‘Race 2’ mein toh hum tumhare baap lagte hain (I’m your daddy in this film), naam hai Saif Khan: Saif should be saying this to John Abraham, his co-star in the movie. Well, he goes so far as to mention to John, “You thought you will displace me? I’ve been in this race from the beginning.”
I’m not sure if that dialogue is an inside joke, but the point is well taken. Saif was in this film’s first part. This picture is its baap, in terms of budgets. He gets the best stunt and chase scenes in the sequel as he jumps off buildings, masters archery and fencing, holds a pensive look on his face with a weirdly straightened forehead, and an odd wrinkle between his eye brows.
John is employed mainly to take his shirt off, get into killer hand-fights, or mortal combat. Still, I’d suppose the two heroes get equal footage, or at least the race between them is evenly poised. John plays the owner of a chain of casinos. According to the film’s narrator, “Iski zindagi hawa se baatein karti hai (His life talks to the air).” Exactly what his life says to the air above it, we don’t know.
There are two things he hates: “Doosron ki beimani, khud ki imaandari (other people’s dishonesty, and his own honesty).” Saif is a con-man who wants to destroy this billionaire. John is aware of Saif’s games. He is not exactly being taken completely for a ride. Abbas-Mustan’s Race released in 2008. I don’t know if anyone really remembers the plot of that film, which was largely inspired by the Hollywood flick, Roland Joffe’s Goodbye Lover (1998). The last movie by the same filmmakers, who credit themselves as the “director duo” was Players (2012), which was officially a copy of Italian Job (2003).
This one is an original. You’re sure of this because you can tell that it’s been written only up till the interval. It seems easier to spend crores on a film than a few extra months on a screenplay. The first part was a hit. It’s already too late. The sequel must be out soon. There is still about two and half hours of screen-time to clock. Three bikinis (Deepika Padukone, Jacqueline Fernandes, Amisha Patel) for the price of one movie ticket is a good start. Of these females of incredible shape, one of them (Amisha) makes love to Anil Kapoor in a shaven chest. Mr Kapoor has supposedly been brought in for the humour. He gobbles fruits from a tiffin box, and makes double meaning jokes with his dumb assistant. A few more characters will be required still. Godfather Ranza (Aditya Pancholi) walks in, with three women by his side, throwing billions of dollars. It isn’t about piddly lakhs and crores of rupees anymore. What are all these folks doing in the movie? They are chasing money of course. As is the film’s producer.
That is pretty much the story. Unless you’re really want to know what’s in the script. Well, Saif’s character wants to take revenge for his girlfriend’s (Bipasha Basu) death. That would be easy to resolve within a few minutes.
But it’s a good enough excuse for a heist sequence, helicopter shots, car chases, ads for the German auto-maker Audi, a standard Atif Aslam song with the alfaaz, “saansein”, “simatne lage”, “sailaab behne lage”, over “jism” and “rooh” and dance tracks about “party sharty” that sound like the hit number “Tu Mera Hero”. That’s why you went to the theatre in the first place. If so, you’ll be fine. Just don’t re-check your IQ when you step out of the hall.