Critics report: Race 2 not worth it

The much-awaited Race 2 has apparently not fulfilled the expectations of critics. The sequel fails to do justice to the plot but it does have few entertaining moments with an average music. Read on! | By HT Correspondent, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JAN 25, 2013 02:06 PM IST

Film: Race 2
Cast: Saif Ali Khan, Deepika Padukone, Anil Kapoor, John Abraham, Jacqueline Fernandez, Ameesha Patel
Director: Abbas-Mustan
Plot: It is the sequel to the 2008 hit film, Race, and stars an ensemble cast that includes Anil Kapoor and Saif Ali Khan reprising their roles as Robert D'Costa and Ranveer Singh from the previous film while Deepika Padukone, John Abraham, Jacqueline Fernandez and Ameesha Patel are new additions to the cast. Bipasha Basu will reprise her role of Sonia in a special appearance. The film starts off from where Race concluded. Ranveer [Saif Ali Khan] decides to avenge the death of his fiancée Sonia [Bipasha Basu] and for that he travels to Turkey, where he encounters some new people in this journey [John Abraham, Deepika Padukone, Jacqueline Fernandez, Ameesha Patel], besides some people he had encountered earlier [Anil Kapoor].

Taran Adarsh, Bollywood Hungama
Rating: **1/2

Let me state at the very outset that RACE 2 doesn't entirely meet the monstrous expectations. Abbas-Mustan, coupled with screenwriter Shiraz Ahmed, have put together a motion picture that's stylish and engaging, with an international look and feel. The first hour is dedicated to the vengeance aspect, while the latter half focuses on the heist, which takes the graph of the film down. More on that later!

Race 2 starts off from where RACE concluded. Ranveer [Saif Ali Khan] decides to avenge the death of his fiancée Sonia [Bipasha Basu] and for that he travels to Turkey, where he encounters some new people in this journey [John Abraham, Deepika Padukone, Jacqueline Fernandez, Ameesha Patel], besides some people he had encountered earlier [Anil Kapoor].

Race 2 takes off with a bang. Literally. The chase that ensues soon after the blast, the introduction of the key players in the second installment, the sub-plots, the volatile games, the twists and turns… Abbas-Mustan and Shiraz Ahmed are on the right track all through the first hour. As a matter of fact, the first hour is very well knit. Everyone seems to be a double crosser here; the men are crooks and the women, devious. Also, Abbas-Mustan make sure they astonish you at every step. The twists and turns keep you captivated. In fact, just when you think this would be the last twist, another one leaps from nowhere, catching you by complete surprise. There's hardly any dull moment in this hour.

The post-interval portions start with gusto, but the writing isn't foolproof. A few episodes are electrifying [John's combat with Typhoon is remarkable]. Also, the heist is well executed. But the director duo and writer should've packed a solid punch in this hour, especially in its concluding act. The finale, inside the aircraft, should've been spellbinding. It evokes mixed feelings. The back story between Sonia [Bipasha] and Malik [John] is missing. Why? Additionally, the Anil Kapoor-Ameesha Patel track doesn't work. One doesn't mind double entendres, but some of the lines between them are in poor taste, frankly.

The soundtrack is lilting, though, I wish to add, the first part had better music. The background score [Salim-Sulaiman] is exhilarating. The action/chase sequences are top notch, with every stunt looking well choreographed. Cinematography [Ravi Yadav] is exceptional and the spectacular locales are a visual treat. Dialogue [Kiran Kotrial] are commanding at times, especially those between Saif and John. Editing [Hussain Burmawala] has always played an integral role in all Abbas-Mustan movies and the ace editor gives remarkable finish to the frames that have been filmed dexterously. The visual effects are tacky.

Verdict: Race 2 has a rocking first half, glam and glitz, great looking men and women, spectacular locales, extravagant making, adrenaline pumping action and of course, a solid brand that's gonna make moviegoers flock the cineplexes initially, but the film lacks the sustaining power thanks to its uneven second half.

Saibal Chatterjee
Rating: *1/2

Nearly five years on, the directing duo of Abbas-Mustan is still at it – cantering around aimlessly with a convoluted thriller that zips, zaps and zooms through an amoral landscape peopled by sharks and bloodhounds whose only trip in life is to settle old scores, hatch new conspiracies and, when necessary, lay murderous traps.

