Commando 2 – The Black Money Trail is one of those fabulously foolish films that make you laugh and groan at the same time. There is one crackling twist in this tale but the rest of it is marvelously low IQ and in places, downright alarming – producer Vipul Amrutlal Shah and director Deven Bhojani actively endorse encounter killings lauding them as the nayi soch of a new generation of Indian police officers. They also manage to bung in demonetization and farmer suicides. But despite the headline referencing, the film remains a cartoon.
Vidyut Jammval is back as Captain Karanvir Singh Dogra, a commando in some special cell. I didn’t understand what this special cell does but there is a swanky office with lots of people looking at computer screens and Adil Hussain in a nicely tailored suit dropping lines like – You’ve become a trigger happy man Karan. Incidentally, when we first see Karan, we don’t see his face. We see his formidable bicep. Vidyut, as you might know, is trained in martial arts. He is impeccably fast and furious and he does his own stunts. His fitness levels are worthy of applause. But just in case, you aren’t impressed, Deven makes sure that there are two women constantly flirting with him. We are also told that he can hack into any secured system in 90 seconds. And an entire sequence is devoted to him identifying a location through sounds and sleuthing – our very own Sherlock!
The women are Adah Sharma who plays a bimbo encounter specialist. In this world, that is not a contradiction. Inspector Bhavna Reddy is so enamored by brands that it is rumored that she killed a gangster for a Gucci bag. There’s also Esha Gupta as the femme fatale. At one point, she tells Karan: Tumhein resist karna mushkil hai. These folks chase each other through Malaysia and Bangkok. But no one breaks into a sweat. The women always look like they’ve dressed for a fashion magazine shoot and Vidyut keeps his artful curls in place. There is lots of chatter about one lakh crore in black money which must come back to India. There’s also the amazing Shefali Shah who plays a scowling home minister. The home minister is unhappy because her son is a key player in this black money trail. But that sorrow doesn’t kill her enthusiasm for gorgeous saris. Each time Shefali appeared onscreen, I was so busy checking out the designs and colors that I stopped paying attention to the harebrained dialogue and convoluted plot.
I must also mention KP the henchman. Through the film, he wears these tight waistcoats. But in the end, when he goes into hand to hand combat with Karan, he rips his waistcoat off. It is a delightfully ditzy moment that made me laugh out loud.
The first Commando was no masterpiece but it was an effective genre picture that benefitted greatly from a strong performance by Jaideep Ahlawat. Here there is lots of slow motion posturing but very little common sense. I’m going with two stars.