4 years back, when the trailers of Commando showed up, one wasn’t sure whether to be intrigued by the promos, or to dismiss it as yet another mindless actioner. But the experience turned out to be good fun, as the movie was more than your normal dishoom dishoom experience, and was a compelling tale of a cat and mouse chase between a crime boss pursuing the object of his lust, and a young battle scarred soldier trying to protect her. The action choreography here was unlike what one was normally used to, and the claustrophobic nature of its jungle setting, plus a truly menacing villain (which is a rarity in Indian Cinema), and you had a rather fun watch. But with the promos of the sequel promising to be an action packed take on the war on black money, does Commando 2 take the franchise to the next level?
Post the demonetisation move, a secret cabal of Indian politicians and businessmen are left scrambling for cover as their bag man, Vicky Chaddha (Vansh Bhardwaj) has been captured and is up for extradition to India. The Indian Home Minister (Shefali Shah) decides to personally handle this, after being informed that her own son, Dishank (Suhail Nayyar) is part of the cabal, and assigns a handpicked team consisting of a sycophantic cop, Bakhtavar (Freddy Daruwala), a young, designer obsessed encounter specialist, Bhavna Reddy (Adah Sharma) and a hacker from the IT Cell, Zafar (Sumit Gulati) to carry out the extradition and also close the case such that everybody else gets away scot free. But this party ends up gatecrashed by Karanvir Dogra (Vidyut Jamwal), who has been shifted from the commando squad to a special Intelligence Cell, in order to make sure that no subterfuge occurs. But can Karan, who usually lets his brawn do the talking, survive the shadowy world of money laundering with his integrity intact?
The movie starts off by playing to its lead actor’s strengths, with a high octane action sequence set in Taiwan, and the action sequences for the most are the high points of Commando 2, only mildly hampered by an over-reliance on slow motion shots. But that’s about all the positives in an otherwise farcical attempt at narrating a supposedly complex tale involving money laundering, political conspiracies, attempted double crosses etc. The writing by Ritesh Shah is an absolute failure, as the movie just hurtles from scene to scene without making any sense, the worst offender being the sequence where Karan and Bhavna pursue Vicky in a Bangkok Mall, and what ensues. There are a couple of clever twists in the movie, but the execution is ham handed and amateurish.
Vidyut Jammwal manages to carry the movie on his extremely ripped and bulky shoulders for the most, but is let down by absolutely abysmal writing and direction. Adah Sharma pulls off the action sequences with aplomb, but otherwise grates on your nerves with an absolutely atrocious attempt at a Hyderabadi accent. Esha Gupta looks absolutely stunning, but falls short of convincingly portraying the femme fatale that her character’s supposed to be. The supporting cast range from indifferent (Shefali Shah and Adil Hussain) to earnest (Sumit Gulati) to downright terrible (Freddy Daruwala, Suhail Nayyar, Siddharth Kher and Thakur Anoop Singh) and drag the movie down.
Overall, Commando 2 seems less like an action thriller and more like a propaganda piece. The audience would be better re-watching the Bourne Trilogy, John Wick or the 1st part of this series, than subjecting themselves to this assault on their senses.