Race 2

Directed by: Abbas Mustan

Starring: Saif Ali Khan, John Abraham, Deepika Padukone, Jacqueline Fernandez, Anil Kapoor and Ameesha Patel

All images courtesy of: http://www.glamsham.com

WARNING: Contains some spoilers – please revisit my review after seeing the film if you do not wish to know what happens!

Of all the problems I expected to have with Race 2, there was one I had simply not anticipated – that I might actually enjoy it. Yes, there are continuity errors galore, twists and turns that give the viewer whiplash as well as ridiculously clunky dialogue that had me cringing every time the pace slowed down – not to mention Ameesha Patel literally hammering in that last nail into the coffin of her career. But Race 2 is fun – I laughed (far more than I should have), the songs are ridiculously catchy and visually the film looks gorgeous with decent cinematography and some truly retro set pieces with more than a throwback to the 80’s.

And therein lies Race 2’s trump card – unashamed style over substance. Race 2 throws everything and the gold kitchen sink into the style and look of the film, leaving any substance left seeming like an afterthought. Anaita Shroff Adjania’s styling is bang on the mark giving Deepika and Jacqueline far more worth than their actual roles do as they sport high fashion get ups with aplomb and even though they have little to do on screen, they are conspicuous by their absence when not in the frame. I also thought some of the action was genuinely very good, such as the free running chase in Istanbul as well as the speeding car bomb sequence. Though the cage fighting was rather dull, I was amused by the slow motion moob wobbling which neatly encapsulates what is so great about Race 2 – the non-intentional humour.

Performance wise, Saif saves the day, giving Ranveer far more gravitas than he should and shouldering the lead role with class and a decent performance. I thought John was incredibly boring, only coming alive when he explains why he killed Soniya (Bipasha Basu in a cameo) which has an eerie and raw level of verisimilitude. Anil Kapoor and Ameesha Patel annoy and irritate in equal measure with Ameesha doing the worst – whilst Sameera Reddy made the same role interesting, Ameesha fails to hit a single note right in any capacity which explains her “special appearance” credit. Even more unforgivable was her ability to make excellent styling look cheap. Deepika and Jacqueline are perfunctory and neither does herself a disservice in her respective role.

With aspirations of becoming a Dhoom 2, Race 2 falls short but as an installment of a successful franchise, it works perfectly well. Race 2 also sees Abbas Mustan back on some kind of form – whoever has urged them to restrain themselves and employ a prudent editor deserves any profit the film makes. But snarking apart, Race 2 doesn’t take itself too seriously and that is half the battle won with this out and out entertainer in a designer dress – this is not a film for posterity but one to enjoy in the moment. As for a proper film – well, 2013 has only just begun…

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