Total Dhamaal movie review: This asinine comedy proves Ajay Devgn should stick to action

By the time a motley crew of opportunists find their way to a buried treasure in Total Dhamaal, the adventure comedy begins to feel like a disaster film.

Udita Jhunjhunwala February 22, 2019 13:44:10 IST

1/5

They say the journey is more important than the destination. But director Indra Kumar’s adventure comedy (a very, very loose definition) is all about the journey, which is troublesome, even frightening, and all together tedious. So much so that by the time a motley crew of opportunists find their way to a buried treasure, the adventure comedy has begun to feel like a disaster film.

Total Dhamaal movie review This asinine comedy proves Ajay Devgn should stick to action

A still from Total Dhamaal trailer. Source: YouTube

Arshad Warsi, Javed Jaffrey and Ritesh Deshmukh return to the third part of the Dhamaal franchise as no-hopers looking for a get-rich-quick scheme. Ajay Devgn, Sanjay Mishra, Madhuri Dixit and Anil Kapoor inflate the cast. Just to keep reminding of the motivation of the characters, the word 'paisa' echoes in the background, sounding more menacing than enticing.

It took three writers — Ved Prakash, Paritosh Painter and Bunty Rathore — to ensure that the screenplay is stretched beyond its elasticity and is packed with misadventures than adventures. It took a headlining cast of eight to make the posters look good but even they could not make this asinine comedy, with the occasional laugh, tolerable.

Though Kapoor and Dixit, who play a bickering couple caught in their own war of the roses, and Warsi and Jaffrey, as polar opposite brothers, bring their comic A-game, Deshmukh and Pitobash Tripathy can do little to elevate their pedestrian material. Devgn should set comedy aside and stick to the action genre. As for Mishra, his brief seems to have been to add the word ‘bro’ twice in every line of dialogue.

Devgn and Mishra play thieves who clumsily pull off a big heist, but they are double-crossed. When they do track down the robber, they have to contend with six other greedy souls interested in a share of the spoils. Thus begins a race to the finishing line to a zoo, where the bounty is buried. Also on their tail is the police commissioner (Boman Irani).

For the next hour, we witness planes, trains and automobiles being used to get this gang to their destination. This is when the script gets really exasperating and also a bit scary with plane crashes, cars being submerged in raging waters, girders dangerous dangling off construction sites, speeding trains hurtling towards vehicles blocking the tracks, untrained skydiving and a rickety wooden bridge. Random cameos by Manoj Pahwa, Johnny Lever, Esha Gupta and Jackie Shroff, among others, punctuate these shenanigans.

After all of this, the film attempts to deliver a mixed message about how animals living in captivity need to be saved from avaricious developers. In the process, as they set aside their selfishness, this collective of crazies finds their conscience and we find a quick exit from the cinema.

Rating: *

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