Welcome Back review: This is brutally unfunny
Anil Kapoor, Shruti Haasan, John Abraham
About a decade ago, director Anees Bazmee’s No Entry began a strange new genre of unsubtle commercial cinema. These films sought no logic or narrative; instead, they simply bundled together a whole lot of hamming, loud noises and juvenile jokes. These movies became known as ‘masala entertainers’, and they somehow became a box office phenomenon.
Now, Bazmee seeks a comeback with a sequel to Welcome (2007), not-so- cleverly titled
, and succeeds only in boring the audience.
Eight years after the original, the formula no longer has the energy it did.
John Abraham and Shruti Haasan on the sets of Welcome Back.
The principle actors are back — Nana Patekar as the don Uday Shetty, Anil Kapoor as his pal Majnu, and Paresh Rawal as Doctor Ghungroo. This time the gangsters have gone legit in their businesses, but Uday’s step-sister Ranjana (Shruti Haasan) now wants to marry Ghungroo’s Bambaiyya gangster step-son Ajju (John Abraham), and their families oppose the union.
Throw in Naseeruddin Shah parodying his role as a blind master crime lord from Mohra, and Shiney Ahuja as his stoner son, and you’ve got a muddled enough plot for a masala entertainer.
Watch: Weak script and bad CGI pull down the sequel
The problems that plagued the original film are only amplified here. We get the usual cocktail of nonsensical narrative, unfunny sight gags and loud hammy acting. The performances are brutally unfunny. Kapoor and Patekar seem disinterested; as does Dimple, who has an embarrassing, extended cameo as a scheming mom to a perpetually horny daughter (Ankita Shrivastav).
John Abraham is the only likeable element — he has no comedic chops, but at least he really tries. Ultimately, Welcome Back is a hollow attempt at reviving something that had only worked by fluke to begin with. The only way this remake could have succeeded is with someone like Salman Khan thrown into the mix. And even that would only have earned it about one more star.