Director: Sam Hargrave
Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Randeep Hooda, Rudraksh Jaiswal, Pankaj Tripathi
Small story short, the task is to rescue the Indian drug lord’s kidnapped son from the capture of the Bangladeshi drug lord—and the rest is just tightly choreographed action sequences. Tyler Rake (Chris Hemsworth) is deported to execute the extraction, his character more human than Thor but definitely following his legacy of being the last man standing. The rivalry is perhaps an old school-ego issue between mafias, wanting to showcase their power.On one hand the Indian drug lord, Ovi Mahajan Sr (Pankaj Tripathi) operates his working from jail, on the other hand Amir Asif (Priyanshu Painyuli) has the entire army under his command.
The characters are thinly sketched, with only glimpses for the viewers to form an assumption. Tyler Rake is the absolute representation of the ‘tough guy’ with a bit of physical and psychological injury. Saju(Randeep Hooda) works for Ovi Mahajan Sr but his backstory is narrated with merely one picture in army uniform, no one knows how he ended up working for the gangster. Ovi Mahajn (Rudraksh Jaiswal) is just a confused teenager following the trail of the hard-hitting guy, he probably thinks landed from the action movies. Though he never doubts his rescuer’s instincts and doesn’t speak much. You should not be searching for a story, for it gives none—this is more of an episode. Dialogues are less but guns and grenades do the talking. Sam Hargrave’s first feature film, he is known to have directed many action sequences for many Avenger movies. Here, too, every action sequence is elaborate and graphic. It is one man against the entire army. The car chase scenes feel more like a video game with no remote controls. One meaningful conversation comes handy when Tyler answers the kid’s questions, giving a little insight to its curious viewers.
With all that is going around, the tertiary people seem not much bothered at all, the streets are chaos, the living conditions of the slums showcased—with the filth and shading it yellow. The narrative becomes dreary with only action and no story. The story leaves me with many questions unanswered—who is Tyler Rake, what is his backstory? What is Saju’s backstory? What is the rivalry between the two drug lords? Why were Tyler and Saju fighting in the first instance? Weren’t they sent for the same purpose of extracting Ovi? And how can an entire army not take down one individual? The narrative is blurry and shallow. It seems to be not much than scheduled action sequences—the streets’ sequence, the building chase, the night shootout and the ultimately blocked bridge sequence. One thing is clear,the chase between the bad guys is worse than good guy versus the bad guy!
The backdrop of Bangladesh, the slums and the highly populated cities, the children’ brainwashed army, life has no value here. Tyler pities the kids pointing a gun at him, fearlessly. The backdrop also leads to many languages being spoken with a swift shift between Hindi English and Bengali. I, being a Bengali could understand the minute details of it, the dialogues, commands and slangs being thrown out but for the audiences, it will be a little difficult to get a hang of it. For, Bangla to English translations lose a lot of essence. Perhaps, Chris Hemsworth saying ‘Proman dao’ (give proof)is my new favourite thing!
The secondary cast also does not make it clear, who are these people working for the extraction? There costumes are bad and boujee. Hooda’s hair gives him a new, different look, the lady commander’s costumes are too uptight for a gun-woman, closer shots make the eyeliner-mascara look evident amidst a crucial end-fight scene. Chris is all armed up, everything handy, switching weapons in a blink of an eye, way too easily. The entire army is wrapped head to top, in south Asian sub-continent.
A bit unrealistic how things operate, Rake always one step ahead, his unparalleled fight sequences are always one against many. Perhaps Amir Asif couldn’t train his fence-men that well or perhaps Tyler Rake is the human version of Thor. As the movie ends, the first and last drowning scenes stitched together gives us hope that there might come a sequel. A hope that the characters will be justified and Tyler Rake will be up against more ‘bad guys.’
Disclaimer: This article has not been written by Film Companion’s editorial team.