It must not be easy being John Abraham. It’s the Arnold Schwarzenegger problem, the Sylvester Stallone problem. When people approach you to carry a movie on your shoulders, they mean it literally. In Abhinay Deo’s Force 2, Abraham has to carry a car as well. At least, lift it from behind, in an imitation of the stunt from Guy Ritchie’s spectacularly entertaining The Man from U.N.C.L.E. But this isn’t about plagiarism. These films wouldn’t exist if there weren’t older films to reference. The good ones, in order to steer clear of cliché, take note of what’s been done. The other kind just takes notes. You can imagine the screenwriter going, “So we have one of those rooftop chases where the girl keeps running on the streets far below, and then we’ll have the concert-hall climax from Hitchcock’s The Man Who Knew Too Much…” That’s how goulash is made. No, I’m not being fancy and substituting a thesaurus word for stew. The film is set in Budapest.
Right off, it must be said that Shivaay may have had the better stunts, but Force 2 is the more watchable film. It keeps the emotional seasoning to a minimum – the hero’s dead wife here, the villain’s motivation there. Shivaay could not decide if it was a mountain-rescue movie, or about parents fighting over child custody. The film kept swinging wildly between Cliffhanger and Kramer vs. Kramer. Force 2 knows what it is: an excuse to make John Abraham batter down a series of doors with his frame, and not so much an excuse for scenes like the one where he and a friend male-bond in a car. It’s a terrible sequence, with terrible dialogues. In the Aaron Sorkin films, you feel the lines have burst out from his brain. The lines, here, seem to have been written by John Abraham’s pecs.
The reasonably knotty plot has something to do with RAW agents being assassinated, and this saddles Abraham’s character with a partner, Sonakshi Sinha. (Is it my imagination, or is she looking increasingly uninterested in her parts?) The leads pale before the sly Tahir Raj Bhasin, who plays one of those villains painted in four or five shades of schlock. He plays the harmonica. He has a pet tarantula. And he has a delightful ear for prurient gossip, like the fact that when Sinha was 18, her father was cavorting around with a woman her age. I liked that this villain wasn’t a Muslim with a cause. He’s a Hindu with a flashback. Between his brains and Abraham’s brawn, Force 2 ends up a decent-enough entry in the oh-if-there’s-nothing-else genre.
- Shivaay = see here
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