Baaghi 2 Review

"Baaghi 2" is an official remake of the Telugu “Kshanam” and will be a bonanza for both action buffs and Tiger Shroff fans. (photo provided)

Nadiadwala Grandsons Entertainment & Fox Star Studios present “Baaghi 2”

Produced by: Sajid Nadiadwala

Directed by: Ahmed Khan

Written by: Adivi Sesh, Jojo Khan, Abbas Hirapurwala, Niraj Mishra & Hussain Dalal

Music: Laxmikant-Pyarelal, Mithoon, Arko Pravo Mukherjee, Gourov Roshin &

Sandeep Shirodkar

Starring: Tiger Shroff, Disha Patani, Manoj Bajpayee, Randeep Hooda, Pratiek, Deepak Dobriyaal, Grandmaster Shifuji Shaurya Bharadwaj, Darshan Kumaar, Sunit Morarjee, Sp. App.: Jacqueline Fernandez and others

Breaking the cardinal rule that sequels, even if bigger in scale (most are) must be better, or at least equally good, is “Baaghi 2,” a sequel to the well-made “Baaghi” (2016). The new film repeats the hero’s name but has nothing in common otherwise. There is barely any touch of a rebel (Baaghi) here as it is a soldier trying to first solve a kidnapping mystery and then turning into a one-man army as a vendetta machine.

Ronnie (Tiger Shroff) and Neha (Disha Patani) had been college-mates and lovers until Neha had to marry Shekhar (Darshan Kumaar) as her father was dying, to fulfill his last wish. Ronnie joins the Army and becomes one of the best in his paramilitary force, the apple of the eye of his superior Colonel Ranjeet (Grandmaster Shifuji Shaurya Bharadwaj).

Four years down, he receives a call in distress from Neha, stating that her daughter Rhea has been kidnapped and there is no news about her for two months. Her husband, she says, has gone into depression and the cops have closed the file. Ronnie comes to Goa, hires a car from a dealer named Usman (Deepak Dobriyal) and finds enough evidence to know that Rhea does not exist.

This is because Neha is suffering from a post-traumatic stress disorder after she was seriously assaulted by two hooded people. Ronnie confronts Neha, and in desperation, she commits suicide just when he finds marks on her room wall where she had measured the kid’s height!

In a rage now that she was speaking the truth but that all evidence of her four-year-old has been eliminated, Ronnie digs out a complex conspiracy even as he is hounded by the cops, in the shape of maverick cop Lodha Singh Dhul aka LSD (Randeep Hooda), DIG Ajay (Manoj Bajpayee) and inspector Kute (Sunit Morarjee). He also has to deal with Shekhar’s junkie brother Sunny (Pratiek), and, well, Usman, is not just an innocent businessman hiring cars either.

And when he comes to know the truth and the identity of the guilty ones, he becomes a blast of fury on an annihilation spree, a “One-man army” as his boss tells the cops.

The film is an official remake of the Telugu “Kshanam” and will be a bonanza for both action buffs and Tiger Shroff fans. There are some nice touches, like an unknown deputy of LSD named Bosco, who is never seen and only heard, and is very good at his work but tends to bawl like a small child when asked awkward questions. The four-year-old’s parentage is also cute as a revelation, but it is done in a weird and sudden way in the post-climax.

However, the loopholes and licenses taken with logic are too excessive qualitatively as well for the audience of 2018. Goa seems to be replete with cops from Punjab and Lucknow, for one, the former being called for reasons unfathomable in the way his character finally emerges.

Here are more: the final hideout shown (and the main villain’s sanctum sanctorum) are absurd given the location and the graph of the story and his character. From whom did the man need so much protection? Inspector Kute’s needlessly lustful ways with Neha that leads to an orgasm (pun unintended please) of violence in the police station seem to be done only to add the biff-pow quotient at any cost. And, how Ronnie’s superior brings in a platoon all the way from Kashmir (where Ronnie was based) to Goa seems ridiculous.

All this indicates an entertainer with an overkill of in-your-face action at the expense of a basically nice story. The screenplay revels in such flaws as in retro cinema, but a parallel quotient of soul is strangely missing. One song, “Saathi,” is all that sounds nice in the soundtrack, and we wish that the disfigurement of “Ek Do Teen Char” from “Tezaab” (1988) was also punished! The background score by Julius Packiam finds him strangely constrained, and he is far from his normal best. However, full marks to the action team (Ram Chella, Lakshman Chella and Kecha Khamphakdee) for setting a new benchmark in action in most sequences.

Ahmed Khan has directed only disasters until now, and in that sense, he evolves, but we wish he really exerts himself next time. Tiger does all the right things but tends to be repetitious. Disha Patani does well in whatever she is given, ditto Manoj Bajpayee, Deepak Dobriyal and Pratik. In a play-to-the-gallery role, Randeep Hooda is a delight.

Somewhere, the film falls short of a crisp 2018 entertainer modeled on the lines of retro classic Hindi movies. After the first three frenzied days for Shroff fans, it is likely to face an uphill task at the box-office.

Rating: **1/2

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