Cast: Ajay Devgn, Sonakshi Sinha, Kunaal Roy Kapur, Yami Gautam, Manasvi Mamgai
Director: Prabhu Dheva
And we are back to the ’80s! Remember the spate of sloppy Bollywood potboilers – revenge sagas with incongruous narratives, vicious villains, vile vamps and cringe-worthy situations? Prabhu Dheva’s ‘Action Jackson’ has all of that.
Prabhu Dheva is a pro at belting out action films with Southern-style flavouring - his signature dance moves, slo-mo action sequences and add to it a quintessential Bollywood hero like Salman Khan or Akshay Kumar and we have the perfect formula for box office success.
However, Ajay Devgn seems completely out of place trying to pull-off Prabhu Dheva’s pelvic thrusts. Every time Ajay takes his hand to the belt to attempt a classic Prabhu step, he looks uncomfortable, as if cringing deep inside and we died a little when a completely superficial song and dance number started playing on screen. Were the songs on autoplay, embedded without thought or concern?
You can diss a Rohit Shetty all you want but he knows his audience and he knows how to sell his wares. In ‘Singham Returns’ - the romance, the songs and the over-the-top treatment worked at many levels. Nothing works in ‘Action Jackson’.
Sample this – a girl has been abducted, is tied to a chair and is being molested. Our hero walks in, wielding a sword. Moments later his shirt drops off and he is exposing his well-chiseled torso as he takes on the goons. What we have playing in the background is a seductive number and our damsel in distress is busy ogling her saviour – she is still tied to the chair mind you. #Justsaying
A quick look at the main characters in this story – a typical Bollywood heroine, who believes that luck has started favouring her since she saw our hero without his pants. Our hero’s friend, who is kicked around because he is stupid and fat and that has got to be funny. Right?
A coke-snorting vamp, who is obsessively in love with our hero, and a nondescript villain, who looks like mad-eye Moody (from ‘Harry Potter’) and supports his sister’s vile fantasies.
Look at the characters and you realize that this film has bizarre written all over it. And to top this delicious mix, we have no script backing all this absurdity.
Why did Ajay Devgn have to stoop to this all-new career low?
And how long is Sonakshi Sinha hoping to piggyback on the success of heroes like Salman Khan, Akshay Kumar and Ajay Devgn? Does she have no aspiration for herself? Except ‘Lootera’ her filmography reeks of unambitious projects. She has comfortably snugged into this behenji mould and doesn’t seem to want to venture out to try anything different. It’s been four years since her debut film ‘Dabangg’ (2010), isn’t it time that she tried to play more than a prop?
After three hours (2 hours 25 minutes to be precise), which felt like eternity, the discombobulating was officially over. I hugged myself and advise that you do the same. What a waste!