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Movie Review: Race 2


Cold turkey, anyone?
SAIBAL CHATTERJEE | Issue Dated: November 30, -0001, New Delhi
Tags : Race 2 movie review | Abbas Mustan | Deepika Padukone | Saif Ali Khan | Anil Kapoor |


Meant to be a pulsating “race to the finish”, it gets nowhere at all. Race 2, a slapdash sequel to the 2008 smash hit, gets caught in a snare of its own making and goes round in concentric circles.

The directing duo of Abbas and Mustan obviously do not believe in half measures. Their film is a crime drama so full of bizarre straws in the wind that they could fill up an entire barn and still spill over.

They actually do. Excruciating excess is the name of the game. Race 2 takes all of two and a half hours to huff and puff its ham-handed way through a graveyard of dud ideas where a full load of inanity goes head to head with a whole heap of banality. The result? You’ve guessed it: an absolute wreck.

Much of Race 2 – utter cock and bull – unfolds in Istanbul. Nattily attired men jump off cliffs, ledges and precipices in hot pursuit of each other and always land on their feet, not a hair out of place.

These moronic blokes not only live to tell the tale, they also get the chance to sport well-tailored suits, ride around the place in snazzy cars, and woo pretty girls only too willing to cling to the first available dangling arm.

Race 2 attempts nothing at all that could set it apart from the prelude. The directors are obviously in awe of the Hollywood rip-off that they foisted on Hindi movie audiences five years ago and made a neat pile of cash in the bargain. So the follow-up delivers more of the same and that, as you can imagine, translates into quite a nightmare.

None of the embellishments – songs, dances, chases, comic relief – can provide any amelioration. 

Some of the characters in the old mix were duly bumped off in Race; one more is eliminated in a car bomb blast early in the sequel. The latter incident, which takes place purportedly in north Cyprus, sends conman-protagonist Ranveer Singh (Saif Ali Khan) to Turkey in search of the bad guys responsible for the heinous act.

In Istanbul, the hero encounters Armaan Malik (John Abraham), who lives in a garish mansion so sprawling that it could be mistaken for a resort. There are only two things he loves – money and women, strictly in that order.

Constantly by his side is his half-sister Elena (Deepika Padukone), a sweet assassin who can kill with a gentle sway of her hips, and a girlfriend named Omisha (Jacqueline Fernandez), as adept at archery and fencing as at the act of seduction.

As it transpires, all that the ladies – including a cleavage-flashing Ameesha Patel playing dimwitted Miss Kitty to Anil Kapoor’s eccentric Karamchand – succeed in doing is to reduce it all to a big, bad, bloated joke. Desperate to make a fast buck, they only make a sorry spectacle of themselves.

Their predictable conspiracies turn terribly tiresome after a point and the audience ceases to care which of the Kilkenny cats actually gets the cream. The cream is overly whipped anyway, so it can only be stale and sour.

Race 2 is crammed with pyrotechnics, stunts and chases that might just warm the cockles of action movie junkies. The trouble is that the twisted tale gives too wide a berth to logic for its own good. This vacuous thriller is eminently avoidable.
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Director: Abbas-Mustan

Cast: Saif Ali Khan, Deepika Padukone, John Abraham, Jacqueline Fernandez, Anil Kapoor


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Issue Dated: Feb 5, 2017