Sonakshi Sinha in “Force 2”

Sonakshi Sinha in “Force 2.”

Keep your brains under lock and key, and maybe you can enjoy “Force 2” at a superficial level of high-octane entertainment full of chases, “surprises” and more. The trouble is we are not in a “Dhoom” zone (where we also had coherent and logical scripts) but in the intense kind of story (with strong emotional angles) that we saw in intelligent and gritty espionage thrillers, including “Dus,” “16 December” and the like.

Director Abhinay Deo, who is shown so brilliantly in two seasons of the TV series “24” and also in the whacko Hinglish comedy “Delhi Belly,” gets into “Game” (his 2011 debut) zone here and flounders on the essentials of a gripping spy drama — a great plot, a wow twist (there is none) and lethal combinations of emotion, humor, thrills and action. It seems that he was just out to make the most of the freedom and freebies (by the Budapest government) to have a blast before shooting Season 2 of the wonderful tele-series helmed by Anil Kapoor.

The film begins with a rollercoaster of action, where Indian agents are killed like flies in China. Perhaps this is the first film since the ‘60s (“Haqeeqat,” “Shatranj,” “Humsaya,” “Yakeen,” “Ankhen” et al) where China is openly shown as a hostile country prone to wipe out RAW agents, that too through sources including traitors for India!

One such agent is Harish (Freddie Daruwala, the main villain of “Holiday”) who is a bosom friend of our hero, ACP Yashvardhan (John Abraham), who is an ace policeman. Harish has sent Yash a book with a code before dying. Yash cracks it and goes to meet the RAW chief (Narendra Jha), meeting him because he is recommended strongly by a senior (Raj Babbar) as “not just an ordinary cop.” He decides to avenge his friend and the other Indian agents, all of whom, as per protocol, have been disowned by the government after their deaths. The leak to the Chinese is coming from the Indian embassy in far-off Budapest!

RAW agent KK (Sonakshi Sinha) is billed on the mission to Budapest with Yash, and, while she is hostile about the idea of a Mumbai cop being her teammate, she changes her mind when, early on, Yash saves their lives in the nick of time. But their methods vary completely: Yash being very much his own man since he lost his wife (Genelia D’Souza in a ‘spirit’-ed appearance!) to villains five years ago (that is, also in the first “Force” that much time back). So KK (told that she is leading him) goes by the book and lags behind as Yash soon zooms in on the villain, Shiv Sharma (Tahir Raj Bhasin), and traps and arrests him.

But Shiv seems to have a whole lot of locals working for him, and the trials of taking him back to India are unimaginable. Finally, Yash realizes that Shiv has more reasons than just money to wipe out the Indian agents. And he has a big agenda that Yash and KK must thwart.

The problem with the film, despite the okay performances by Abraham and Bhasin, and a disappointing turn by Sinha, is that the concept is completely fat-headed! The film touts that it is dedicated to agents who are our unsung heroes and are demeaned by the government when caught, but, while disowning captured agents is a done thing internationally, here we are led to believe that the cabinet secretary openly refers to spies killed on duty as criminals, bringing dishonor to their country!

The way Shiv seems to have a whole army working for him is absurd, as are so many other flaws in the scripting of the film. Like KK’s boss wanting her as a leader but never once communicating with her once she is abroad, only coordinating with Yash and even being ready to feel she is a traitor on one occasion! But the biggest flaw is that the villain ends up almost like a hero, forcing the latter (that is, Yash) to do something that works only because a politician is threatened!

There is nothing of caliber in the lines spoken or in the music to support the film. But great camerawork by Imre Juhasz and Mohana Krishna and action by Allan Amin are pluses, and strong ones at that. Prasad Sashte’s background score is novel and brilliant.

Wish we could say that also about the film. Action at any cost seems to be its maxim.

Rating: **

Sunshine Pictures, J.A. Entertainment and Viacom 18 Motion Pictures present “Force 2”

Produced by: Vipul Amrutlal Shah and John Abraham

Directed by: Abhinay Deo

Written by: Jasmeet Reen and Parvez Shaikh

Music: Amaal Mallik and Gourov Roshin

Starring: John Abraham, Sonakshi Sinha, Tahir Raj Bhasin, Freddy Daruwala, Boman Irani, Raj Babbar and Genelia D’Souza

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