High on action, low on story

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 31 Mar 2018 10:03:08




By Aasawari Shenolikar

A FTER his comic caper Judwaa last year, Sajid Nadiadwala wanted to dabble in a different genre. What better than an action film?!! So he scouted around and bought the rights of Kshanam, a Telegu blockbuster. After roping in Tiger Shroff to play the lead, he named it Baaghi 2. The team got together to work on the action scenes and they brought in a new trainer to beef up Tiger. To live up to the ‘high octane action’ tag, the focus was on integrating more and more action sequences. But in all this, the team completely forgot that for a movie, a story, a narrative is a must - and if the movie has to notch up the stars, content has to be the king. But Sajid Nadiadwala is of the opinion that ‘action speaks louder’ and so in Baaghi 2, what we get is a half-baked plot that is as senseless as the action is mindless.

The first few reels fortifies that Captain Ranveer aka Ronnie (Tiger Shroff ) is a nononsense, hard core Army chap. He doesn't let his ‘broken heart’ come in the way of duty. When his ex-girlfriend Neha (Disha Patani) calls him up and pleads, ‘Help me,’ off he goes to Goa to lend her a hand. Neha's daughter Rhea has been kidnapped and she finds herself helpless in a world that refuses to help her or believe her. Ronnie gets down to business, and encounters many obstacles and challenges in the stunt drama spanning well over two and half hours.    

When all the action is taking place in Goa, it is but natural that Ronnie has to encounter the drug lords, the Russians, the gangsters and the corrupt police that works hands in glove with the criminals. On his journey to finding the truth and Rhea, Ronnie comes across many weirdoes - a coke snorter Sunny (Prateik Babbar), DIG Shergill (Manoj Bajpayee), Shekhar (Darshan Kumar), Usman Bhai (Deepak Dobriyal) and the super bizarre ACP LSD (Randeep Hooda).Who is lying? No prizes for guessing the answer, for even though the director has tried to weave in twists and turns, the wafer thin plot moves at a snail’s pace along predictable lines. Whenever the team gets stuck at a point in the narrative, all that they have done is try to awe the audience with Tiger’s martial arts skills. The unrelenting one-man army fights on land, in the water and in the air - in Tiger Shroff ’s case, it is only action that speaks. The chiseled hero, flaunting his bronzed body swivels gracefully before landing a bone breaking chop on the enemy; he pirouettes and twists neck with ease and elan. In extreme slo-mo, it’s definitely a treat to watch our own desi hero do all that what a Sylvester Stallone or an Arnold Schwarnegger or a Jason Statham have done in Hollywood films and awed us with their exemplary stunts.   

Stunts, and nothing else, is exactly what Baaghi 2 is all about. After a tedious first half, interspersed with a romantic flashback and songs that have no recall and retain value, it’s action time post interval. Hence don't expect any verbal exchanges, because they would, otherwise have drowned in the cacophony of all that gunfire and bomb explosions. Ronnie takes on an entire battalion of villains and mows down the drug kingpin’s empire in no time at all. Dodging bullets that are coming at him from all directions, the courageous crusader is unstoppable. Till justice is served! Too many elements add to the chaos, the audience can never connect with the pathos and the pain that the protagonists are supposedly going through and with not a single entertaining moment or an engaging sequence, Baaghi 2 becomes a drag to sit through. (Remember, majority have already watched the trailers where Tiger Shroff has flaunted the new look and the chiseled granite body - so even that's not like a 'wow' moment.) Tiger and Disha are like two peas in a pod - totally expressionless.Tiger at least proves his mettle in the action department. Disha doesn’t even get that chance. Wish Deepal Dobriyal had more footage - this truly talented actor captivates, as does Manoj Bajpayee.  

As for Ahmed Khan, he has always created magic on the floor with his choreography, but unfortunately he was not able to translate that magic - either as a director of Baaghi 2 or as the dance master directing Jacqueline Fernandez to do even a little bit of justice to Madhuri Dixit’s Ek Do Teen number. Pointless inclusion of a song, unless it is pointing to the fact that the Baaghi franchise will come up with another version in the near future. God save us! The Tiger roars, but the film, ends on a whimpering note.

The Hitavada Rating: