Bad sequels are a bad thing, especially so if they have high expectations. Truth be told, i had enjoyed Dabangg a lot- it was a standard masala movie but the entertainment quotient was high, the treatment was different, the songs were catchy, it had right mix of emotion, comedy and action, and in Chhedi Singh, a worthy villain. Dabangg 2 on the other hand brings nothing new to the table- stale wine in antique bottle.
Chulbul Pandey is back to clean up a new city this time round- Kanpur, he has a new nickname (Kungfu Pandey) and he has the license to kill, not necessarily thrill. The rest of the original cast including Sonakshi Sinha, Vinod Khanna, Tinnu Anand return to reprise their roles in unimpressive fashion, but the most valuable member of the team, Abhinav Kashyap does not - perhaps he too saw nothing of value in the script, and Arbaaz Khan makes a dud as his directorial debut- not even a patch on the original. the story is largely the same that we have seen in the recent spate of action comedies or whatever you want to call this breed of movies- our swashbuckling, superhuman, club smashing, rod bending, larger than life Robin Hood cop with questionable morals picks up a feud with the local alligator Baccha Singh, played by Prakash Raj (channelizing his Singham act) and his thuggee brothers, Genda and Chunni.
In the meantime he also gets time to romance his missus and banter with his brother and dad. Things turn ugly when Chulbul gives a 180 degree spin to Genda, played by Deepak Dobriyal, who by the way is excellent in a short role. Rest of the movie is an insipid mishmash of unfunny one-liners, forgettable songs and slow motion fights. The feel is almost soap opera like, Salman looks like he is trying to have a good time but also looks tired and his left eye is positively droopy, probably cannot hide his neuralgia anymore. Sonakshi resembles an eggshell, Vinod Khanna rarely gets a good line and Arbaaz Khan is flatter than a railway track. And at the end, the manner in which Baccha is dispatched to his heavenly abode begs to ask the question why Chulbul took 2 hrs to decide his time was up and pump in some lead into him. Perhaps just to prolong our torture?
Yes, the shirt does come off, Munni returns along with a tandoori chicken impersonating Kareena, and the ending promised more sequels- In the current mood of things I feel the next city Chulbul will clean up is Delhi, hope Abhinav Kashyap is back again. Yes the action is plenty, the cinematography largely good, and the movie will rake in big bucks. And why not, Salman Khan has done what even SRK failed to do, that is, clear the field - no major movie releasing in this holiday season in fear of Dabangg 2. External forces are in its favor, but not internal. Neither bigger and neither better than the original, Arbaaz Khan makes the mistake of sticking too close to THE formula. Even though this will be Bollywood's most successful franchise, a terrible story is a terrible story, and for me, even Salman Khan cannot save this turkey- Dabangg 2 gets a 5/10 and my advice to soak in the holiday spirit, watch The Hobbit again.
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