On the face of it, Race 2 is a glitzy, action-packed entertainer. Scratch the surface – in fact, that is all there is to the film – and what you are left with is superficial style bereft of logic and substance.

But, then, isn’t that the failsafe formula that has stood many a Bollywood pulp-maker in good stead over the years?

Race 2 proves how difficult it can be for a producer to let go of an idea that yielded a box-office bonanza the first time around. The makers of this film obviously haven’t heard of, or do not believe in, the law of diminishing returns.

Race 2 isn’t so much a sequel as an ill-advised rehash. Revenge, one character says, is a dish best served cold. Ideas, for sure, aren’t best served stale.

This is the second year in succession after 2012’s Players that Abbas-Mustan have the honour of unleashing the first Bollywood biggie of the year. Race 2, like Players, is big only on nausea-inducing clatter.

The brawny John Abraham (replacing the relatively scrawny Akshaye Khanna of the earlier film) ensures that the sequel has a markedly higher beefcake and testosterone quotient.

Keeping the boys company is a trio of bimbos all too eager to flash generous décolletage while playing second fiddle. All of the above is, of course, par for the course in an Abbas-Mustan film.

Many of the faces and the principal location have changed in the sequel, but the overall veneer is pretty much the same.

Race 2 is slickly packaged around dramatic twists and turns that fly at you thicker and faster than you care to count.

Race 2 moves at a fair clip and is packed with explosions, stunts and chases that might be crowd-pleasing. The trouble is that the narrative is too breathless for its own good.

To be fair, some of the implausible action sequences are startlingly good. However, they do not add up to a convincing enough whole that can paper over the holes in the narrative.

Verdict: Is Race 2 on your mind? Get rid of it pronto. This is a wreck of a movie strictly for action junkies who might be looking for a feverish two-and-a-half-hour ride that is far more giddy than heady.

Nabanita, Oneindia
Rating: ***

Bollywood's 'Men In White' directorial duo Abbas-Mustan, who have mastered the art of churning out classic thrillers are back with a bang. And, their latest action-packed thriller Race 2, bears all those familiar trademarks of a heady cocktail of betrayal, high-octane action, feisty women combined with twists that will take audiences on adventure-filled roller coaster ride.

Saif Ali Khan has reprised his role of Ranveer Singh in Race 2. Saif is marvellous all through and his suave, sophisticated, bearded look suits him very much. He makes the best of impression amongst all. Deepika Padukone looks very hot, but lacks expressions and fails to emote. Jacqueline Fernandez too is not impressive as far as acting goes. Amisha Patel is average. In fact, the girls are nothing more than mere glam dolls in the film. John Abraham has made his entry, but seems average. Anil Kapoor is impressive and his comic timings are very good.

Music in Race 2 is not as impressive when compared with its' first installment.

Verdict: The makers of Race 2 have made sure to keep the audience entertained.

Rohit Vats,

The direction of Abbas-Mustan is the chief attraction of 'Race 2'. The director duo has tried hard to make a suspense-thriller a sought after genre in Bollywood as the Hindi film industry traditionally leans towards idealistic romantic stories.

They have not been successful with their each project but some of their films are actually mention-worthy, 'Khiladi' and 'Baazigar' received commercial success as well. 'Baadshah' was a moderate success but this film was at par with any Hollywood film when it comes to style. The duo is in search of a hit film as their only film in last four years, 'Players' was not a success at the box office.

Abhishek Gupta, India TV

The prequel of Race2 had a decent plot in which one could apply one's brains. Here the poblem lies with the sequel, which are mostly fluff, without any stuff making difficult for one to exhaust one's brains.

Wanna get entertained? Once again, don’t get into logics and statistics as we have been doing for some recent past action masala flicks.

film begins when Armaan Mallik's (John Abraham) father who was a horse owner is bankrupt as Ranvir Singh (Saif Ali Khan) destroyed his fortune.

Armaan vows to take the revenge and befriends Ranvir to materialize his plans. Initially he wins until Ranvir decides to hit back and the Race begins again.

Saif comes Istanbul and falls in love with Armaan's sister Deepika Padukone.

A furious Ranveer is helped by Robert D’Costa reassessed by Anil Kapoor who is now a refined club owner living a luxurious life with his fruits.

While it was Sameera Reddy in the first instalment, it’s comeback lady Amisha Patel to accompany Costa as her secretary in the second.

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