Vikram’s Iru Mugan is a stylish and racy entertainer.
It works to a large extent due to the charismatic screen presence of Vikram in a dual role as the hero and the villain. However after an adrenaline pumping first half, the second half of Iru Mugan loses its way due to uneven pacing and no logic in the script.
The story is wafer thin: A disgraced RAW agent Akilan (Vikram) is recalled by the agency to track down a crazy scientist and a cross dresser Love (also Vikram), who has discovered a deadly new drug ‘Speed inhaler’.
The drug fixed to an asthma inhaler can make an ordinary person into a super killing machine for five minutes. This is a deadly weapon in the hands of a terrorist.
Our hero Akilan has his own axe to grind against Love. He believes the scientist was behind an earlier operation in Kashmir, in which he lost his lady love Meera (Nayanthara). Akilan then flies off to Malaysia along with another agent Ayushi (Nithya Menen) to track him down.
Iru Mugan is an out and out Vikram show. He plays the mean machine Akilan and the cunning, rogue scientist Love simultaneously with ease. Anand Shankar has written his script to suit Vikram’s image of an actor who does macho action films and experiments with the characters as well. And Vikram convincingly pulls it off with élan.
Nayanthara looks like a million bucks and is a definite highlight of the film. What is surprising, though, is that a fine actress like Nithya Menen has hardly anything to do in the film. The comedy scenes of Thambi Ramaiah are forced on you, while Nasser makes his presence as RAW chief. The characters of Rithvika (she had a crucial role in Kabali ) and Karunakaran are a letdown.
Technically, the film is slick with great camerawork by RD Rajasekhar in exotic locales of Malaysia. The action scenes by Ravi Varma and Anbu are superbly choreographed and stunning. Harris Jayaraj makes a comeback as a music director, especially with the song 'Halena'. Bhuvan Sreenivasan’s editing makes Iru Mugan racy, though the film is almost 150 minutes.
On the downside, it looks like the script was written by googling information, as the director has spent a lot of screen time trying to tell audiences what chemical warfare is and how Hitler used nerve gas during World War II.
Iru Mugan is a one-time entertainer, and it has its moments.