commando 3

Vidyut Jammwal stars in the fast-paced action thriller “Commando 3.” (photo provided)

Fast-paced, snappy action with little time to think: “Commando 3” is one of those rare sequels that is not merely bigger but also better. Yes, it has some elements that do not sound very convincing, like especially the climax, whose detailing here would be a kind of spoiler.

Also, some elements like the friction between the British Intelligence and their Indian counterparts are not exactly made of wholesome stuff and should have been severely and believably curtailed or modified. Also, the way the hero returns to India is not just absurd by tame, bereft of the tension that should have been there, like the final scenes in “Baby,” for example.

On the plus side, director Aditya Datt is in tight control of every scene—and admirably so. This is the kind of mainstream cinema that will find an echo in 2019, not the banal and dated kind we watched two weeks ago in “Marjaavaan.” The communal harmony elements have a better finesse, and thus no crudity. The action throughout the film is superbly executed and huge hosannas are due to the trio of Andy Long, Allan Amin and Ravi Verma.

The dialogues avoid playing to the gallery needlessly, and are generally crisp and minimalist. The lines by ace agent Bhavna Reddy (Adah Sharma, repeated from “Commando 2”) are often very funny, her expressions enhancing the humor quotient. In contrast, the actress essays action most convincingly, and her eyes are sheer expressive delight. This is one bankable actress, big time!

Angira Dhar as British agent with Indian roots, Mallika Sood, is, as per the need, very businesslike, but is as good in the action sequences and pretty convincing otherwise. Gulshan Devaiah, as Buraq, a totally amoral creep who is planning a huge terror attack in India, is superb in the way he menacingly underplays the near-lunatic devil’s emissary. His eyes are especially fascinating.

And yet, “Commando 3,” like the earlier films in the franchise, is all about Karanvir Singh Dogra, who is as heroic as anyone, muscular and fit to the extreme, and full of emotional passion for his country. Vidyut Jammwal once again enacts this powerhouse hero, who is now sent on a mission to London to find out the dreaded man who covers his face and programs the misguided youth in India to become extremists. The actor is getting better and more confident, ditto the action star in him. His introductory scene is fantastically done—a true hero’s entry.

When he reaches London, with Bhavna, Karan has no real lead, and it’s a race against time for India, but the enemy hand is so strong that they know that Indian agents have arrived there. It is time for some cerebral deduction on both sides, and the moves and countermoves planned by Karan as well as Buraq are interesting. The film has no suspense, and no real twists, and that is why it is creditable that Darius Yarmil’s and Junaid Wasi’s script is still engaging. Such testosterone thrillers cannot be relied upon to care for logic all the time, and this film “fulfills” that requisite was well.

The film gives topical messages openly — of communal harmony, about Islam and about bringing back misguided youth back in time. It also demonstrates how chilling such terrorists can be — as seen by Buraq’s maniacal behavior with his divorced wife (Feryna Wazheir), with an associate who makes a serious mistake, with another man who just disagrees with him at a meeting, and even with his son (Atharva Vishwakarma), whom he actually loves.

Technically, London is shown as gritty yet picturesque, with a neat mix of its underbelly and the high spots, and Mark Hamilton must be lauded for the camerawork. Saurabh Bhalerao’s background score shows a new welcome talent on board the very limited dependable names in background music. Editor Sandeep Kurup and production designer Juhi Talmaki deserve appreciation too, especially the former. But the songs are best not commented upon.

Among the rest of the actors, Virendra Saxena is very effective as the old man whose son is a terrorist, and Sumeet Thakur as the Indian British agent and Atharva as the kid both shine. The only complete non-actor in this film is Feryna Wazheir: she is a severe compromise to the general level of competency of everyone connected with the film.

Rating: ***1/2

Produced by: Vipul Amrutlal Shah

Directed by: Aditya Datt

Written by: Darius Yarmil & Junaid Wasi

Music: Mannan Shah & Vikram Montrose

Starring: Vidyut Jammwal, Adah Sharma, Angira Dhar, Gulshan Devaiah, Sumeet Thakur, Mark Bennington, Atharva Vishwakarma, Feryna Wazheir, Manoj Anand,  Rajesh Tailang, Virendra Saxena & others

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