The Abbas-Mustan directed Race 2 delivers what it promises — good looking ensemble cast, exotic locations, cars, bomb squads, revenge, lust and love, a couple of good music tracks and, most importantly, a plot which unravels at a thrilling pace. Race 2 is that kind of a film where one can’t elaborate on the story at all, given it’s turns and twists are what keep the race on.
Ranveer Singh (Saif Ali Khan) is the slick con artist, a continuation of his character from the original film. Race 2 is a new chapter of thrills and chills in his exciting life that we, the audience are a part of.
His agenda, his enemies are unknown in the first few reels of the film, and reveal themselves to us through the celluloid ride. RD (Anil Kapoor) also reprises his blooming buffoon character from the original, but whoever was writing the dialogues for him was on another planet, separate from the cool edge of Race 2.
The double entendres in all his lines, in his fruit chomping avatar, are embarrassing and not funny at all. He’s eating a new fruit in every scene, almost like he’s endorsing fruits for a living, and utters lines like “I am not ready to pop your cherry” and such throughout. And Cherry (Ameesha Patel) who plays his bimbo assistant is simply ridiculous in her enactment of naiveté or whatever it is she is trying to do. Anil of course being a stellar actor, looks believable in the part, but is completely bereft of his stature as an international star in this role, a waste of his talent in my opinion.
The glamourous and hot new addition to this screenplay is Arman Malik (John Abraham), a street fighter turned gazillionaire based in Istanbul, Turkey who loves his money but not more than he loves other people’s money. And an even hotter and sexier addition is Arman’s partner in his money spinning schemes, his haute half-sister, Alina (Deepika Padukone) who carries off a bathing suit with as much elan as she does a loaded gun in a holster. An ingenous piece of casting here — two of Bollywood’s most beautiful people cast as brother and sister and they make it work, despite their scorching onscreen presence.
Omisha (Jacqueline Fernandes) plays Arman’s love interest and you don’t notice her as much in the film as her terrible wigs and bad hair. Aditya Pancholi makes a special appearance in the film as Godfather Anza.
The film opens with a long voice over (Anil Kapoor as RD) wherein he describes the characters and sketches out a brief plotline, which sort of speeds up the audience’s understanding of the new additions to the sequel.
Race 2 is shot beautifully, with a crisp edit and has all the action you’d want and more — be it street fighting with John Abraham’s abs for the win, a one night stand, car chases and explosions or a mile high fight club sequence which defies all logic, but still works, big time! Though some of the action is very reminiscent of Salman Khan’s flying kicks and jumps in Ek Tha Tiger. But then again, what works for Salman can definitely work for the rest of Bollywood, especially John ‘The Body’ Abraham and Saif’s racy character.
The music of Race 2 has but two memorable songs, Party on My Mind and Lat Lag Gayi, but they pale when compared to the original film’s soundtrack. You do get to hear it in bits and parts, thankfully. Anaita Shroff-Adajania is the Costume Stylist for the film and she has done an incredible job, especially with Deepika.
Saif looks the part, and adds his subtle menace to the character. The only thing that distracts a tad in his portrayal, is his ever changing hair line. It needs to be consistent, whatever the hair style. He’s got the best lines in the film and it adds to his on screen charm and persona and he does not fail to take it a notch higher.
John looks great, but when does he not? He enacts his part suitably well and makes up in wardrobe arena or lack thereof, in the fight sequences.
Deepika is stunning, like always, but more so in Anaita Shroff-Adajania styled clothes. Deepika and Saif share this hot streak on screen, and whatever films they do together, hit bulls-eye at the box office.
At some point in the film, Deepika says “I can recognize that money making expression anywhere” and to that I’d say, Abbas Mustan have a big money maker on their hands with Race 2.