Sunday, November 26, 2006

DHOOM 2 contains the most annoying character since Jar Jar Binks

Why'd you say that Ron? Why? You're my hero. And you say something dirty. Like poop. Poop mouth. I hate you Ron Burgundy, I hate you.The first DHOOM movie was a fantastic Bollywood popcorn flick. A charming buddy-cop movie in which Abhishek Bachchan's uptight policeman chases down John Abraham's motorcycle gang with the help of Uday Chopra's light-hearted buffoon-like street-kid. The movie combined some nice lo-fi motorcycle chase sequences, a pop soundtrack and some genuine chemistry between Abhishek and Uday. DHOOM 2 takes the basic ingredients for a successful franchise and amps them up to the point of stupidity. The feel-good charm of the original is lost in a sea of over-blown, poorly shot stunt sequences and slo-mo overload.

Unlike the original movie, DHOOM 2 has no narrative structure of character development. The producers clearly want us to judge it by the quality of the action and dance sequences. But even if we grant them this, the movie fails. The action sequences are a pastiche of John Wu meets The Matrix. They're edited to death - there is no fluidity or build-up of tension: the editing calls to much attention to itself. Moreover, even within the loose bounds of ridiculousness that we expect from stunt extravaganzas, the sequences have no internal logic. I *love* ridiculous stunts, but this movie was so absurd that even I couldn't suspend my disbelief. Worse still, every other shot is in slow motion! Seriously, if you just played this movie at normal speed it would be cut down from the over-long 3 hours to a more endurable 90 minute run-time. I half expected to see white doves taking flight. And don't even get me started on the quality of the Mission Impossible-style "wearing someone else's face" stuff....

Now back to plot and character or lack thereof. Actors are present to perform cool stunts and look buff to the point where Bollywood hero Hrithik Roshan has waxed his underarms. Sure, Hrithik and Bipasha look great and with this film, Hrithik has established himself as Bollywood's leading practicioner of Wire-fu and Hollywood-style stunt sequences. But you have to wonder at the self-respect of actors who exist merely as physical objects. Having seen Aish and Abhishek in UMRAO JAAN not two weeks ago and Bipasha Basu in OMKARA earlier this year, you can't help but feel that these actors are slumming it.

Aishwarya's character is especially annoying. She's meant to be a rebellious hip young MTV-watching kid. The writers achieve this by making her say, "like", after, like, every, word and like, making her, like, refer to herself, like, in the third person, like. Indeed, Aish's character may be the most annoying character since Jar Jar Binks. Abhishek Bachchan and Uday Chopra are cast into shadow by Hrithik. Of course they aren't helped by a script that turns their LETHAL WEAPON style sweet buddy-cop relationship into one of a grumpy critical superior and his idiot sidekick. And poor Rimi Sen gets about a nanosecond of screen time. It's obvious that the producers wanted to drop her for bigger female stars but couldn't quite write out the wife of the lead actor's character.

In the final analysis, DHOOM 2 is nothing more than a vulgar pastiche of MISSION IMPOSSIBLE 3. The producers have taken a promising franchise and skewered it with their vaulting ambition. Next time, let's hope that they funnel their attempts at Hollywood special effects and production values through a filter of plausibility and narrative structure.

DHOOM 2 is on release in the US, UK, India and the Netherlands.


  1. Wow, most annoying character since Jar Jar? That must really be teeth grindingly bad. I got really pissed off with the character of George/Humlae in Ong Bak. I just wanted to punch him so badly, the whiney, money-grabbing fuck.

  2. You are sooo right..whao i got so pissed in the film that i started criticizing every other scene cuz i thought tht it reached or actually crossed its limit to stupidity! and they never even tell you wat happens to abhishek's so called wife's pregenancy plus what the heck happened to the first bipasha (the 1 who had a crush on junior B), damn they left soo many stories untold..oh well and oh yeah it was soooo prididctable in many scenes but honestly wats gona happen if ppl lyk us just sit here and criticize i mean the film already has been released and got kinda gud remarks god noes by who soo y bother to waste our time on lets just move on and live our lives..heheh..ASTALAVISTA!!