There are times when 15-20 mins in to a movie, you wonder whether you should have chosen this movie to watch; perhaps skip (if its on OTT) and walkout if it was a theatre. There are times, 30-40 mins in to a movie, when you wonder whether this movie should have been made at all. Action Hero is one such.
No, really. I never write negative reviews about movies – Over 125 here in this blog and counting. But this one deserves a special mention. What a mockery of the audience this is!
Maanav Khurrana is a Superstar and is shooting for a sequence in Haryana one late evening. As with all heroes, he is seen shouting at his PA and is rehearsing for an action sequence. Since he is not emoting enough, his PA says that the delivery of his Lamborghini is delayed. Angered, the Action Hero proceeds to beat up the baddies with the crew clapping hard once the shot is over.
The hero is then shown his Lambo and he takes it for a spin. Vicky Solanki, a fan of the Hero and brother of the local politician is waiting with his friends to catch a glimpse of the actor and a photo-Op. As Maanav doesn’t seem to turn up for hours, he follows the Lambo in his Fortuner and accosts the Hero. An argument follows a small scuffle, Nitin is pushed down on the road while Maanav finds him dead. Not knowing what to do, he rushes to his hotel, takes a flight to Mumbai and from there on to London. In the aircraft, he meets Actor Akshay Kumar and suggests he will fight the case from the UK, similar to Nirav and Mallya. Really? I wonder what brand does Director Anirudh Iyer smoke, if at all he does.
Vicky’s elder brother Bhoora Singh Solanki (Jaideep Ahlawat) leaves his house even as Vicky’s corpse is awaiting the cremation ceremony amidst the Prohit’s chants late night (so, people in Haryana cremate late night, wow!). He avows to kill Maanav before he returns home, and strips the local Police Officers of their clothes. He instructs they will not wear a full dress till he is back (state of political affairs!).
At London, he enters Maanav’s house with a duplicate key (Yeah, I too gave up briefly at this stage) and kills two Police Officers who come looking for Maanav at his house. Then, he chases and finds Maanav on the highway only to ask him to fight with him so he could kill and avenge his brother’s death. Meanwhile, Maanav escapes from him and reaches Sai (Neeraj Madhav) who could help him with the CCTv footage of Bhoora entering his house, by showing which he could escape from the UK Police. But Sai, on the other hand gives Maanav’s whereabouts to Khalid who plans to kidnap the Action Hero.
Back in India, the media is raising the noise (or voice) against the Action Hero who is now a proclaimed offender and an escapee. A look-alike of Arnab (pretty overdone) goes hammer and tongs enquiring Maanav’s absence, in what he calls – “The Nation wants to know!” Thankfully, none of the media mention the name or an equivalent of any politician, living or dead.
Khalid and Bhoora chase Maanav who eventually reaches St. Regis, London where there is a Big Fat Asian Wedding happening. The groom is none other than the nephew of the dreaded terrorist Masood Abraham (Gautam Joglekar) Katkar (in a sly reference to Dawood Bhai). When questioned by Maanav about his signature glasses, cigarette on one hand and moustache on the face, Katkar reveals that he aging and little would he remain the same as he was once seen in a photo 30 years back (don’t give up yet).
What follows after this is not just bizarre but makes you wonder how common sense was killed while shooting these parts of the movie. To ensure the audience hold back (in theatres only, though one can get directly to the song on the OTT), enter the sizzling Malaika Arora who is dancing to the tunes of “Baat ban Jaaye…” at the wedding where Maanav joins her and shakes a leg or two. In a sudden turn of fate, Maanav is on the other side of the law, advising the Indian Police how to manipulate the case and the situation to save their skin, returning back to India, not in their custody, rather in their esteemed company.
Watch it on Netflix on a weekday to bust your work stress. Cannot get better than this.
No wonder Bollywood Cinema needs not one, but more than one Pathan & a Tiger to resurrect this 2023 & beyond. Whether its at theatres or on OTT, content and only content will fly. Hope the filmmakers who have lost their way would note.
Oh yeah, to ensure the audience stay till the end (credits), a song feat. The Action Hero and Norah Fatehi plays in the background. Facepalm to the power 2.