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War movie review: Hrithik Roshan starrer is flashy but familiar

War movie review: The main problem with the war is that all the space is divvied up between Hrithik Roshan and Tiger Shroff, that poor baddies don’t really get a chance.

War Movie Review: Vaani Kapoor and Anupriya Goenka get some air-time, but this is for the boys who have all the fun.

 

War Movie cast: Hrithik Roshan, Tiger Shroff, Ashutosh Rana, Vaani Kapoor, Anupriya Goenka
War movie director: Siddharth Anand
War movie rating: two stars

 

What do you expect when you have the two most beautifully-muscled, elastic bods in Bollywood playing I spy in a Yashraj Film?

Bouncing in every frame with Hrithik-Tiger’s combined smirk-and-swag? Check. Lavish worldwide locations? Is presented and accounted for. Lots of fast-paced chases? The war movie has all of the above, and yet, it is not quite in the area. Not quite smart, and most importantly, not quite new.

Set-up is promising.  Agent Kabir (Roshan) who is a patriot to beat all desh-bhakti, has gone rogue. Former star-stroked dolly agent Khalid (Shroff) is assigned by the chief spymaster (Rana) to track down Kabir, and the cat-and-mouse chase of a man on the tail of another, as old as spy saga itself. The veteran film spies like Bond and Bourne and our brains have to work very hard to stick to new, flashier plot devices, spiffier toys, and yes, deadly enemies. In War Movie, you can see the twist coming a mile away.

 

The stubbornness of war to entertain the family leads it to a predictable template of song-and-dance, play-and-laugh dialogue-betting-in-fights, tearful mothers, and loving sons. A magnificent Holi dance in the middle of a remote outpost gives our lads, who walk like greased lightning, a chance to shake their admirable booties. But it also makes us roll our eyes, which would have been fine if the film were in full-on comic book mode. But of course, it is not.

Hrithik Roshan and Tiger Shroff are being taken care of all over the place, and they are so much strung on screen, so torn, so bored, in their full glory, that poor baddies don’t really get a chance. There is no scary villain that sends shivers down our spine? Then the spies might as well be playing ring-around-the-roses with each other.

Scads full of cash must have been needed to take the cast from as diverse places as Sydney from Portugal, and there is no stein. But the story of freshness and zing? missing in action. It speaks of the ‘Desh Ke Dushman’ as did movies of the 70s and 80s; Dated dialogs that connect ‘Musalmaan’ and a ‘vatanparasti ‘only add to the casual genres that are becoming common lore these days.

The girls, Vaani Kapoor as a loyal dancer, and Anupriya Goyal as an ace code-cracker, get some air-time, but this is for the boys who are all fun: falling off the choppers, in fast cars Zooming, closing of bridges, some bloody fizz-time happening. Shroff should not be reunited with Roshan; On his own, Tiger is a dancer in a dream, with jaw-dropping maneuvers, and can be five hundred armed desperadoes; When Hrithik Roshan is around, however, he listens in the background.

The last time Hrithik Roshan looked as sexy was in Dhoom 2 (2006), also a Yash Raj film. The gold streaks have been replaced with a bit of brown in the temples, but the bronzed cheekbones are decorated with a few fetching scars, fighting-fit figures in fatigues-and dark-glasses and a case-hard look, the whole look – Candy. I’m not telling you anything by saying that War is all set to be a franchise: go full comic-book maybe next time? Now that’s a spy I will buy.

 

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