Commando 2: Spurious rabble-rousing in the name of action

Commando 2: The Black Money Trail

Cast: Vidyut Jamwal, Adah Sharma, Esha Gupta, Freddy Daruwala, Suhail Nayyar, Thakur Anoop Singh, Shefali Shah, Satish Kaushik, Adil Hussain, Abhiroy Singh

Director: Deven Bhojani

Deven Bhojani is better known for his comic talent on the small screen and in bit roles on the large one- so one can only take a guess as to how he managed to convince Vipul Shah to green light this movie. Granted ‘Commando’ did brisk business and went on to become the surprise hit of the year but that alone could not have been the lure…especially since there’s not much logic or sense in this arbitrary expansion of an original brand.

‘Commando 2: The Black Money Trail’ has no conceptual or story wise linkages to the original hit. So ‘reason’ is out of contention here. The lead star, action hero Vidyut Jamwal reprising Captain Karan Veer Singh, is the only common factor other than part of the name- so that it suggests the paucity of ideas within that we are staring at. In fact Bhojani’s team takes inspiration from our PM Modi’s much publicised salvo against Black Money.

Playing the Demonetisation card is not without its downside though. That it hasn’t brought in the kind of results expected should have been a warning in itself for the filmmakers. But then you can’t change a passion fuelled creative mind by quoting reason… can you? Oops…did I say creative mind??? Pardon me please. Ritesh Shah’s story, screenplay and dialogues are too mediocre to go far. Jamwal’s physique is a work of art and his athleticism, flexibility and stunt-action ability is simply great to watch. But unfortunately even that’s not enough to keep you glued to this far-fetched foolishly contrived fantasy. It’s called taking stock of an intelligence failure. While lack of intelligence and failure are stamped all over it, Bhojani restricts the narration to old-fashioned stupidity—one   that got buried way back in the 80’s.

Captain Karan Veer Singh (Jamwal), alongside local cop Bhaktawar (Freddy Daruwala) and Bhawna Reddy (Adah Sharma) have been assigned the task of bringing in the leader of an international money laundering ring, Vicky Chadha (Thakur Anoop Singh), incarcerated in a safe-house along with his wife Maria (Esha Gupta), from Malaysia to India. But the mission gets compromised when the lawbreakers get smart and one-uppy.

Karan’s colleague (Adah Sharma) is of the Kitty, Lilly stereotype while the money launderer’s wife played by Esha Gupta makes fashion her accessory instead of performance. So it’s left to Jamwal to pick up speed and keep this heavily bottomed out tank from sinking into the ground. Her atrocious Hyderabadi accent notwithstanding, Adah Sharma does manage to ply a complimentary foil for the muscle-bound hero. There’s nothing endearing about her act but she does make the hero look decent in the head. The film is well paced and the action is swift and becoming. But there’s not much substance to the tale and that’s ‘note’ going to o down well with the discerning audience of today!

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Free Press Journal