Director: Ahmed Khan
Starring: Tiger Shroff and Disha Patani
Rating: 1.5 stars
Armed with an extremely well chiselled body, that’s won a substantial chunk of the 144-minutes of screen time, and an equally well-toned lady love, Tiger Shroff banks on his spunk and swagger to kick some bad-ass in Ahmed Khan’s Baaghi2.
Unfortunately, that isn’t enough to enthral, excite or entertain us.
When the leading lady announces gleefully that she isn’t up for an “outdated” romance, but promptly ends up in one, you know this movie isn’t high on logic or reason, and is blindly hoping to win applause for the thrills. While the lead pair has worked themselves incredible bodies, they are unable to win us over with their performance. Two back-to-back songs, one of romance, and the other of heartbreak, establishes why Neha and Ronny didn’t end up in “happily ever after”. Instead, they are handed a twisted tale to work through.
Baaghi 2 is another one of those Bollywood sequels that is conveniently packaged as a “franchise”. So, apart from the original title, and in here, the hero’s name, there’s nothing that connects one from the other. Producer Sajid Nadiadwala doesn't waste any time in finding a writer, and instead invests in a Telugu film Kshanam and slightly tweaks its storyline to make it his own. Even the dialogues are written in rhymes, and amplified to win applause, but what it does instead, is annoy. He hands Ahmed Khan the power to design this thriller, conveniently forgetting that his strength lies in choreography. An oversight that Khan constantly reminds us over his many frames, where action is gorgeously synchronised to the beat of Julius Packiam’s score. It’s when the music turns on that the screen genuinely lights up. Barring Jacqueline Fernandez’ brutal massacre of the classic Ek Do Teen the rest are pleasing, but rather indulgent.
Tiger is earnest as the man who lets his “heart rule the mind”. Physically, he cuts out an impressive Ronny, complete with the military hairdo but emotionally he’s unable to tap into his psyche. So, even as we watch him flex his muscles, even those on his face, we are unable to feel his pain. But what he lacks in talent, he makes up in the gym. Disha, who swaps shorts for salwars to play mommy, is also unable to lend depth to Neha, and ends up playing her rather flat. Unlike the lead pair, Baaghi 2 boasts of a credible supporting cast. Manoj Bajpai and Randeep Hooda play cops – one that’s refined and the other that’s eccentric. And while the screenplay doesn’t favour them, they manage to work out something that’s half impressive. Deepak Dobriyal also finds a part that’s demanding but not underdeveloped. Prateik Babbar, aces on the make-up and body language fumbles in his act.
Baaghi 2 desperately hopes that slow-mo shots of the hero’s abs and his stunts, set against blaring background scores, can uplift a dull narrative. Unfortunately, the audience today is far more discerning than that.