Film Review: Heropanti 2 is unintentionally hilarious

Tiger Shroff and Tara Sutaria in Heropanti 2 Photo: Trailer Video Grab 

Filmmakers from the old school are still caught in the 1990s to 2010 era about what constitutes entertainment. The definition of an entertainer has changed twice since then, the latest change coming in after the last two years when OTT (which exhibits both the best and worst of Hindi, regional and foreign films, as well as web series) has made a massive impact.

Heropanti 2, the “sequel” (storyline unconnected, so it is a sequel in spirit), is bigger than its 2014 predecessor, but lacks the entertainment quotient that it had. In fact, with overlong and absurd action, plastic emotions and horrendous songs permeating the narrative, to sit through its 2.20-plus length is a true feat!

The storyline is such that we end up laughing at the film in every kind of sequence! Take the hero’s mom (Amrita Singh) pleading (!) to the river Ganga in Benares to look after her son’s well-being as Thames, the river back home in England, cannot be invoked! Most of the one-liners too end up as hilarious, with Babloo, the hero (Tiger Shroff) mouthing variations of the patented line from the 2014 original, “Sabko aati nahin, meri jaati nahin (Everyone does not know how to be heroic, while I cannot forget how to be a hero!)”

We have for a villain an awful-looking  man who walks with a swaying motion and is a magician called Laila (Nawazuddin Siddiqui). His sister, Inaaya (Tara Sutaria) is the apple of his eye but is used by Babloo to get to him. Babloo is a hacker and Laila, with his gang of cohorts whom he keeps in strict control with fear, plans to loot India through various Apps he has designed for men, women and children that will access details of every Indian’s bank accounts on March 31, the financial year-ending date, and get him all their money!!

Assad Khan (Zakir Hussein) from the Indian intelligence agency employs Babloo to get to Laila and company and prevent this. Laila decides to test Babloo’s loyalty and after this, it is all a “magical” mess. And as the baddies must get their due, rather belatedly, Babloo decides to exterminate them all—with Inaaya by his side, of course.

The protracted orgy of action and effete dialogue-baazi (one-liners for the supposed masses) becomes a tortuous medley by half-time, but the audience torture continues into the second half, relentlessly. In the end, it is the audience that shows true heropanti (heroism)!

The really chilling aspect of the film is not its storyline or violent treatment but the splurging of resources. There are messy mélanges posing as noisome songs with a 1990s hangover, mixing trendily (!) senseless lyrics including abstruse Urdu words like “Jalwanuma” (Whazzat?), but they are all exorbitantly filmed in terms of junior artistes, costumes, sets and locations.

The action sequences include multiple explosions everywhere, destructions of expensive sets and props, a car entering a speeding locomotive (!!) and car crashes that will make Rohit Shetty snigger at the unfunny senselessness of it all. The climax sequence is too long, VFX-heavy and chil-dish rather than chil-ling. Digital gobbledygook adds to the ludicrousness of it all.

Tiger Shroff must really reinvent now as these flashy and vacuous “sagas” are not for any actor who wants a long innings (his dad Jackie Shroff has been around for four decades now—maybe some analysis of his career can help!). I say this because there are glimmers of some evolution in his acting on occasion.

Tara Sutaria, on the other hand, is going the reverse way, her expressions and speech getting increasingly limited, very much like the dresses that (un)cover her figure. The supporting artistes all do their ho-hum bit, though Amrita Singh (I think this role would have gone to Kirron Kher in the recent past!) tries to salvage her character.

The biggest irritant is the supreme ham that is Nawazuddin Siddiqui. Here is a man who has always run down mainstream cinema and has doled out lofty portents about its early demise. The least he can conscionably do is to avoid movies like these whose kind “died” a decade ago while he, like certain other high-flying arty-cinema-inclined “actors”, continues to fatten his bank balance while running down commercial Hindi cinema as a whole.

The camerawork is of high standard (Kabir Lal) in general, the VFX okay. But coherent and sensible script and direction—the backbone of any film—however, are both absent.

As for producer Sajid Nadiadwala, it is amazing how the producer of some great movies like Chhichhore and 2 States can revert to bilge like this. After disasters like Tadap and Bachchan Pandey very recently, the least he can do is stop bankrolling such fare under his banner named Nadiadwala Grandson “Entertainment”.

Rating: *

Nadiadwala Grandson Entertainment presents Heropanti 2  Produced by: Sajid Nadiadwala  Directed by: Ahmed Khan  Written by: Sajid Nadiadwala, Rajat Aroraa & Jagdish Sharma  Music: A.R. Rahman  Starring: Tiger Shroff, Tara Sutaria, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Amrita Singh, Naresh Gosai, Kecha, Oliver, Vikas Verma, Udayabhanu Maheshwaran, Mark Smith, Sajjad Delafrooz, Saharsh Kumar Shukla & others Sp.App.: Kriti Sanon





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