Is maniacal magician Laila (Nawazuddin Siddique) male, female, transgender? The answer is inconsequential because there’s no statement to be made out here. We just want to be different and this is our own Joker, our homegrown Heath Ledger.
Is the non-violent, easily-bullied RJ (Tiger Shroff) the same as Babloo (also Tiger Shroff), the hacker-fighter with a swag who can take on a platoon and survive unscathed? Shrug it off, it’s so obvious.
Rajat Arora’s exhausting screenplay, Sajid Nadiadwala’s enervating story and Ahmed Khan’s weary direction, don’t entice you enough to attempt answers. And the writing itself isn’t sure when RJ exits and Babloo enters or vice versa.
Tiger’s action avatar goes through its hoops before it gets down to checkmating Laila whose gender continues to be as confusing as Rajat’s writing. Hacking genius Laila who’s as devious as the devil, polishes his nails and plots how he’ll empty out all bank accounts on March 31 while sister Inaaya (Tara Sutaria) is too vapid to even bat an eyelid over the sexual or criminal identity of her sibling.
But the haughty one does want to know, is the suave driver hired for her the mild RJ who won’t hurt a fly because his ma says so or is he Babloo of the flying fists-and-flying-feet fame? Karan Johar is the culprit here – his Poo has spawned so many spin-offs that even Veronica Lodge will soon hang her head in shame.
Comedy arrives in getting Babloo to unzip, strip and show his hidden birthmark which he does on two occasions. It has Inaaya gasping, ‘Mere saamne to pakeeza ban rahe thay aur yahan dirty picture?’ It’s an indication of where the dialogues are heading and states that Tiger has gone from shirtless to trouserless too.
The strut of the hero is given lines calculated for applause. ‘Sabko aati nahi, meri jaati nahi’, a leftover from the original Heropanti, and ‘Babloo dhundne se nahi, kismat se milta hai’. Does such tiresome heroism still have takers?
While being mired with such old box-office tricks, the director also desperately seeks to come off as casual, cool, contemporary and chic. So, a new-age heroine to Ahmed means an Inaaya who’ll kiss a stranger at random and a hero with a swagger who’ll kiss her right back.
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Does any of this have anything to do with the story? Not really because honestly, where is the story?
If you’d like a serving of emotion, bring in a mother (Amrita Singh), eternally feeding or praying for her son.
If you’d like a twist or two, guess who the mother is? Ah, does this at least impact the story? Shake your head again.
After slickly executed set pieces in familiar sites and situations like action in a parking lot and a fight scene with the girl as a prop, let’s cut to the chase and move to the climax. The effort to look computer-age contemporary leads to a showdown where Laila sets tasks for Babloo. He has to go through a maze of levels to reach the villain. The outcome is as predictable as the hidden moon on Amavasya.
The action is familiarly watchable because Tiger Shroff is such an ace at it. But having mastered his moves in action sequences and on the dance floor, Shroff needs to progress beyond what he has been displaying ad nauseam since his debut eight years ago.
Nawazuddin Siddique is always good when he’s bad. And he does bring menace to his magic.
Oops, almost missed this credit. Did the movie really have AR Rahman’s music? Ah yes, there was a nice Sufi-like number. So I guess ARR was around.
Watch Heropanti 2 Trailer: