Three stunning Mini Coopers zip past the gorgeous locales in New Zealand, while the baddies on bikes give chase. You're excited, because the adrenaline rush you've come to expect from Bollywood movies, features the hero pummeling a dozen goons to pulp for the sake of his lady love. This, you think, is different. This, you think, is even good. That is, until the obstacles thrown in their way are a mime, locals in wheelchairs, a martial arts expert and Johnny Lever in a wheelbarrow, unleashing ball bearings on the street.
So close, Abbas-Mustan. So close.
'Players', Bollywood's first big ticket release of 2012, isn't entirely bad. This reviewer even found herself enjoying the movie in parts. However it's the promise of more that eats you up alive and makes you wish the directors had left out the unnecessary gags, the cheesy lines and Sonam Kapoor.
What's it about?
If you've watched 'The Italian Job' (1969, 2003) you'll already know that 'Players' is a high-speed heist flick, involving a team of gold -hungry thieves. The stash here is Romanian gold being transported back to the country from Russia. The team consists of Charlie (Abhishek Bachchan), auto expert Riya (Bipasha Basu), computer whiz Spyder (Neil Nitin Mukesh), illusionist Ronnie (Bobby Deol), explosives enthusiast Bilal (Sikander Kher) and makeup expert Sunny (Omi Vaidya). They are mentored by retired mastermind Victor (Vinod Khanna), whose daughter Naina (Sonam Kapoor) is blissfully unaware of what her daddy & co. are up to. Betrayal soon follows, with a number of twists that make your head spin.
Abbas-Mustan do what they know best, giving us some thrilling action sequences and highly stylized shots. Abhishek dips into his notes from playing Inspector Jai Dixit to give us a passable performance as the leader of the pack. Bipasha looks hot and Omi Vaidya, though nauseating in parts, adds some much-needed humour to the already loopy proceedings.
However there are some cringe worthy elements that the flick could do well without. Sonam Kapoor proves again that she is simply a glorified clothes horse, delivering a performance that reminds you of nails dragged across a chalkboard. Neil Nitin Mukesh tries hard to emulate Edward Norton (from the 2003 flick) but in a palace that looks like one where King Midas had a nose bleed and annoying lines like 'Open it, baby', we are left wide-eyed and horrified.
What to do?
Players is unintentionally funny, though not unbearable. Watch it, if love sagas or weepy dramas aren't your thing. But if you're really looking for a bonafide adrenaline punch, rent out the original or the 2003 adaption.
in.com rating: 2.5/5
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