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Movie Review: Race 2

race-2-movie-posterThere are certain movies you watch for cinematic excellence and there are certain movies you watch for pure masala entertainment. Abbas-Mustan’s Race 2 falls squarely into the latter category.

The sequel to the 2008 hit, Race 2 treads down a familiar path with the same formula as the first installment: broody, suave men; sexy women; fast moving cars; double and triple-crosses; and a catchy soundtrack. If the formula isn’t broken, then why change it. So for fans of the first film, Race 2 succeeds.

Race 2 takes us back to the life of Ranveer Singh (Saif Ali Khan), who is mourning the death of his beloved Sonia (Bipasha Basu in a brief cameo). He has a plan to avenge her murderer and crosses paths with Armaan Malik (John Abraham), Armaan’s half-sister Alina (Deepika Padukone) and his girlfriend Omisha (Jacqueline Fernandes). He also joins reunites with his friend from Race, ex-cop RD (Anil Kapoor) and his new assistant Cherry (Ameesha Patel).

The film is based around the proverb “revenge is a dish best served cold.” The plot takes its time to introduce the characters with alliances being formed and broken at every turn. Even in the penultimate moments, you are unsure who has double-crossed whom. This is where the film succeeds. The audience is invested and keen to see how this race is won, even though we have a pretty good idea who the final winner will be.

Like all Abbas-Mustan films, Race 2 is highly stylized. The actors are immaculately styled (credits to costume designer Anaita Shroff Adajania) and the film is set in the gorgeous locales of Turkey. Production values are high and the brand Audi can be considered as an integral part of the cast thanks to the significant product placement.

Pritam’s music was a strong suit of Race, as well as Race 2. The revamped “Allah Duhai”, Atif’s ballad “Be Intehaan”, and “Lat Lag Gayee” are all great numbers but my pick of the album is the dance floor hit, “Party on my Mind”.

Race 2 works primarily thanks to Saif Ali Khan. Like wine, he seems to grow finer with age and pulls of the role of suave and calculative Ranveer with aplomb. John Abraham is given a one-dimensional character but does a fine job. Special mention for the extended fight scene where he shows off his brawn. The women don’t have much to do except show off their toned bodies and model designer outfits. Jacqueline fares better thanks to a better character, but Deepika makes up for it with her beauty and skimpy outfits.

The film isn’t perfect and drags in certain parts. The Anil Kapoor-Ameesha Patel track sticks out like a sore thumb. Had this track been eliminated, the film would have been a much smoother ride. There are many portions which make little to no sense – especially the absurd climax – so don’t go in expecting any strong, or even mild, dose of reality.

While its predecessor is the stronger film, Race 2 is a good entertainer to check out during the long weekend. And if there is a Race 3 in the pipeline, I will probably be heading in for a watch to see who Saif Ali Khan is up against.

Dollz Movie Review Rating: 3 stars out of 5

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Synopsis:

A cold fury seeps in Ranveer’s heart after the death of his lover and partner in crime, Sonia. In Race 2, we are exposed to Ranveer’s multi faceted personality and his determination to avenge Sonia’s killer. We are also reintroduced to RD and his new assistant Cherry who support him in his endeavors. In his attempt to track Sonia’s killer, he meets Armaan and his fiancé Omisha along with Aleena. Armaan Mallick heads the Indian mafia in Turkey; and with his partner Aleena they run the shrewdest criminal outfit in the country. Ranveer treads through a world of ruthlessness depending only on his wits to accomplish his goal. A world where betrayal lurks at every corner, where loyalties change every minute and where love is just a four-letter word. Set in the exotic locales of Turkey, the narrative takes unexpected twists and turns and moves at breakneck speed to keep you at the edge of your seat.

Directed by Abbas-Mustan and produced by Tips Music Films, Race 2 stars Saif Ali Khan, John Abraham, Anil Kapoor, Deepika Padukone, Jacqueline Fernandez and Ameesha Patel. It released worldwide on January 25, 2013.

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