One of the hallmarks of a mass masala movie is having a hero who is brave, quick witted and totally endearing to the audience. So in 2009 when director Surender Reddy and Ravi Teja joined hands together for Kick, what emerged as a result was a complete entertainer, taking full advantage of Ravi Teja’s versatility. Kick went on to be remade in various languages, the most popular of them being the Hindi version of the same name, which released last year. Hence it was quite an event to look forward to, when the announcement of the sequel, Kick 2 was done last year. While Surender Reddy, writer Vakkantham Vamsi and actor Ravi Teja were signed on for the sequel as well, actor Nandamuri Kalyan Ram stepped in as producer, in place of R.R.Venkat who made the original. Through his banner N.T.R.Arts, Kalyan Ram has been producing films for the last several years, but this is the first time that he has produced a film which doesn’t feature him in the lead.
Kick 2 opens interestingly with a voice over by Jr.NTR and a quick summary of the previous film. We now see that Kalyan (Ravi Teja) has quit the police force and settled down in the U.S. If Kalyan’s mantra is “kick” as he always looks for a kick in everything he does, then his son Robin Hood (Ravi Teja again), a doctor is someone who looks for “comfort” in whatever he does. Robin decides to go to India and build a super speciality hospital in his ancestral property in Hyderabad which has an obstacle; it has been grabbed by a local thug DD (Ashish Vidyarthi). Well enter the heroine Chaitra (Rakul Preet Singh) who falls for him and as expected we find Robin acknowledging his love for her as well. In parallel to this we see that the village of Vilaspur in Bihar is terrorised by Solomon Singh Thakur (Ravi Kishan), a tyrant with a private army of his own. The exploits of Robin Hood are noticed by a native of Vilaspur who informs the villagers that Robin is the saviour they need and now is their time for redemption. Chaitra gets kidnapped right in front of Robin Hood and he decides to go all the way to Vilaspur in search of her. Does he go on to help the villagers in their struggle against Solomon Singh, how is Chaitra connected to this all this and does Robin get the comfort and kick that he was in search of are what the rest of the film is all about.
Kick 2 starts off reasonably well and there is a good connect established with the previous film. The first half of the film is kept pretty light and has all the typical elements that are expected in a Ravi Teja entertainer. The focus is on Ravi Teja and he enjoys it as always, while Rakul Preet Singh and Brahmanandam also give him good support in the first half. There is nothing remarkable about the comedy; nevertheless there are some chuckle-worthy moments. But things go for a toss completely in the 2nd half as the tale shifts totally from Hyderabad to Vilaspur. The setting looks clearly artificial and Vilaspur doesn’t come across as a village in Bihar. Solomon Singh lives in a fort which reminds you of Rajasthan rather than Bihar. The film boasts of several popular Bollywood actors in the film like Ravi Kishan, Sanjay Mishra and Rajpal Yadav but the director seems to have got confused in terms of how to make them mouth their dialogues. There seems to be no continuity when it comes to dialogue delivery, initially the characters speak in Hindi, with a voice over in Telugu, later the villagers decide they need to learn Telugu in order to impress Robin Hood, making them switch over to Telugu all of a sudden, how convenient :).
Writer Vakkantham Vamsi has had a good outing with director Surender Reddy so far but over here he has come up with a script which is so banal and ludicrous, that the film becomes boring beyond a point. One of the best aspects of Kick was the fact that the character of Kalyan was heroic and appealing to the audience, here Robin Hood doesn’t really get to shine as a proper hero for most part of the film, a definite failure in terms of the writing. Robin Hood is the sort of guy who appears selfish/self-centred for no rhyme or reason and by the time he changes, the audience is already fed up. The second half of the film is a cross between Tees Maar Khan (2010) and Khaleja (2010), needless to say the outcome is disastrous. At a run time of 162 minutes film is way too long for a plot like this and the proceedings appear mindless beyond a point, which again doesn’t help the film’s prospects. There’s nothing particularly impressive about Manoj Paramahamsa’s cinematography and Gautham Raju’s editing also isn’t anything to rave about.
If one starts talking looking from a logical point of view then the script has glaring loopholes which are clearly visible from Andhra/Telangana all the way to Bihar. Thaman’s music is as always strictly average; none of the songs impress in particular. Tanikella Bharani and Brahmandam have meaty roles but there is nothing remarkable about the characters they portray. Shaam is seen at the start of the film, as part of the process of establishing the link with the previous film. Rajpal Yadav as the drunkard and Sanjay Mishra trying to copy Rajinikanth’s Paparayudu act from Pedarayudu (1995) do a decent job, but are let down by the dubbing which impacts their dialogue delivery. Ravi Kishan is all sound and fury as the villain, reminding us in a way of his character from Race Gurram. Rakul Preet looks pretty and has a charming presence; her pairing with Ravi Teja works out well.
Despite the presence of a dynamic actor like Ravi Teja who is always charged up, the film doesn’t really work. While the first half is still not so much a problem despite the lack of novelty, the second half literally leaves you despaired. Ravi Teja is let down thanks to the character development of Robin Hood and while he is earnest as always, out here his portrayal doesn’t come across as all that memorable unlike in Kick. During his scenes with Brahmanandam he does try to evoke the old magic though, which works to an extent. Eventually Kick 2 is a disappointing sequel; a film that the producer and director should certainly be worried about. And it goes without saying that the director and writer need to take stock of the situation, especially since the film ends with a hint of Kick 3 in the pipeline. This is a film which doesn’t give you either a kick or comfort.