Abbas-Mustan’s ‘Race 2’ promised to be high on the style quotient but the essential question was whether the film will deliver as a complete entertainer? The critics’ verdict is in and this is what some of them had to say:
Sanjukta Sharma is clear about her expectations from a film like this one:
Abbas and Mustan Burmawalla, brothers and director-duo, are Bollywood’s master recyclers of pulp action thrillers. They have a glossy, plastic idiom, heavily dependent on European locations and post-production gimmickry. Race cars can be in glitzy slow motion. In fact, slow motion in jagged loops is their trademark. The men in these movies are always rakish; they live in ritzy hotels and casinos, and are surrounded by women who are always fashionably styled and brain-dead. Sexist humour drives the subplots.
But she adds that the “new action thriller is bad pulp; and a love story fit to be a television serial.”
Comparisons to the prequel were inevitable. Shubhra Gupta says in her review:
'Race 2' looks exactly like 'Race'. Which may have been intentional because plush locations and pretty playthings and buff men are very much Abbas Mustan trademarks. But all it does is cause a dismally same-same feeling. So much so that the new characters start feeling old within a few frames. Even the plot, which has a one-line pitch, Ranveer out to avenge the death of the love of his life, becomes subservient to the larger cause of looking glossy.
Anupama Chopra points out that though ‘Race’ was similar, it managed to pack in some thrills, which the sequel seemed to lack:
The first Race was also pure popcorn, but the twists were delicious and the characters were interesting. Here, writer Shiraz Ahmed and Abbas-Mustan were relying so much on style that they forgot about screenplay - this is a film in which even character artiste Rajesh Khattar gets a high-speed-walk moment.
But is the film all bad? Well, Rajeev Masand doesn’t seem to think so:
What it's lacking in originality, the film tries to make up for in sheer ambition. Abbas-Mustan don't skimp on any effort to deliver a fast-paced, stylish entertainer, even if much of it turns out to be a hoot. From crazy gizmos that would make James Bond's trusted ally Q turn a shade of green, to the sheer gratuitous skin show on display, Race 2 is a guilty pleasure all the way. Leading ladies Deepika Padukone and Jacqueline Fernandes sportingly show up to show off cleavage and leg, and John Abraham and Saif Ali Khan frequently strip down to their waists in an unapologetic buffet of beefcake.
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