (there’s a vengeance-driven backstory, that one outguesses an hour before it happens on-screen).

 

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Consequences and upshots are relegated to second class citizenship, outmoded by infrequent growls, car chases, fisticuffs and skimpy bikini beach-parties (as another song goes: everyone has a “Party on their Mind”). And of course, shelling out millions  and then, unsurprisingly, billions is as stress free as delivering dialogues (and in a way, that’s what they are: dialogues).

Credibility, as signs point out, was on leave the days Race 2 was written, leaving emotional gravity at the mercy of its actors (and we know how that pans out). Still, even with Saif Ali Khan bringing his sincerest asceticism to his scenes, a hefty bulk of Race 2 turns out as phony as his million Euro fibs.

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Perhaps that is the problem with big, bloated, blockbusters (and mind you, the movie does have “blockbuster” stamped all over): people talk big money and payback as if they have a free-license sanctioned from God Almighty.

Race 2 may sound like an imbecilic drag, built on pomp, glitzy showmanship and middling narrative pizzazz by directors Abbas-Mastan, its flow, however, isn’t intolerable (the “duo” radically recover from last year’s Players.

In fact, ‘2’ is a pricier “mix” of part 1 (which was a lift-off of Goodbye Lover by the way) – and if that is the benchmark, then Race 2 in an unabashed winner, in a one-person grand prix.

Win, lose or settle. Is there really a difference…?

The songs are kind of spiffy; the action, especially a free-running Parkour dash in Cyprus – is half-engaging. The romance and retribution bit…well, I’ve seen better. ‘Race 3’, should be out sooner than you think

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Released by UTV, Tips and Geo Films; Race 2 is rated U/A.

 


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Despite living movies 24/7 (http://kamranjawaid.com), the writer is still truly, madly, deeply in love with cinema; the root cause of this anomaly requires further clinical trials.

He tweets @kamranjawaid


The views expressed by this blogger and in the following reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.

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Comments (10) (Closed)


Khan
Jan 29, 2013 03:12pm
Watching Indian movies are a waste of time and money as they lack creativity and normally a copy of English movies with an addition of song and dance.
HNY2013
Jan 29, 2013 03:32pm
Sir so should it be banned as it does not adhere to Islamic Sharia law?
Secular no more
Jan 29, 2013 03:40pm
"So Race one was Picked up" you said...yar tum log sudar jao....god when will you guys ??
Dr Khan
Jan 29, 2013 03:42pm
Watching indian movies is a waste of time.
Devil
Jan 30, 2013 01:06pm
And the grapes are sour !! Though thats another thing that Race 2 is a crap, but Indian cinema is far bigger and better. Depends on one's intellect what movies he/she like to watch !!
Ramisha
Jan 30, 2013 11:39am
Each and everyone of you below is bias. If you hate Bollywood movies this much then why does Race 2 just have a field day running all over Pakistan. If you do not like Bollywood movies then why read a review of a film that's playing in Pakistan? As a newspaper Dawn is right in publishing reviews of all movies released there! Pakistani cinema is dead, and the only way it can revive is that people develop a habit of watching movies in theaters, regardless of them being Indian or American. If you don't like Bollywood movies then have a "LONG MARCH" and put a stop to it officially!!!! Otherwise, learn to keep your distance from articles being published here! Go for it Dawn!!!! :D
rafique b
Jan 30, 2013 02:48pm
Lately I have seen a pattern in most of the comments that are below dawn's movie reviews. It is always the prejudice people who speak first. And then when one sees the readership on your most read articles panel, it is the reviews that score the most readership. So it is therefore proven that even though people hate bollywood movies they are indeed more than happy to find the time to read something they abhor. As the comments below me approximately says, if you hate bollywood then tell the government to stop importing them.
Hasan
Jan 30, 2013 01:55am
I can understand why the name Saif Ali Khan was mentioned in the start but the name of Arman Malik is somehow not available in the whole of Article rather the name Amaan is mentioned in the midst that is not even in the movie with John Abraham. It is my request to the biased media of Karachi that we all know that you have deep rooted hatred for One region of Pakistan and last names are enough to be removed from the articles because you cannot even bear them because of your deep hatred and bias and nothing else.
Shubs
Jan 30, 2013 10:41am
Indian movies are made in dozens of languages. Which ones are you referring to? Ok, let's let that go, since you don't seem to the type to understand nuances from another country. Even if you restrict yourself to just Hindi movies, clearly, you haven't watched Paan Singh Tomar, Kahaani, Vicky Donor, Ishaqzaade, Gangs of Wasseypur, English Vinglish, Barfi, Shirin Farhad Ki Toh Nikal Padi, Talaash, Matru Ka Bijlee..., and a few others which I've surely missed...and this among just 2012 releases. Of course, if your kind of movie is Dabaang or Jab Tak Hai Jaan, then can't argue with you that they are indeed a waste of time.
Chen
Jan 29, 2013 11:35pm
Indeed a better movie than a local lollywood movie :P