Movie Race 2: Abbas-Mustan Losing The Race This Time!

Honestly speaking, there is no need of writing a review for a listless movie called Race 2, still I decided upon writing one, definitely not as review of the movie but as a lament on Abbas-Mustan, the most exciting director duo of Bollywood, for their ‘twisted’ attempt of crafting another suspense thriller, a genre where they proved their mastery beyond doubt for over two decades.

Known for the landmark Bollywood films like Khiladi (1992), Baazigar (1993)Daraar (1996)Soldier (1998), Baadshah (1999) and Ajnabee (2001) which were also major successes at the box office, the director duo always remained truthful to the popular formula format of drama-comedy-action-music-dance and yet dished out convincingly genuine entertainers in the suspense-action genre. The slick and breathless moments of suspense taken forward with enlivening pace has made all major Abbas-Mustan movies really memorable. The other technical details like photography, sound track, editing and music too have always been masterfully done to support the total product. Personally speaking, I always relished the Abbas-Mustan moments and waited for their movies every time. This is despite the fact that almost all of their blockbusters were influenced by Hollywood flicks. In India nobody minds copying as long as they do it expertly and convincingly.

Unfortunately, the magic somewhat had gone downhill since the early years of the new millennium. The expert duo checked and prevented this trend in Race (2008) which became the fourth biggest grosser of the year. The ‘twisted’ tale of Abbas-Mustan had also begun with this movie as they seemed to depend on twists more than on the overall script. Though full of twists, Race was a convincing flick thanks to the intensity of the relationships shown, a well woven plot, spectacular chase and action scenes and the usual Abbas-Mustan doses. But things got worse since 2008 and the pulsating duo was on the verge of being forgotten, even by me. They seemed to be running out of ideas and maybe because of that they thought of making a sequel to very successful Race. That decision also garnered renewed expectations and anticipation among their loyal fans and serious movie lovers.

Race 2 that released on January 25 all over has, sadly, nothing to offer but twists and more twists. The movie does have the Abbas-Mustan moments, but these fall flat due to the lack of a script and characterization and music-to name only a few. Saif Ali Khan and Anil Kapur—the only remnants of the original—do look intense or jocular, but their performances add up to nothing really. John Abraham oddly paired with ‘sister’ Deepika Padukone does precious little to ‘race’ up the movie. More ominously, the director duo is also found to be depending more than usual on body exposure and double meaning dialogues this time. Loyal viewers are also smart as they get to believe nothing that happens in the film, because they get used to expecting twists and more twists. The predictability of twists becomes hilarious at times. Such an unflinching treat of twists! 

Sad though, Abbas-Mustan still has their dexterity and craftsmanship. What they desperately need at the moment is a good script. Hope the director duo would not fall to the trap of making Race 3 as being reportedly gossiped and look for fresh subjects. That Race 2 has still been able to do good business at the Box Office is proof enough of their popularity and acceptance.

Give them a good script and they will get back to making wonders.


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