Commando 2: The Black Money Trail Movie Review

The Dileep Ghosh directed ‘Commando’ (2013), that marked Vidyut Jammwal’s debut as a leading man, did not have a great plot to boast of but watching the film turned out to be a fairly entertaining experience because of some brilliantly choreographed and performed action sequences and several clapworthy dialogues. Almost four years later, the producer and the actor are back with a sequel. The sequel has been directed by Deven Bhojani, a renowned actor who also has several television show (‘Sarabhai VS. Sarabhai’, ‘Pukar’) to his credit as a director. Despite ‘Commando’ turning out to be a sleeper hit, one did not see or hear much of Jammwal. He did a cameo in Tigmanshu Dhulia’s ‘Bullet Raja’, played the antagonist in a Tamil film and was one of the two leading men in the stuck-in-the-cans ‘Yaara’. While his fans might have missed seeing the actor on the big screen, the good thing is that he has not been over-exposed and there is a curiosity to see the kind of action he pulls off and the performance he delivers this time.

Karanvir Singh Dogra (Vidyut Jammwal) is a commando who, now, is a part of a special cell of the crime fighting unit of the Indian Government. Karan is determined to nab Vicky Chadda (Vansh Bhardwaj), a man who has helped the rich in the country launder their black money to foreign countries. Karan is aware of several top Government officials and other powerful people’s involvement with Vicky. He makes sure that he is one of the few officers, who as a team, are sent to bring Vicky to India. After reaching Malaysia, they meet a wheelchair bound Vicky and his wife Maria (Esha Gupta). Vicky tells the team that he has been falsely accused of laundering black money out of the country.

The plot of the film has no connection to its predecessor. It is a standalone film in which Vidyut is again donning the avatar of a commando. In fact, even though he plays a commando in both the films, there is no resemblance in the two characters. The hero of this film comes across as much more expressive, and slick than the first part. Here, the character is etched out better. The action is as good, if not better than the first part. However, unlike the first part, which had a decent storyline and the action sequences seemed to be emerging out of the plot, the action, in this film, seemed to be forced at several times. The main culprit is the screenplay which tries to incorporate too many elements in it without justifying most of them. The film boasts of several twists and turns which exhaust you after a while. A film can have one or a thousand twists in store for the viewers but each and every surprising turn in the story should be justified properly. Most of the twists in the screenplay, especially the ones in the second half, seem silly.

Black money has always been a topic of discussion in the country and with the demonetisation policy implemented recently, the film could have made a strong impression because of its topical subject. But, the script is filled with glaring loopholes that are hard to ignore. It piques your interest at several points but the plot simmers down eventually. ‘Commando’ had a simple story which complimented the action sequences and kept one engrossed in the film. This film had too many convolutions that the script did not ask for. The writers (Ritesh Shah and Suresh Nair) seem to have done a fair amount of research on the subject but the screenplay has too many implausible events that are impossible to ignore. Director Deven Bhojani lends scale and some weight to the average screenplay with his skilful direction. Despite the languorous plot, the film has the slickness one associates with action thrillers. The background score (Prasad Sathe) is strictly functional; the ‘Commando Commando’ chants are very annoying.

Vidyut Jammwal, as expected, is great with action sequences but he also delivers as an actor. There are several scenes in the film which require him to demonstrate his skills as an actor and he does not disappoint. Adah Sharma’s over-the-top Hyderabadi accent gets on your nerves at times but she is endearing as a performer. Esha Gupta gets a meaty role to play and she sinks her teeth into it. Freddy Daruwala does well as ACP Bakhtawar. Shefali Shah leaves a mark in a brief role.

‘Commando 2’ has been mounted on a bigger scale and is more ambitious than its predecessor but suffers from a tortuous plot that pretends to be smarter than it really is.

Rating: 2.5/5

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